Rylee Porter is 2013 Moniteau County First Baby Contest Winner
Originally published January 9, 2013 at 6 a.m., updated January 7, 2013 at 4:15 p.m.
With the birth of their daughter Rylee Michelle on Jan. 1 came two surprises for new parents Brandon and Kaylee Porter: first, Rylee was born three weeks early, and second, she was declared the winner of the 2013 Moniteau County First Baby Contest.
Actually, Brandon and Kaylee weren't even aware of the contest until family members mentioned it shortly after Rylee's birth.
"Brandon's sister and aunt told us about it," Kaylee, 21, said. "But we were really surprised when we found out we had won."
Regarding Rylee's early arrival, Kaylee said, "That was a surprise. I just started having contractions. After they broke my water, I was only in labor for about an hour, so there wasn't even time for the epidural. I was glad it didn't last long."
(An epidural is a popular form of pain relief used during labor.)
Though he was excited he was finally going to meet his daughter, Brandon, 26, said his main concern during the birth was the pain Kaylee had to endure, and "I just wanted both of them to be okay."
And they were - both mother and daughter came through the delivery just fine.
"Rylee had jaundice, so we had to stay in the hospital a little longer," Brandon said. "But we just took her for a check-up and she's good."
(Jaundice is a common condition in newborns in which the skin and whites of the eyes turns a discolored yellow, due to excess bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is produced by the breakdown of red blood cells.)
Kaylee added, "The first couple of nights were a little rough because I was also having a hard time trying to breast feed. But as soon as we started Rylee on formula, she was much better."
"For the most part, we can keep her pretty happy," Brandon said. "As long as her belly is full, she's good."
"Rylee is doing really well, sleeping and eating," Kaylee said. "She can be stubborn though. When she's hungry, she will definitely let us know and she let's us know when she doesn't like something."
When asked how it feels to be parents, both Brandon and Kaylee said, "It's exciting."
Rylee Michelle was born at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, at St. Mary's Hospital, Jefferson City. She weighed 6 pounds and 15 ounces, and was 18 1/2 inches long. A tiny one with a head full of dark hair.
"Right before she was delivered, my doctor was actually twirling the hair on the top of her head," Kaylee said.
"I think she looks like Brandon," she added.
"My dad said she is the spitting image of me when I was born," Brandon said with a grin.
Even though Rylee's arrival was early, Brandon and Kaylee were prepared. They had a sweet new cupcake-themed nursery ready for Rylee to come home to, and they've already begun child-proofing their home.
"Brandon did all of the work in the nursery," Kaylee said proudly.
"I painted the walls and the trim and put up the molding," Brandon explained.
Regarding the possibility of siblings for Rylee sometime in the future, Kaylee said, "Definitely. I think we've decided we would like to have two children."
Rylee's fraternal grandparents are Randy and Kathy Porter, California, and her maternal grandparents are Kathy and Randy Webb, Versailles. Great-grandparents are Kenneth and Donna Roark, Barnett. Rylee's great-great grandmother is Ann St. Clair, Eldon.
As the winner of the 2013 Moniteau County First Baby Contest, Rylee and her parents will receive numerous gifts from local merchants, including a six-month subscription from the California Democrat, gift certificates and hair products from several hair salons, a Baby Moby Wrap from Bond Pharmacy, a $25 Visa gift card from Hawthorn Bank, a gift certificate from Cal's Supermarket and two lunches for the new parents from Nic Nac Cafe, to name just a few of many.