Updated: 02/26/2014 5:12 PM
Created: 02/26/2014 4:04 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
Little Lillyana Thomas holds the title as the Twin Ports' first baby of 2014, but she spent the first months of her reign and life in the Essentia Health St. Mary's NICU.
Wednesday, Steve and Blythe Thomas finally took their baby girl home to Cloquet for the first time.
Lillyana may have the tiniest little hands and feet you will ever see, but she has more than doubled in size since she was born just hours into the new year.
"She was born at 1 pound, 14 ounces," said Blythe.
She was just about the size of a dollar bill. Now, Lillyana is 8 weeks old and weighs 4 pounds, 7 ounces.
But Blythe explains, if Lillyana had gone full-term, she'd still be pregnant. Lillyana's due date was March 20. She arrived 11 weeks early.
Steve and Blythe have had a little training in how to handle their teeny, tiny little girl.
"She should still be in the womb, so you should do stuff as if she is still in the womb," explained Steve. "So swaddling her most of the time, holding her feet together, holding her hands together."
This was Blythe's first pregnancy. She had Preeclampsia, a condition that is marked by high blood pressure. If the mother's blood pressure spikes too much it can cause complications.
"And that's essentially what happened and they said well, we should probably take her so both of you would be okay," said Blythe.
Doctors delivered Lillyana via C-section. For the first week, she was so small, she couldn't even be held.
"It was very difficult when I held her the first time. I cried pretty much the whole time," said Blythe.
Lillyana may have been small but, miraculously, healthy. Steve said all of Lillyana's tests and blood work look good, and her development looks good, too.
Blythe said her personality and fighting spirit was clear right away.
"Because she came so early and she came out fighting and she came out without any issues or problems," she said.
And after eight weeks in the hospital, the pint-sized bundle of joy is finally home.
Wisconsin Lawmaker Hopes to End 'Vaping' Indoors
Lawmakers are set to reignite conversations this week about whether vaping - using electronic cigarettes and other vapor smoking devices - should be included in Wisconsin's smoking ban. The ban took effect in 2010. It outlaws smoking in all public indoor locations, including restaurants and bars.
Campground Fees Rise this Year at Michigan State Parks
Fees at state-operated campgrounds in Michigan are going up this year to cover higher costs and pay for maintenance projects. Parks and recreation chief Ron Olson of the Department of Natural Resources says the amount of the increase at a particular site depends on its popularity.
Minnesota Guard Not Going to Liberia After All
Members of the Minnesota National Guard have learned they won't be going to Liberia to help the U.S. military's response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Soldiers from the Rosemount-based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division were supposed to go to Liberia this year in support of Operation United Assistance.
One Man Dead After Car Accident in Aitkin County
A 47-year-old man died after his vehicle was broadsided in east-central Minnesota on Saturday night. The incident happened at the intersection of Highway 18 and Highway 65 in Aitkin County at 9:35 p.m.
Sunday Morning Fire Destroys Detached Garage in Duluth Heights
Duluth firefighters responded to a garage fire at a Duluth Heights home on Sunday morning. When they arrived, flames were coming through the roof of the detached garage and the walls were caving in.