All babies have a story of birth, but Luke goes way before that. Here’s his timeline:
After Uncle Andy grew his wings and flew to heaven, we were blessed with news that Neill and I were pregnant! It was very emotional to receive news of new life in a family that was still mourning a loss. We shared the news with our family and was greeted with open arms and a lot of excitement!
Michelle’s pregnancy went smooth. She didn’t have morning sickness – just a lot of strong cravings! She had a very supportive group of family & friends always ready to satisfy cravings in a heartbeat. Big Macs, Ice Cream, Lugaw, Sinigang and Chinese Food were the most requested dishes.
January 20, 2012
We went for our 20 Week Ultra Sound at Kaiser Walnut Creek. 2 hours into the procedure, Michelle was asked not to move. She was then quickly put on a gurney and was wheeled into Labor and Delivery. She was diagnosed with an Incompetent Cervix. Her Cervix was 2cm open and only had 4mm of cervix left. Her membranes were showing. She also had a common infection – so they were not able to do anything while she was infected. She was sent home that night on antibiotics & was asked to return the following Tuesday. What was once an easy pregnancy was now labeled a High Risk Pregnancy.
January 24, 2012
We saw Dr. Mohta, a Perinatologist. (A OBGYN Doctor specializing in High Risk Pregnancies). She examined to find out that labor has progressed and Michelle had lost all her cervix. The talk about terminating the pregnancy began. There was nothing she can do since there is no more cervix. They asked us to consider giving up our son since the chances of him surviving was only 1%.
We left the decision to God.
In tears, we left the doctors office to complete more labs to check if Michelle still had an infection. We then returned to speak with Maureen, a social worker, to see what options we have available if Michelle were to deliver early and the baby would not survive.
After speaking with the social worker, Dr. Mohta asked to see us again. This time, bringing in Dr. Maier, the Chief OB doc to examine Michelle. When Dr. Maier examined Michelle, he felt a cervix! There was only 4mm left, but enough to perform a cerclage! Things started looking better. We then proceeded to the Pre-Operation department to get ready for a Cerclage. A Cerclage is a procedure where the cervix is ‘sewn shut’ to prevent from further thinning and opening.
The Cerclage Surgery was a success and Michelle was then placed on bedrest for the remainder of the pregnancy.
February 7, 2012
The Cerclage was doing it’s job and Michelle’s Cervix reclosed & lengthened. On 02/07/12 at 8am, Michelle felt a big gush of liquid. Neill was at work and rushed home to go back to Kaiser Labor & Delivery. It was confirmed that Michelle’s Water Broke and Dr. McLaughlin and Dr. Maier then talked about the slim chances of prolonging the pregnancy. Michelle was 22 weeks pregnant and if she were to go into labor soon, they would not be able to save our son. Babies are not viable until after 24 weeks. With Mama [Maricor] in the room, they explained the developmental challenges there are with 24 week babies and the risks become less as the pregnancy is prolonged.
50% of babies delivered at 24 weeks do not survive
40% of the babies that do survive cannot survive without intubation, respiratory problems and developmental problems.
We only have a 10% chance to have a ‘normal’ baby at 24 weeks.
We took the 10% and gave it to GOD.
We were once again advised to discontinue the pregnancy. We could not bear to live if we decided to go that route. Whatever happens, happens for a reason. It was not our choice to give up on life still kicking in Michelle’s tummy. Where there’s heartbeat – there’s hope.
Michelle was admitted to Labor and Delivery for another night to be monitored. She was sent home the following morning still on bedrest.
February 14, 2012
Michelle was 24 weeks pregnant. We decided to take steroid shots to help develop the baby’s lungs in case she goes into labor the following weeks. She was also advised to get admitted to monitor contractions and heartbeats. We wanted to spend one last weekend at home before getting admitted.
February 20, 2012
Michelle started to feel contractions at 3am. Contractions were getting stronger and closer together. We were supposed to get admitted at 10am – but with contractions that consistent, we decided to go earlier. We left and checked in at Labor and Delivery at 6am. As soon as we were checked in, they started to monitor Michelle’s contractions. Everytime Michelle had a contraction, the Baby’s heartbeat would drop dramatically. They also found out that Michelle had another infection and would have to deliver immediately. Infections can pass onto the baby very quick.
An epidural was given just in case she would need an emergency C-Section. She was also given Magnesium via IV to help the baby. Although Michelle was having contractions, her cervix was not dilating. She was given Picotin to induce the labor.
At 3:00pm a slew of doctors rushed into the room. We had 5 different teams and 4 doctors in the room to deliver our son – the Labor & Delivery Team, our High Risk Pregnancy Team, Pediatric Team, Neonatal Intensive Unit Team and the Anesthesiologist team. Every second counted to make sure that they would be able to resuscitate the baby if needed.
Michelle was asked to push once and almost shot him out. She was then asked to push just a little bit.
At 3:08pm our son, Luke Gerard Baldomero was born. A few seconds after birth, he cried twice. That was the best tune ever! His APGAR scores were 9 & 9 and was rolled into the NICU.
He weighed in at 1lb 5oz [601grams] and was 11.5 inches long.
He didn’t need a ventilator and is on CPAP with 4 assisted breaths per minute. Amazing for a 24 week baby! He’s very responsive to touches and Daddy’s Voice.
[last updated 02/22/12]
THE STORY BEHIND MY NAME
My full name is Luke Gerard Baldomero
Mommy and Daddy had the hardest time naming me. My last few weeks in Mommy’s tummy soon became my name.
Luke - My Great Grandma Ana asked for me to be named after Saint Luke – Patron Saint of Doctors. My life was in God’s hands using my great doctors as his tool. Luke is very fitting.
Gerard – Auntie Celia & Ninong Chris sent my mommy & daddy emails about St. Gerard. The Patron Saint of Pregnant Women and Unborn Children. Auntie Celia gave Mommy a pendant and Daddy a Token of St. Gerard with prayer cards to pray each night.