Although Amaris is here now and thriving. Her journey into the world was difficult. The support of family, HCA Florida caregivers and their faith made all the difference.
Family gatherings are full of laughter, smiles and very busy children. Aunt Feve Coronado is adored by her many nieces and nephews. At the center of it all is baby Amaris — a cutie born small but mighty in her will to live.
She is a blessing to Jose and Feve, a special couple who struggled to have children. They wanted to bring a child into their family to be adored and share in the joy and unique kind of crazy that comes with large get-togethers. This fun family shares a passion for soccer for their home countries. This little one is destined to wear a game-day shirt, but it is tough to know whether the jersey will be for the U.S. or Mexico.
Although Amaris is here now and thriving. Her journey into the world was difficult. The support of family, HCA Florida caregiver and their faith made all the difference. “Feve has a faith so strong. She prayed for this baby,” said her sister, Thalia Martinez. “We are so thankful. Amaris keeps overcoming obstacles, defying the odds.”
Oct. 26, 2022: 15 weeks, 5 days – Concern for Baby
Feve was referred to HCA Florida Brandon Hospital’s Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) department, when she received abnormal lab or blood test results at a recent appointment with her obstetrician. Due to losing two prior pregnancies and additional medical concerns, she was considered a high-risk pregnancy. At that time, her baby’s growth was in the 21st percentile and was being closely monitored.
Shona Husbands, her Perinatal Nurse Navigator, reflected on this appointment when she first met Feve. She shared Feve’s determined words, “She had to take a baby home. Thankfully, she did, but she worked hard.”
Feve said, “I was in love with her (Amaris) from the very start. I knew from the beginning we had a strong connection.”
Nov. 23, 2022: 19 weeks, 5 days – Difficult News
A month later, Feve received difficult news. During the ultrasound, it was discovered, that there was little to no amniotic fluid, a condition called Oligohydramnios and her baby faced a poor chance of survival. Her baby had dropped to the 12th growth percentile.
“She was very tearful after her history. It would be her third loss,” said Shona, sharing Feve’s reaction. Feve was looking for reassurance that the baby would be OK. She expressed how she would do anything to keep her baby.
The plan was to admit Feve at 23-24 weeks to manage her care as an inpatient. Feve was encouraged to hydrate and drink a gallon of water daily to replenish the loss of amniotic fluid. It was a long wait for Feve, her husband and her tight-knit family.
“It was hard for my mom to see her daughter go through something like this,” said Thalia.
Dec. 12, 2022: 21 weeks, 5 days – Prayers and Optimism Support Feve
At her next appointment, Feve’s baby’s growth had declined further to the 5th percentile and her amniotic fluid remained extremely low, but the baby continued to grow slowly. Feve was getting closer to being admitted, but she was understandably anxious.
Shona shared the effect of the lack of amniotic fluid, “It means the lungs struggle to mature. The limbs can’t move, can’t float in the fluid, so they can contract. It impacts the baby’s growth too.”
Dec. 20, 2022: Admittance to Hospital - A Big Day
“Feve was hopeful and optimistic when she was admitted. Pleased to have made it,” said Shona. “The day of admission. She had to get there.”
Elyse Fahey, OB Coordinator for Women’s Services, was able to meet Feve her first day and welcome her. “I feel, for patients because they really don't know what to expect. I try to make that as easy for patients as possible,” said Elyse. She was there for Feve to help support her through her extended stay at the hospital and try to do what she could so Feve didn’t feel that she was missing out so much.
Feve had date nights with her husband, received Amazon packages, attended her maternity photoshoot and made close relationships with HCA caregivers. “I was here for three months. I spent Christmas, New Year's and my birthday here,” said Feve.
Jose was with Feve every day while she was at the hospital. “He takes good care of me. He is a good man,” Feve said about her caring husband.
Friday or Saturday nights were date nights. Sometimes, Jose would bring tacos from the restaurants around the hospital, or Feve would cook rice and beans, Jose’s favorite. Feve had set up a mini kitchen with a rice cooker and even an air fryer. They watched the World Cup, even after the U.S. and Mexico teams were eliminated early.
Since Feve was not able to have a baby shower, she set up a registry on Amazon and the packages started to arrive special delivery via the HCA Florida Brandon Hospital mail room. Feve received onesies, bath supplies, blankets and more.
But Feve was determined not to miss having a maternity photoshoot. This was something Feve wanted to experience for a long time. The beautiful images were photographed on the hospital grounds. Her best friend since she was 14 years old, Nancy Cortez, did Feve’s make-up and assisted with her dress.
The photoshoot went great, but “It was hard to get my pictures done between the tears because it had been such a difficult journey with the miscarriages and trying to get pregnant,“ said Feve.
Although Feve strived to stay positive through her pregnancy, “She was sad and overwhelmed at times. We tried to be there for her,” said Thalia.
Feve developed a friendship with Elyse. She was able to share how she was feeling. “Ms. Elise, oh my God, Ms. Elise would stay here for hours, really. Talk to me,” said Feve.
“I would come and see her every day. Share the positive moments and moments that she might not have been given the best of news, being able to share that time with her,” said Elyse.
As part of the maternal-fetal medicine team, Elyse also communicated with the NICU team on Feve’s progress, so they were prepared for Amaris’s needs.
Feb. 10, 2023: 31 weeks – Amaris’s Birthday
Amaris Lourdes Arredondo was born on Feb. 10, 2023, 2 pounds, 15 ounces and 14 and a half inches. This baby bliss was long-awaited for new parents Feve and Jose.
A celebration started shortly after her birth. When Shona came to Feve’s room, it was overflowing with love. Her two aunts, cousin, best friend and Feve graciously welcomed Shona into the room and she was quickly immersed in joyful women. There was one lone man, her dad who quietly shrugged and smiled at all the female commotion in the room, obviously pleased.
Now, that tiny Amaris had been delivered, Brandon Hospital’s Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was ready to care for her.