In Jan. 2016, Gloria and Tony Montejano suffered from the loss of their first child. Gloria’s placenta detached and her baby girl passed away while still in the womb. She was induced at 20 weeks to deliver her stillborn baby. With support from her family and the care team at Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, Gloria and Tony were able to hold their daughter and stay with her overnight.

Baby Ayden

“I still remember that night like it was yesterday,” says Gloria. “The care team was amazing with us during the roughest time in our lives. They were extremely supportive.”

Several months later, Gloria received amazing news – she was expecting again!

“It was a total shock for us,” says Gloria. “There were no words to explain what we were feeling. We were happy, but scared at the same time. Losing our baby girl, was the hardest thing we’ve ever faced, but we were willing to fight for another child.”

Two weeks before their son Ayden was born, Gloria was rushed to the Emergency Department due to contractions and abdominal pains. Physicians were able to control the contractions, but several days later, Tony woke Gloria up around 4 a.m. because she was complaining in her sleep. She went back to sleep and a few hours later awoke again to strong contractions. She went to the restroom and noticed blood in her urine.

“I was worried, but I didn’t panic,” says Gloria.

Gloria and Tony went to the BirthCare Center at Miller Children’s. The BirthCare Center cares for more than 2,000 women with high-risk pregnancies each year and with a level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) just down the hall, mother and baby can receive care under one roof.

When she arrived, doctors confirmed that Gloria was in labor. With the high-risk pregnancy care team at her side, Ayden was born on Sept. 15, 2 months before his due date. He was 3.7 lbs. and was immediately taken to the NICU, just down the hall from Gloria.

A level III regional (tertiary) NICU means that the unit must meet strict state regulatory criteria to provide the highest level of necessary care for premature and very sick infants. The team of dedicated physicians, nurses, therapists and other care team members, combined with state-of-the-art technology, work to save the lives of infants born too sick or too early, like Ayden.

Ayden was able to breathe on his own and didn’t need oxygen, but he was diagnosed with a heart defect that would continue to be watched by a cardiologist after he made it home. After just over a month in the NICU, Ayden was able to go home.

Today, Ayden is 10-months-old and visits a cardiologist on a monthly basis to assess his congenital heart defect and determine his continued plan of care.

“We are so thankful for the care Ayden received in the NICU,” says Gloria. “The care team not only took care of Ayden, but they took care of our family as well. They understood how nervous we were after losing our daughter and helped us feel less anxious and prepare us to bring home our miracle.”