Persistence: One Couple’s Triumph Over Infertility, Stillbirth, and Pregnancy After Loss
Eight-month-old Remy Baker is an energetic, happy and cheerful baby. With a healthy weight of 22 pounds, he has grown rather quickly, gaining more than two inches in height within the last month. Remy has a vibrant and contagious personality, always ready to flash a smile, share a laugh and roll over with enthusiasm. He finds great joy bouncing around in his bouncer, which has become his favorite pastime. Undeniably, Remy is the center of adoration for his parents, Daisy and Jeremy.
“He brings us ridiculous amounts of joy, and we are completely in love with him,” said Daisy. “We are so grateful to be his parents.”
Daisy and Jeremy’s struggle to conceive
Initially, the Bakers opted not to pursue medical interventions when they were unable to get pregnant. Instead, they tried various methods, including diet and exercise in their quest to conceive a baby naturally, but nothing worked. They eventually made the decision to seek assistance from a family fertility clinic while residing in Austin.
Daisy, diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), encountered challenges with ovulation. Her doctor prescribed medicine to stimulate ovulation, and shortly thereafter, she became pregnant but their joy was short lived. Their first pregnancy ended with the stillbirth of their son at 37 weeks due to a cord accident, an abnormality in the umbilical cord that can disrupt blood circulation, leading to death.
“We lost our first one in April 2021,” said Daisy. “After the loss of our baby, we moved to San Antonio. Eventually, we went to another fertility clinic and I was prescribed the same medication. We were afraid it would take us a long time to get pregnant but it didn’t. When we found out I was pregnant in March 2022, we were excited and elated, but also terrified. Given our prior loss (at 37 weeks), there was no ‘safe’ spot in the pregnancy where we could say we’ve made it past the hard part. Everything will be OK from here.”
During most of Daisy’s first trimester, the fertility clinic in San Antonio monitored her pregnancy. However, as Daisy approached the 10-week mark, she sought care from another OB-GYN. About two weeks before entering her third trimester, Daisy’s OB-GYN advised their practice was closing, and Daisy needed to find a new doctor to care for her.
Fortunately, Dr. Emma Rodriguez, Daisy’s maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) physician at CHRISTUS Children’s swiftly recommended an OB-GYN at the same hospital to take over her care. Early in her pregnancy, Daisy had been under the care of Dr. Rodriguez because she was considered high risk due to her bicornuate uterus and her previous history of a stillbirth.
“It turns out we were grateful for the switch,” said Daisy. “Once we found our OB-GYN and Dr. Rodriguez, we felt like we were in great hands and everything was going to work out for Remy.”
An unexpected diagnosis
When Daisy reached her fourteenth week of pregnancy, she opted for a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT), a blood screening procedure aimed at evaluating the likelihood of chromosomal abnormalities in her unborn child. A few days after the test, the results delivered an unexpected revelation: Remy exhibited a strong probability of having Down syndrome, known as Trisomy 21.
“We were devastated at first,” said Daisy. “Our knowledge about Down syndrome was limited, and we really weren’t sure what this would mean for us, or for Remy. Our doctors and the CHRISTUS Children’s Genetics team provided us with literature and information about how to best prepare. We just started reading and researching everything possible. At every subsequent ultrasound, we held our breath, fully aware that they were not only assessing the baby’s growth and development but specifically searching for indications of Down syndrome as well as any potentially related complications. The appointments that were already difficult, given our history, became even more daunting. We were equal parts excited to check on our baby but also terrified something ominous would be detected.”
Remy’s growth and development progressed well. Daisy remembers the emotional challenges of attending her MFM and OB-GYN appointments. She found herself constantly seeking reassurance by monitoring Remy’s movements. “Every time we were enroute to the OB’s office, I felt an overwhelming need to check if Remy was still moving.”
A few days leading up to Remy’s birth, Daisy and Jeremy had a crucial discussion with Daisy’s OB-GYN and Dr. Rodriguez regarding the potential risks of delivering a baby at 37 weeks. Based on the couple’s past experience of losing their previous baby at the same gestational age, they collectively determined it would be safer for Remy to be born at this stage.
Welcoming our son
On October 28, 2022, Daisy and Jeremy welcomed Remy via C-section at CHRISTUS Children’s. He weighed a whopping 8 pounds and 5 ounces. Soon after delivery, he was having trouble breathing. He was placed on a C-PAP machine and was admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
“There was fear immediately when they took him out,” said Daisy. “When he was born, his lungs were underdeveloped. He didn’t cry. They were trying to get him to cry.”
During Remy’s stay in the NICU, he received phototherapy under special lights to address his mild jaundice. Additionally, he required oxygen support through a nasal cannula, and it was determined Remy had three small holes in his heart. Overall, Remy showed steady progress through his three-week hospitalization in the NICU. The nurses transitioned his feeding tube to his nose to see if he could feed orally without having to rely on the feeding tube. This particular milestone proved to be the most time consuming. Over time, Remy gradually reached that milestone and was finally able to come home for the very first time.
On November 19, 2022, Remy came home just before Thanksgiving.
“It was the most incredible moment of our lives,” said Daisy. “Going through pregnancy after a previous loss is hard, so much more difficult than I ever anticipated. However, bringing our son home and seeing the milestones he has accomplished makes everything feel worth it. I am grateful for the nurses who took care of both me and Remy. Having our OB-GYN and Dr. Rodriguez as part of our team was incredible. Dr. Rodriguez exceeded our expectations, going above and beyond her duties. Our OB-GYN and Dr. Rodriguez consistently provided reassurance during our appointments while also being honest and transparent. We truly felt their goal was to ensure we brought a healthy baby home.”
At just 8 months old, Remy is thriving. He participates in at-home physical, occupational and speech therapy, which play a crucial role in addressing the unique needs of babies with Down syndrome. Through these programs, Remy has the potential to accomplish the same milestones as a typical child, just at his own pace. Remy is making progress in all areas of his development.
As part of his follow-up care, Remy sees his pediatrician Dr. Joe Uranga regularly, and he has routine follow-up visits with his pediatric cardiologist Dr. Govinda Paudel to closely monitor the small holes in his heart. Remy also meets annually with the genetics team at CHRISTUS Children’s to ensure he receives tailored care to meet his physical, cognitive and social developmental needs.
“Watching Remy grow and develop has been everything,” said Daisy. “He brings us so much joy, and we are grateful for our family.”
For more information about CHRISTUS Children’s, visit our website: CHRISTUS Children's Hospital | San Antonio, TX | Comprehensive & Compassionate Care for Children (christushealth.org)