Beautiful survivor: Bethanie Dela Cruz
A baby's first cry, is the happiest moment for most expecting parents. But not all pregnancies go according to plan.
A baby's first cry, is the happiest moment for most expecting parents.
But not all pregnancies go according to plan.
For Ben and Estefanie Dela Cruz, their due date came sooner than expected.
"It was actually the Saturday after Thanksgiving, she was going to go to a wedding so I came home to bring her to the wedding and she was crying in the car cause she started to feel pain," Ben said.
"And that's when everything happened," Estefanie said.
At only 24 weeks into her pregnancy, Dela Cruz gave birth to a baby girl.
Born premature, Bethanie Grace Dela Cruz measured just a little over 12 inches in length and weighed 1 pound 10 ounces.
"I remember when she came out, there were like nine doctors around her trying to help her breathe, the first thing we asked was is Bethanie going to make it," Ben said.
Bethanie's early arrival landed her a 200-day stay in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Kapiolani Medical Center where she received multiple procedures and surgeries to treat many of the complications that come with being born premature.
"She had a Cardiac CAT, multiple x-rays, I can't even count... One of the biggest reasons we couldn't go home was the feeding and the oxygen," Ben said.
"When you have a premature baby in the NICU, You feel at such a loss, you know you don't have control, this isn't what you planned," Karen Tao, manager of the NICU said.
There to reassure their bundle of joy would be okay, were those who these parents till this day call their "angels" in disguise.
"Amy, Justine and Lloyda, they were her primary nurses," Estefanie said.
"They went above and beyond their jobs because they would text us in the middle of the night and tell us how she's doing, I would call like 10 times a day, they would respond in a nice way," Ben said. "The support was so great, I was afraid to take her home."
Dela Cruz credits the work and support these NICU nurses for helping save their daughter's life.
Expressing their gratefulness, they invited the three to forever be a part of their family.
"They actually became her godmothers," Estefanie said.
"It's amazing it's what brings joy to us, Bethanie's primaries, they're life long friends," Tao said.
Never to be mistaken by her size, Bethanie proved to be a fighter.
Today, this preemie is thriving. She now no longer requires medications.
"All we can say is she was too excited to come out of this world, she came out too early," Estefanie said.
Bethanie will celebrate her second birthday on November 28. She still has some developing to do but both mom and dad are cherishing every moment, even the unexpected ones.
"She's our world. She's the love of our life, she's our angel, our miracle," Estefanie said.