My husband and I found out we were expecting at the time I was scheduled for a hysterectomy. We were in shock for a very long time. After 12 years of not conceiving and numerous health issues, Mr. Johani Emanuel Canales was sent from above, determined in every way he would come into this world. Despite my health issues and concerns from my doctors, I made the decision to continue with the blessing and if something happened to the pregnancy then that was God’s plan and I was ok with it.
My pregnancy was going well, with weekly ultrasounds making sure the baby was ok. One of the main focuses was the baby’s heart due to an autoimmune disease I have called Lupus. Everything was going well until my “normal” checkup at the high risk specialist when I was 35 weeks. Something was wrong with the baby’s heart. I was told I needed to go to St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital for an ultrasound and echocardiogram to the baby’s heart. During the office visit, I had three separate doctors check the echocardiogram. It was confirmed I needed to deliver at their hospital because it was a level 3 NICU and the baby would need the best cardiologist in town because they did not know what was causing his heart enlargement. We lived over an hour away from St. Joseph’s and this hospital was not where I was planning on having the baby. I found out my OBGYN also didn’t have privileges at St. Joseph’s. So besides the heartache of knowing something was wrong with my miracle baby boy, I was now in a new place with new doctors.
Due to all the stress I was under I went into labor early. I arrived at the hospital at 10 pm on Sunday, July 17th, 2016. My son was born at 12:17 am July 18th via cesarean section. Immediately after his birth, he was taken from us and sent to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where he was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. This moment was one of the worst experiences of my life. I could not comprehend how such a beautiful moment could turn into so much emotional pain. How can everything go so perfect at the beginning and just change so fast? My faith remained strong and I knew this little angel came with a purpose. Baby Johani had been a miracle baby since day one.
I developed preeclampsia and Bells Palsy as a side effect of all the stress I was under. The left side of my face was completely paralyzed. My body was going crazy, and this was what the doctors had feared most.
When I walked into the NICU to visit my baby and I saw that High Risk Hope bag, my heart filled with so many emotions. When I went through the bag and saw the blanket, I cried because it was so beautiful. I saw the calendar and read every story, it gave me so much hope.
One year later, I have the most energetic happy baby boy. Johani recently celebrated his first birthday. I like to say he has been my therapy and has helped me in my recovery. Regarding his cardiac issues, he continues to be followed by a cardiologist in Tampa. His heart is now normal size and his right valve has closed beautifully. He is my Miracle Baby Boy.