By Jane Kingsu-Cheng | Photos from Miko and nIcole de los reyes
July 30 is a very special day for Donnie and Crickette Tantoco. Their daughter Nicole gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and her name is Gianna Noelle Tantoco de los Reyes. The newest member of the family is named after Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, the patron saint of mothers, physicians, and families.
The young couple faced some hurdles along the way, “I got diagnosed with APAS early in my pregnancy. So taking care of myself, giving myself daily injections, and going on a strict gluten and dairy-free diet were some of the challenges.” APAS, which stands for Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, is an autoimmune disorder with antibodies that protect the body against foreign objects, including the embryo.
Pregnant at 34 weeks, Nicole and her husband Miko weren’t expecting for her to give birth anytime soon. “She wasn’t ready to come out, but I was already getting contractions,” the new mom revealed. What kept them strong was the idea of holding their daughter in their arms. When asked what she felt the second she saw their precious baby, Nicole shared four overwhelming mix of emotions. “First, thank God she’s crying! We were told she might not cry when she comes out since she is a preterm baby, but crying is a good sign that the baby is okay. Second, I’m touching her hand for the first time and she’s looking back at me! Third, she’s wearing a hat! Is she kalbo under the hat? Fourth, looking at my baby as she makes laway bubbles on my chest, I love this little girl!”
As soon as Nicole woke up post delivery, she asked her husband where their new bundle of joy was. “He climbed into my bed with me and we looked at the photos of our baby together.” Every parent can relate to this serendipitous meeting with their baby for the first time. Some even go through epiphanic moments of naming their child. Nicole shares, “He told me he finally has a nickname for our baby. He said it was Yani! I said yes, she does look like a Yani, that’s her nickname.”
The new parents are grateful for the love and support that they have been receiving from friends and family, and wish to extend their appreciation to everyone, and “for all the love, good vibes, light, well wishes, and for celebrating this miracle with us.”