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Faith and Family Make a Baby

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Faith and Family Make a Baby

Babies born at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center are sometimes years in the making, but these beautiful blessings are worth the wait – just ask Vanessa and Mathew Fraijio.

Five years into their marriage, they began a journey to grow their family. After years of trying to conceive without success, medical professionals told Vanessa she had uterine fibroids, which might be making it difficult for her to conceive. Uterine fibroids, noncancerous growths that can cause painful and debilitating symptoms, are extremely common, affecting nearly 30 percent of women between the ages of 30-50. For some women, it can affect fertility by impairing the implantation of an embryo.

Even with this diagnosis, Vanessa and Mathew persevered, attempting a number of medical and holistic fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF). Unfortunately, Vanessa’s fibroids continued to grow. When her pain became unmanageable, her gynecologist urged her to have a hysterectomy. Prior to her surgery, Vanessa froze her embryos in hopes that she and Mathew would find a surrogate to carry their child one day.

Years passed without finding a surrogate and the couple’s dream of having a child of their own began to fade. Then, last year, in what they called “God’s timing,” a birth plan began to materialize.

Mathew’s uncle Jimmy and his wife Emilia had recently moved back to the area and had heard about their struggles to find a surrogate. They contemplated whether Emilia could be their surrogate. They talked about their fears, feelings and current circumstances. Already parents to eight grown children, they decided together that they wanted to be the ones to help their nephew and his wife have a child.

“We’re a tight-knit family and I used to babysit Matt when he was little,” Jimmy said. “If I could have had a baby for them, I would – so when Emilia told me she wanted to – I couldn’t have been more grateful. We just wanted to gift them the same blessings that we had.”

Vanessa and Mathew wholeheartedly accepted Emilia’s offer to carry their child and in January of this year, Emilia became pregnant. Over the next nine months, the families grew closer, even as COVID-19 arrived and turned their world upside down. Emilia and Vanessa talked every day, exchanged photos and attended prenatal appointments together, when it was permitted.

As Emilia’s due date approached, the families became anxious about what to expect at the hospital. Emilia was confident about delivering at PVHMC, as she had three of her own children here and loved her experiences, however, she knew things would be different with the pandemic. When her induction date finally arrived and she was admitted, all of their anxieties were calmed.

At 8:07 am on Thursday, October 15, Dr. Duong Phung delivered Vanessa and Mathew’s healthy baby boy, weighing 7 lbs. and 6 oz. As Vanessa and Mathew welcomed their new bundle of joy – Mathias – Emilia and Jimmy celebrated their new grand-nephew.

From the second we arrived at PVHMC, the process was so smooth and amazing,” said Mathew. “Everyone was so friendly, from the lobby staff to the doctors and nurses, they made us feel comfortable and, most importantly, safe.”

When Vanessa first met her son, she recalls how surreal it was. “I looked at my husband, smiled and whispered ‘He’s our kid,’” she said.

Bringing a child into the world in the midst of a pandemic is a challenge for any family. The Fraijo family can’t help but feel blessed as their unique, special journey comes to close, and a new journey into parenthood begins. They can’t wait for baby Mathias to meet the rest of their family.