Local couple gets miracle baby in time for Mother's Day

Their journey has been bittersweet but a local couple got the baby of their dreams just in time for Mother's Day.
May 10, 2014 1:20:59 PM PDT
Their journey has been bittersweet but a local couple got the baby of their dreams just in time for Mother's Day.

Baby Phoebe was born six weeks ago weighing 5 pounds, 2 ounces.

Her parents, Katie and Bill Jack's story starts with a destination wedding.

"Eighty of our closest friends and family came with us, we sort of took over the cruise ship," said Katie.

A few years after the celebration, Katie was pregnant and healthy.

When the baby reached 20 weeks, they found his heart was blocked. He died a week later.

"It's that quick. It's everything is fine until everything is wrong," said Katie.

Dr. Ronald Librizzi at Virtua Health specializes in high risk pregnancies. He says although Katie was healthy, her body had created antibodies similar to what's found in Lupus. The antibodies destroyed the conduction system in the baby's heart.

Thinking it was a fluke, Katie and Bill try again.

"We put her on these high dose drugs, which at that point, and still to a certain extent, are state of the art treatment," said Dr. Librizzi.

However right around the same time, the same thing happens. They had another baby boy with a complete heart block and he died at 28 weeks.

"It breaks your heart every day," said Katie

Baby Phoebe's fate was different. When Katie got pregnant again a few years later, Dr. Librizzi was ready with a new plan.

"We needed to do something that I knew was going to get to the baby, said Dr. Librizzi.

After consulting with numerous other experts, he put Katie on a special treatment plan, involving weekly 24- hour infusions.

It was a lot to go through but it seemed to be working. Bill was cautiously optimistic

"Just trying to take each moment as it was coming, not think about the future," he said.

Phoebe made it to 36 weeks and was born healthy.

"My Nobel Prize is her bringing a baby home," said Dr. Librizzi.

Mother's Day has been tough for Katie in the past but this year, she says, it's bittersweet.

"It's bittersweet to have this baby I can hold in my arms and two babies I hold in my heart, so it's exciting and I am looking forward to celebrating and being a mom," said Katie.

Dr. Librizzi says it was a team effort. Katie says she is very grateful for all the doctors and nurses and others who helped bring Phoebe into the world.

Happy Mother's Day to her and to all moms this Sunday.