Nicole Tantoco de los Reyes Recalls Her Pregnancy Journey As She Welcomes a Baby Girl
A week after a baby shower was thrown in celebration of the coming of their firstborn child, Nicole Tantoco de los Reyes and her husband Miko de los Reyes welcomed their daughter, Gianna Noelle, into the world on July 30, 2019.
Friends of the Tantoco family first caught a glimpse of the newest family member through a gushing post made by newly minted grandfather Donnie Tantoco: “Thank you, Lord, for the most beautiful blessing,” he wrote, before explaining how both mother and daughter were doing well.
Nicole, our regular Town&Country contributor, tells us that she had experienced hurdles and health scares throughout her pregnancy. While carrying her baby, she discovered that she had Antiphospholipid Syndrome (APS or APAS). According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, APAS is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the body produces antibodies that damage cells and tissues. This would usually result in blood clots.
“It is such a gift to be able to have a child and to become a mother. I had no idea that I would get APAS, and didn’t anticipate all the challenges that would come with that,” Nicole says, and proceeds to detail the daily injections of Innohep, hospital bedrest, and pre-term labor that she had to overcome. “I felt so grateful to my baby because she was so good to me. I hardly got nausea with her and she was so easy to carry. I felt so sad that it was my own body that was hostile to her. I think I learned from my baby how to be a trooper.”
It was in her journey battling APAS that Nicole and Miko were able to choose their daughter’s first name. After Nicole was diagnosed, the couple diligently prayed to St. Gianna Beretta Molla, an Italian pediatrician who was eventually dubbed the patron saint of childbirth and complicated pregnancies. “We would pray to her every night to keep our baby safe,” she shares. “We were sure of Gianna but we didn’t know what the second name would be. Miko thought of Noelle and we kept going back to it as a favorite.”
Nicole also remains grateful for constantly having her husband by her side, whom she says was very “thoughtful and caring” throughout the pregnancy. "I had tons of medication, he would be the one to take inventory of my injections and supplements and sort them into small zip locks for each day. He went with me to every single appointment and would research about my condition so he would know questions to ask the doctors,” she says. “He was so key to my pregnancy coming out as well as it did. I wasn’t in the best state to take care of myself, but seeing the way my husband took care of me showed me the kind of mother I wanted to be to our child: someone as thoughtful and loving and attentive as her dad.”