SACRAMENTO — Khae Saetern-Angeles held her baby boy Wednesday and rocked him in a chair in his own bedroom at home.
It’s these small parts of motherhood that are huge for her.
“When we finally were able to carry him home we wanted to play music down the hall we were so happy,” Saetern-Angeles said.
The new mom cherishes these moments after an in utero diagnosis nearly took baby Matthew’s life. Doctors found fluid in his chest also known as hydrops fetalis during an ultrasound. The condition can cause fetal heart failure.
“Without relieving that he would not have survived the pregnancy,” said Dr. Diana Farmer, fetal surgeon and chief of the UC Davis Children’s Hospital.
After a stillborn birth and two miscarriages, Khae and husband Bobby couldn’t lose Matthew.
“We’ve been trying for years and we’re getting close and I’m thinking in my mind this can’t happen to us right now,” said Matthew’s dad, Bobby Angeles.
Surgery was the only option.
“The surgery involved putting a specific kind of drainage device so that the fluid could come out of his chest cavity,” Farmer said.
Matthew became the first hydrops fetalis related fetal surgery performed at UC Davis Children’s Hospitals new Fetal Care and Treatment Center.
The healthy baby boy was born Sep. 28.
After more than two months in the hospital, he’s finally home wrapped in his mom’s arms where he belongs.
Doctors found a mass in Matthew’s lung and believe that’s what caused his condition. He’ll undergo another surgery in a couple of months to remove the mass and is expected to make a full recovery.