The Mozeico Family
Our story begins with an end. Two and a half years prior to my daughter Gabriella’s birth, I lay crying as my reproductive endocrinologist explained that this was the end of my IVF road and diagnosed me with “unexplained infertility”. I thought that was the end of my motherhood chapter. You can imagine my surprise when I found myself pregnant at age 42.
When I was 32 weeks pregnant, I was getting ready to head to the airport for a business trip to San Francisco (unbeknownst to me my friends were actually planning a surprise baby shower) and my water broke. As I headed to the hospital I remember thinking it was good that that the hospital was so close to the airport so that I could catch a later flight. It had not even crossed my mind that I would not be leaving the hospital.
The OB on call immediately administered lung surfactant to Gabriella to assist with her lung development. Seven hours later, I went into labor. Around 11:00pm, I was rushed into surgery for an emergency C-section because after Gabriella’s heartrate had dipped too many times. Ten seconds after surgery began; I heard the best sound in the world, Gabriella crying. The nurses brought her to me and I held her for a few minutes before they took her away. I felt an unbelievable wash of joy, love, and amazement upon seeing her for the first time. I also felt in awe of this little fighter.
Seeing her under bilirubin lights, on a CPAP machine, with many wires and tubes connected to her was overwhelming. The neonatologist said, “Welcome to your new full time job.” Gabriella and I were in the NICU for a month while she developed the strength to eat without a feeding tube. I was petrified of every task of caring for her, thinking I would hurt her.
Today, Gabriella is four and absolutely thriving. She loves swimming, airplanes, her Montessori preschool, and wants to be either a doctor or an ambulance driver and a mom.
We are the Ambassador Family for March for Babies because Gabriella and I want to give back. One of the ways we give back is through my winery, Et. Fille (which means “And Daughter”), by donating a portion of the proceeds of the Gabriella wine to organizations providing support for moms and babies. What we give as donors matters. The money raised helps the March of Dimes lead the fight for the health of all moms and babies. They fund research that has shown to optimize outcomes & find lifesaving breakthroughs. It is about providing support to families with premature babies and comfort and assistance to mothers whose babies do not survive. It is about advocating for governmental policies that prioritize the health of all moms and babies.
Gabriella and I want to raise support and awareness because not all are as lucky as we are. Over 8% of nearly 44K babies born in Oregon each year are born prematurely and it is the leading cause of death in children under age five.