It is a situation that sometimes does not end well: an expectant mother coming down with COVID-19.
In the case of an Upland mother to be, her COVID-19 worsened so much that two lives were imperiled, and two emergency procedures were required.
Now the new mother is home again with her newborn, and she considers the outcome nothing short of miraculous.
Bringing newborn Emery home was possible only after a struggle to defeat COVID-19.
Yvette Camacho was six months pregnant when she caught the virus, and needed to be hospitalized at San Antonio Regional in Upland.
"The doctors explained to me, it's possible my baby might not make it," Camacho said.
With her case worsening, her doctors arranged for a transfer to Cedars-Sinai for treatment with an Ecmo -- in essence, a heart lung machine.
“My vitals dropped and everything happened so fast,” she said.
“She was really low on oxygenation, which is even worse when pregnant because the baby is relying on the mom,” said Dominic Emerson, MD, a cardio-thoracic surgeon.
Dr. Melissa Wong, a maternal and fetal specialist, performed the C-Section in Camacho’s room right there in the ICU. The neonatal intensive care was on stand-by, and Dr. Emerson's Ecmo team at the ready.
"My team and I were literally standing by outside, already gowned, ready to go. The second the baby was out, we were in," Dr. Emerson said.
Both procedures were a success, but both the mother and baby needed further intensive care. When Camacho regained consciousness, she did not realize what had happened until her nurses showed her.
"They showed me baby pictures, and they told me this is your baby… I didn’t even know I had a C-Section already," she said.
It would be days more before she could be with Baby Emery. The first introduction came by way of FaceTime.
She also learned that a friend with COVID-19 had not survived.
"It is hard, and it is a miracle to know that I made it with my baby,” she added.
Dr. Wong went into the ICU first to update her. Dr. Wong's child was also a preemie, arriving at 29 weeks.
"And then really to talk to her as another mom," Dr. Wong Said.
When Camacho had recovered enough to return home, it was a joy to be savored as well by her medical professionals.
"To be there for her child... means a lot to me," said Dr. Emerson.
As it was, baby Emery required further neonatal care at San Antonio and just this past week, she joined her mother and the rest of her family at home.
"To see them both doing so well, we're all just incredibly grateful,” said Dr. Wong.