New York Daily News: MANHATTAN – For freshly-minted parent Ruth Miller, her first Mother’s Day will arrive as nothing less than a miracle.
The Long Island woman and her husband, after years of heartbreak from failed efforts to conceive, welcomed their son Abraham on Jan. 2, a gift weighing just 17 ounces when he arrived at NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island. Four daunting months later, the couple can’t wait to bring their growing little boy home to celebrate the rest of the year’s holidays.
“It literally feels like a blur at times, you know?” said the delighted 41-year-old Miller. “But it was a long process, oh my gosh.”
Abraham now weighs in at just over 10 pounds, and recently posed for Easter photos with an egg in his tiny hand and an over-sized hat on his head. His grandmom stopped by last week by to feed him breakfast, and Miller remains amazed by the whole process.
“He knows who she is, and he’s never met her before,” Miller said with a tone of disbelief about their first get-together.
The happy ending was preceded by a long and difficult struggle for Miller and her husband Sean, 38, one resolved by the team assembled at the hospital.
The couple had trouble conceiving naturally before turning to medical methods, with Miller suffering multiple miscarriages. In 2015, she became pregnant with twins — only to lose them both at four months.
Ruth, one of nine children, believed this was her final chance to have a child. The daughter of a minister focused on following her father’s path of service to the community, working as a mental health case manager while convinced her dream was over.
And then came an unexpected bit of good luck. A 2020 state law required all companies with more than 1,000 employees to offer in vitro fertilization, and the couple decided to take one last shot at parenthood.
And 25 weeks after Ruth became pregnant from one of her embryos, she went into labor and the couple’s baby boy emerged just two days into the new year via C-section.
After their long wait, Abraham was delivered in just 90 minutes before starting his lengthy hospital stay.
“He actually turned out to be very good,” said neonatologist Dr. Caterina Tiozzo, who helped with the birth. “The mom did a terrific job.”
“The doctors said he was really sick and we had to take it day by day,” recalled dad Sean Miller. “From my point of view, I was happy that he was born and alive. But then right away, the uncertainty of what the future holds for us. A very short time to be happy, and right back to worrying.”
But the newborn proved up to every challenge, adding precious pounds as little Abraham was weaned off the machines initially needed to help him breathe. Mom and dad are hoping to have him home in time for his five-month birthday.
“We were seeing the weight gain, his body filling out — taking shape, getting some color,” said Sean. “He doesn’t even look like a premature baby.”
Tiozzo was thrilled but not surprised by Abraham’s slow and steady odyssey from premature birth to that recent morning where grandma also changed his diaper.
The baby will need to return every six months until age 2 for monitoring, and Tiozzo hopes to attend Abraham’s birthday party — as she’s done in similar cases across her career.
“I am a strong believer in dreams come true,” explained the 20-year medical veteran. “It’s why I love my job. Helping parents to become a family, I’m honored to be a part of this. They believed, they fought for their dreams, and they were right.
“It’s going to be a happy Mother’s Day.”
Top Feature Photo: Ruth Miller and her son, Abraham – Obtained by Daily News