As their baby daughter sleeps peacefully in the stroller at their side, Antoinette and Francesco Porcaro say they will always be immensely grateful for the safe – if somewhat dramatic – arrival of their first child at Mackenzie Health.

After an uneventful and “pretty easy” pregnancy, the last thing they imagined was Emily’s birth by an emergency caesarian section.

Eleven weeks later, they recount how they went to Mackenzie Health on the evening of April 15 on the advice of their physician. Though the pregnancy had been low risk, their experienced physician had noted a temporary decrease in the fetal heart rate.

Upon her arrival, Antoinette received immediate assessment and care. Results from an ultrasound indicated no apparent reason for concern; the baby was OK.

However, Dr. Entisar Badi, the obstetrician on call, made the decision to induce labour and provide close monitoring of the baby’s heart rate. The nurse assigned to care for the couple provided close observation and kept Dr. Badi well informed.

“In my head, I started to play out scenarios,” Francesco admitted, “but I knew it was best to stay calm, for her and for myself.”

However, after a drop in the baby’s heart rate, the soon-to-be parents were advised the baby was fine, but needed to be delivered immediately.

Then, “with no time to think”, Francesco said he was by himself, standing outside the operating room while an emergency C-section was performed.

Minutes later, Emily Elizabeth Porcaro was born.

“I had no idea if she was OK, it was worrisome – then I heard the cry,” recalls the grateful new father with a smile, as he looks down at his sleeping daughter.

“The team was amazing,” said Dr. Badi, who credits part of their preparedness to Mackenzie Health training that simulates emergency scenarios for dealing with everything from obstetric emergencies to postpartum hemorrhages.

For Antoinette, while the experience remains “very overwhelming” in her mind, she joins her husband in praising the speed and efficiency of the caring team that brought their daughter safely into the world.


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