But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.”
And sick I was – with pregnancies that had reproductive-immunological challenges.
When I had my second miscarriage in 2014 and I knew about APAS, I grappled for more information about the condition. It was a very depressing time. Resources were very limited and overcoming the condition seemed bleak. The terminologies were scary and there had always been that thought that we would never have a baby.
My body was not baby-ready.
My immune system was attacking the fetus inside my tummy.
These did not make sense. How come I have not heard of this condition before? These thoughts and questions barraged my every waking hour. It was a good thing that I had a very supportive circle who encouraged us to soldier on.
And soldier on we did… and we now have two wonderful rainbow babies.
There are many things (or people) that have contributed to our success – our family and friends, a lot of prayers and of course, our two doctors – my perinatologist, Dr. Valerie Guinto and my immunologist, Dr. Carol Gloria. In my heart, I know that God sent us these two angels to help with my pregnancies.
In most repro-immune (RI) cases, a perinatologist (high-risk OB) and an immunologist co-manage the patient to make sure that all bases are covered. Your OB or perinatologist will take care of the usual round-the-clock monitoring such as checking your general health and most importantly, your baby’s growth, and your immunologist will check if your body is attacking your fetus. If your baby falls behind in terms of growth, there are several treatments that your immunologist will administer to address the situation such as putting you on intralipid therapy>>.
Now, if you are still looking for highly-skilled physicians that can help you overcome your RI disorder, I highly recommend my two doctors.
Dr. Valerie Guinto was a blessing in disguise for me.
It was actually fate that brought me to her, somehow.
When I had my second miscarriage in 2014, my then-OB suspected me to have APAS and requested me to undergo some tests after two months. When my results came out positive, she referred me to a high-risk OB (perinatologist) who she said specializes in APAS. Truth is, I lost that paper where she wrote her recommendation.
I ended searching and searching the net for a specialist about this RI condition and stumbled upon the name, Dr. Valerie Guinto.
An OB, perinatologist, sonologist and associate clinical professor all rolled into one. Sounded good to me. I scheduled an appointment and that was when it started.
Dr. Guinto diagnosed me positive on two out of 5 categories: Cat 1 and 2>>. She then referred me to an immunologist, Dr. Carol Gloria who needed to fix my immune system first before attempting another pregnancy>>.
Looking back, I could not have chosen better doctors to help me with my condition. But to be honest, it wasn’t all rainbows at the start.
At first, my experience was terrible (or at least, I thought it was). Doc Guinto has soooo many patients, most of them are high-risk patients like me. The line was soooo long and she was always somewhere for an emergency. I had to wait for hours for my turn and of course, this was not good news for impatient me. It was only when I was comparing notes with my other APAS sisters that it was the same experience for them with other famous perinatologists who are handling high-risk cases. Because these doctors are highly specialized in their fields, they were sought out by many.
Future me would have scolded younger Balot had I not persisted with her.
Later on, I realized that my demands were the demands of hundreds (yes, hundreds!) of other women who are hoping to hold a baby in their arms again. It was a comforting thought to know that when the time comes that I needed to be attended to, Dr. Guinto will go out of her way to be there for you.
While she may come across as strict, timid or even very formal, she is one of our greatest gifts. I think she just warms up slowly or maybe, she is just exhausted because of her very busy schedule. When I get to chat with her secretaries, they often tell me that Doc does not eat anymore because she usually has to jump from one meeting to another, from one labor to another (the reason why she is so sexy, hehe!) – However, you won’t feel like you are rushed at all when it is your turn for the checkup despite the long line – she is very thorough and reassuring.
Without Dr. Guinto, my pregnancies would not have been successful as they were so I am just thankful that she was sent to me.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Guinto, you can get in touch with her bubbly and lovable secretary Macy at 09172447568. She holds clinic at St. Luke’s BGC, Asian Hospital and Joshua Clinic in front of PGH.