There are many forms of miracles. For Assunta de Rossi, it’s the birth of her daughter, Giulia Fiorentina Alessandra.
Assunta and her husband, former Negros Occidental Rep. Julio “Jules” Ledesma IV, have been trying to have a baby for the past 16 years since getting married in 2004.
On 23 October, Assunta gave birth to her firstborn at Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan. But the delivery, via elective cesarean section at 38 weeks, was risky. Aside from the early term of the baby’s birth, Assunta was diagnosed with myoma and endometriosis.
Myoma, also known as uterine fibroids, is a benign tumor that can grow inside a woman’s uterus. It is a smooth, non-cancerous tumor made partly of muscle tissues and may affect fertility and pregnancy chances.
Endometriosis, meanwhile, is a condition where the endometrium, the tissue that lines the inside of a woman’s uterus, grows outside of it, such as in the ovaries or the fallopian tube. One of the symptoms of the condition is having trouble getting pregnant.
“Getting pregnant the natural way with myoma and endometriosis is extremely difficult,” said Assunta. “Only medical intervention or a miracle can make it happen. This was a miracle!”
“Giulia” (pronounced as “Julia”) is a tribute to her paternal great-grandfather, Don Julio Ledesma. “Fiorentina” is derived from her paternal great-grandmother, Doña Florentina. “Alessandra,” Greek for defender of men, is adapted from the full name of Assunta’s sister Alex and their Lola Alejandra.
In an Instagram post, Assunta said her baby’s nickname is Fiore, or flower in Italian, adding that “I hope she knows how much we wanted her.”
It was on her Instagram page @assuntaledesma in May that Assunta announced her pregnancy: “On 5 March 2020, I paid a visit to my OB-GYN after not seeing him for three-plus years. Why? I had missed my period. An ultrasound scan and blood test confirmed later that day that I was about five weeks pregnant. I know, shocking!”
On her own Instagram page, Assunta’s sister, TV-film actor Alex, posted photos of mother and child: “My sister is now a mother,” and that she couldn’t get over her joy. “I’m so proud of you, @assuntaledesma!!! What a brave woman!”
Alex joked that she had been talking loudly when Assunta was pregnant, so Fiore could recognize her aunt’s voice. Alex added that Fiore moved a lot when she visited Assunta. Fiore smiled at her, Alex wrote on Instagram. “Sabi niya, ‘Ahaaa… Ito yung maingay na babae (Aha! She was the loud woman) !!! Confirmed!!!”
Alex added that she will see her sister and niece soonest, but she’ll have to get another swab test as protocol measures against COVID-19: “But I’ll focus on the miracles.”