For the media

The perfect backdrop for baby’s first family photo

By The Health News Team | July 21, 2023
Linh, Riley Jo and Joe Hermocilla of San Diego at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns

(Left to right) Linh, Riley Jo and Joe Hermocilla were the first to be photographed in front of the new mural wall at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital.

Linh and Joe Hermocilla always dreamed of having two kids. With the news of a second baby on the way, they were thrilled their family would finally be complete.

While Linh was hoping her pregnancy would be as straightforward as her first, she was surprised to experience severe nausea in the first few months. As the pregnancy progressed, Linh experienced complications with her placenta, which plays a vital role in supporting the baby's growth and development in the womb by providing necessary nutrients and oxygen.

The doctors tested Linh for conditions that could be of danger to her and her baby, and they were ruled out. But as she approached her third trimester, the doctors told Linh that her placenta had calcified, which meant that her baby would have to come early. Once the placenta calcifies, it is no longer providing nutrients to the baby, which could lead to preterm birth and low birth weight.

Linh was comforted knowing she would be delivering at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns. She delivered her first child, Jordan, there almost 3 years ago.

“During my first delivery at Sharp, I had an emergency c-section that was unplanned,” says Linh. “The doctors and nurses were incredible in making sure Jordan and I were safe and healthy. I was confident this experience would be no different.”

Labor was induced a week earlier than Linh’s due date. And on June 22, she delivered Riley Jo, who weighed 5 pounds, 13 ounces.

Although Linh’s pregnancy had been challenging, Riley Jo stole the hearts of her parents the moment she entered the world. After a couple of days, her big brother came to visit and was instantly smitten. His favorite thing to do was hold her and give her kisses on her forehead.

The Hermocilla family was complete.

Leaving the hospital

As Linh and Joe prepared to leave the hospital with Riley Jo in their arms, they felt immense happiness as they gathered in front of the new Sharp Mary Birch family mural backdrop. Making it even more special: They were the first family to be photographed in front of the new installation.

“It was a pleasant surprise to find this beautiful mural to capture our family leaving the hospital before being reunited with Jordan,” says Linh. “We loved having this backdrop as an option, which made our family photo so special.”

The mural was an addition that Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns had been planning for some time. “We noticed that parents were taking photos in front of the building and wanted to give them a designated backdrop, where they could take a photo to capture this monumental milestone,” says Nicole Giangregorio, manager of women's support programs at Sharp Mary Birch.

The mural is located to the side of the concierge desk, between the entrance of the hospital and the New Beginnings Boutique and Gift Shop.

“We chose this space to provide privacy, so families could take their time taking the photo and savoring the moment,” says Giangregorio. “We also wanted any moms coming to the New Beginnings Boutique to meet with our lactation educators or to shop to have the opportunity to snap a photo.”

As they settle into life with two kids, the Hermocilla family is looking forward to celebrating the holidays and visiting Disneyland together later this year. And they’ll forever cherish the image captured on that magical day.

Learn more about pregnancy; get the latest health and wellness news, trends and patient stories from Sharp Health News; and subscribe to our weekly newsletter by clicking the "Sign up" link below.

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