Almost nine months after learning she had breast cancer, Juliana Moore gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Now she is preparing to fight cancer again.
In one week last year Arrowtown-based Moore and husband Pete learned she had cancer and that she was pregnant.
Months of anxiety, chemotherapy and a mastectomy later and little Mia arrived by emergency Cesarean section at Southland Hospital on December 20.
She was three weeks early and weighed only 2.5kg (5lb).
“When they took her out she didn’t cry. She just squeaked. I was like ‘what’s going on?’ They took her and didn’t tell me anything,” Juliana said.
READ MORE: Juliana Moore is pregnant and fighting cancer
Finally holding Mia was emotional and surreal.
“I couldn’t believe I got to that point. There was just so much we went through. It was very emotional. Until I had her in my arms I was just like ‘how is that possible?’ Then it was ‘yes, you are here’.”
Pete was outside the room. “I was stressing. I was pretty bad. I was scared of losing them both. We knew it was high risk and yet it was ages before they came and got me. It was an hour or so,” he said.
He entered the room with a smile armed with the news his wife was healthy and so was the baby she was holding, that looked just like him.
“It was the happiest I’ve ever been.”
They decided on the name Mia Moore as it could be written as Mi Amore, meaning “My Love” in Italian and Spanish. Her middle name is “Heather” in a nod to Pete’s Scottish heritage.
Juliana’s family from Brazil came out to support the new family on their journey but the threat of cancer has remained with them.
Juliana stopped receiving chemotherapy in October to allow her body to recover enough to prepare for the birth.
Since then she has elected to breast feed as much as possible for the first six months before restarting the chemotherapy.
The frustrating thing now is that they don’t know if she still has cancer or not. An upcoming MRI should be able to reveal more details but the chemotherapy will resume and she will continue to have regular checks for the rest of our life.
“It’s scary but I try not to think about it too much. I like to think I’m fine and cured and don’t have anything else..so I don’t go crazy,” she said.
In the meantime, Juliana received her New Zealand citizenship in February after ten years living here.
She is now considering a return to work alongside Pete at Queenstown Airport after her eight months maternity leave has expired.
*To follow Juliana’s journey see the Facebook page: Help Ju Through