Dr. Chiamaka Iheme, a family medicine physician at Florida Hospital Flagler, is getting ready to celebrate her first Mother's Day with her "miracle baby" who was born at 25 weeks.
Twenty-five weeks into pregnancy, Dr. Chiamaka Iheme unexpectedly went into labor. Her only child Zinma Molokwu is now 4 and 1/2 months old.
“This little girl is our miracle baby,” she said.
Iheme is a family medicine physician at Florida Hospital Flagler in Palm Coast who works Monday to Friday while her mother takes care of Molokwu at home.
“That’s the biggest worry when they’re premature: they can lag behind other kids their age,” Iheme said. “So, you have to make sure they’re meeting their goals and not catching it too late.”
After work and over the weekend, Iheme and her husband help Molokwu practice what she learns in physical therapy twice a week.
“They give us homework, so we have to do the homework with her,” she said. “We’re working on her rolling over and spending time on her belly.”
Iheme said being a doctor is both beneficial and harmful to being a mother. But she said being a mother “is everything.”
“I think it helps in the sense that I know I can see her, and I can assess her real quick and make a decision that this is an emergency or it’s not, and it’s good to have that background,” she said. “But then, knowing too is sometimes debilitating, and you can’t think sometimes clearly when it’s your own child.”
Iheme spends her lunch break pumping breast milk in her office in the FHF medical plaza. The patients she sees range from children to elderly, which is something she enjoys about the field she chose.
“It’s not easy,” Iheme said about balancing work and motherhood. “It’s a lot better because I have help. My mom’s helping me with her, so it makes life a little bit easier in terms of just focusing on work when I’m at work and not having to worry about her too much because I know she’s in good hands. … I don’t know how easy it would be without her here. It would be a lot more difficult. Mothers helping mothers.”