PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Three-month-old Leia Lenai of Palm Beach County was one of our recently featured Sunshine Babies on WPTV. But in learning about how Leia came into the world, we discovered there was more to tell.
Her story is important because Leia’s mom battled COVID-19 during her second trimester and faced lingering effects from the virus even after delivery.
At 41 years old, Kinga Trzaska, a mom of three boys, never expected to find herself pregnant again.
"It was scary but I was happy when I found out it was a girl," Trzaska said.
In the middle of a pandemic and at five months pregnant, Trzaska tested positive for COVID-19.
"I laid down in bed and it was like, I felt like I had arthritis. It's like every joint in my body, every muscle in my body was so sore, it was like I got hit by a bus," Trzaska said. "I had gone to Wellington Regional because my fever hit 104.3 which, you know, you’re not supposed to have a high fever when you’re pregnant."
At the time, very little was known about pregnancy and COVID-19. That worried Trzaska, especially when she became a long hauler.
"Even after I tested negative I was still very symptomatic. It actually got worse, so I'm like, how am I negative now but I'm feeling even worse?" Trzaska said.
Bronchitis, acute pneumonia in one of her lungs, Trzaska said she was in bad shape, but her baby girl was safe and snug in every ultrasound.
"She was like protected in the womb, the placenta is amazing," Trzaska said.
The baby was born healthy, weighing 7 pounds and 13 ounces and with COVID-19 antibodies.
"All of a sudden when I saw her, we named her Princess Leia because Leia means God’s gift. and Lenai, which is her middle name, Leia Lenai, it means God’s grace. So I was like, Leia Lenai, it’s so fitting for the occasion because she really is God’s grace," Trzaska said.
Trzaska still can’t fully smell or taste months later, but she got the COVID-19 vaccine.
"I want to keep her safe, I don't want her to get it. She has antibodies but there’s no vaccine for babies yet," Trzaska said.
And so Trzaska wrote to WPTV to introduce us to her sunshine baby.
"She was just like a miracle. She just brought so much sunshine to like the whole experience because this pregnancy was the toughest one," Trzaska said.