Filipino baby born on cruise ship

By Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jun 08 2010 01:36 PM | Updated as of Jun 09 2010 06:59 PM

Ma didn't know she was pregnant until a week before the birth

NEWARK, California - Cara Paradise Badua Villalobos is only one week old, but she has already been on an adventure like no other.

Cara was born on a cruise ship in international waters near San Diego.

Last week, her mother, Amber Badua, felt stomach pains while heading back to Long Beach from a Mexican cruise.

The 30-year-old caregiver administrator went into labor for 10 hours and gave birth in her cabin's bathroom.

“I was really scared because I thought she was going to be stillborn. I’m just glad she's doing good considering everything, no prenatal care, the fact she was born in the toilet. She's good. She's healthy,” said Badua.

Most cruise ships ban women who are late into their pregnancy from traveling.

Badua said she has a history of irregular menstrual cycles. She only felt symptoms of pregnancy a week before the cruise.

After confirming her pregnancy, she planned her first pre-natal visit after the return.

Her own family only knew about the pregnancy as they assisted her with the birth.

Doctors later determined she was about 30 weeks into her pregnancy.

“I didn't know she was giving birth until the very last moment. I was expecting to see a "not even alive" baby and it was just amazing to see her and by instinct carry her and hearing her cry was the most amazing thing,” said her sister, Aileen Badua Mendoza.

Badua was immediately rushed to a San Diego hospital by the US Coast Guard.

The baby’s father, Robert Villalobos, is thankful that crew and family responded quickly, and that she is healthy.

His only regret was that he was at home in California during the birth.

“I didn't think she was that far along. I was planning on being there at least, but I'm blessed with Cara, and I can't ask for anything more,” he said.

The family says Carnival Cruises has kept in touch with them and have invited Badua and her daughter back to their ship when they're ready to set sail again. Balitang America