When Louise Adams ‘ water broke at 22 weeks, doctors stressed that her baby would not survive. But Louise and her husband, Jakk, refused to give up on a child who had already become such a significant part of their lives.
As with many babies born prior to the end of the second trimester, the Adams family was given a 5 percent chance of survival for their son, Joseph, and told to expect a miscarriage within the next few days. “All they could do is monitor me in the hospital waiting for the inevitable miscarriage,” said Louise. “But I could feel Joseph kicking. I couldn’t just sit around doing nothing to save him.”
Detailed research gave the small family a few ideas on how to help increase the baby’s odds. Of course, for Louise, some of these ideas would be extremely uncomfortable.
For example, numerous sources suggested for pregnant moms to increase their water intake to prevent premature membrane rupture. Theoretically, the increase in water helps replenish amniotic fluids, which helps the child continue to grow. However, this wasn’t a few added glasses– Louise found these studies suggested she consume seven pints of water a day, for the remainder of her pregnancy.
“The more the mother drinks the more the baby drinks and urinates,” Louise explained. “As excretion of the urine by the unborn baby is the major source of amniotic fluid production in the second half of pregnancy, it made sense that increasing my fluid intake could make a difference.”
When the Adams’ shared their plan with their doctors, they were discouraged from hope and reassured there was not much scientific backing for their last effort attempt. It probably wouldn’t make a difference in the ultimate outcome.
“But I had nothing to lose,” Louise said, all the more determined.
Instead of going home and waiting for a miscarriage, Louise drank seven pints of water every day for another 13 weeks. Miraculously, the baby didn’t succumb to doctor’s expectations. He kept growing.
In addition to water, the persistent mother consumed raw cloves and cranberry juice, as they’ve been known to combat infections that occur from an early water break.
And three months after hearing experts tell them there was virtually no hope for Joseph’s survival, a strong, 5 pound 10 ounce healthy child was born by c-section to an eager set of parents and excited big brother, Isaac.
“Although UK doctors were sceptical, I discovered in other countries around the world mothers whose waters break early are put on a drip,” said Louise. “I’m convinced he survived such low odds because when my waters broke, I replaced them by ensuring I was well hydrated.”
It must be in the genes, as Louise describes her baby boy as quite similar to her. “He never gave up fighting,” she said, “and beat all the odds.”
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