Mum planned her baby’s funeral after being told he’d be stillborn when her waters broke at 18 weeks… but gave birth to a healthy son thanks to advice from FACEBOOK
A BRAVE MUM who was told her baby had a one per cent chance of survival and had already started planning the funeral – told how she IGNORED advice to terminate and gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby.
Lucy Jones was urged to end the pregnancy based on statistics that predicted he could not survive after her waters broke at just 18 weeks but took to a Facebook support group to find the encouragement she needed to continue.
Despite being told her baby had a 1% chance of survival Lucy gave birth to a healthy baby boy
But the 31-year –old who teaches Maths at a high school in Tredegar, Wales, says although the odds stacked against him were “ridiculously high” she couldn’t give up hope.
For the first time in her life, Lucy refused to accept the statistics and miraculously the tot was born alive. Now aged one her baby boy has been given a perfect bill of health.
Lucy said: “As a mathematician, when they told me my baby’s chances were low the first thing I needed to hear was the numbers. When I did I was shocked.
“I encourage my students to make mathematical predictions based on the statistics but in this case I just couldn’t, as his mum I had to ignore them and believe he would be OK.
“I wouldn’t normally advise ignoring the numbers – and certainly won’t be telling my students to do that – but thank goodness I did because he is perfect.”
When Lucy started “wetting herself” days after her 18 week scan she put it down to an embarrassing symptom of pregnancy.
She had no idea that the small intermittent trickles of fluid were actually her waters breaking.
Lucy said: “Because it was just a trickle here and there and I just thought it was the baby pushing on my bladder. There was never a great gush that would have made me think it was my waters.”
But a scan at 21 weeks revealed the devastating news that there was hardly any waters left around her son.
Lucy described how she felt the first time she heard her baby cry, she said: “I broke down at that point, to know he was alive at least was amazing.”
Lucy and partner Karl, 37, were gently told to end the pregnancy.
She said: “I was stunned to be told there was no point continuing with the pregnancy and advised to book a termination.”
It was too much to process so she refused and went home, returning to the hospital that next day.
She said: “This time I had my Math head on and asked the consultant for numbers. When she said he had a less than one per cent chance I was devastated and just broke down.
“Hearing it like that really hit home for me.”
Lucy was sent home to wait for labour to start and give birth to a stillborn baby.
But despite the grim predictions Lucy turned to an online support group called Little Heartbeats.
Following advice on their Facebook page she put herself on bed rest and drank 8 litres of water a day in the hope of giving her baby the best chance.
She said: “I knew it was a tiny chance but as a mum I was willing to take it. The doctors were telling me it was futile but I couldn’t give up.
“They kept warning me I would go into labour and were surprised that I hadn’t already.”
Josh needed a chest drain to get fluid off his lungs, but after 15 days he was discharged home
The tot clung on but medics predicted that even if she didn’t miscarry her child, he would be born severely disabled.
She said: “They said that even if I made it to a viable gestation that being without water for so long would have had a terrible impact on his development. There was a high risk that I might develop a life threatening infection which was also why I was urged to terminate.”
Following advice on the Little Heartbeats page she asked for steroid injections at 25 weeks and again at 29 weeks.
She also connected with other mums who had experienced PPROM via the page and that gave her hope.
She said: “The advice I was being given on the page made me think there was a chance but the medical professionals just kept repeating the statistics so I tried to be realistic.”
So despite her hope she knew she still had to be practical and also contacted a vicar to start funeral arrangements.
She said: “I had chosen to ignore the predictions and carry on with my pregnancy but I knew I also had to be prepared having been given the odds that I had, I told the vicar that I didn’t know if my son would live or die. He said he would pray for us.”
A C-section was planned for 35 weeks and before delivery Lucy was warned to expect the worst.
She said: “It was so emotional but a mix of emotions. I wanted to meet my baby but was terrified that his birth might also mean the end of our time together. I didn’t know whether to smile or cry but the whole pregnancy had been like that.”
Her son was delivered silent and rushed straight out to NICU but to her joy and relief Lucy heard a tiny cry as he was being whisked out.
She said: “I broke down at that point, to know he was alive at least was amazing.”
Shortly after came news that against all odds baby Josh – who weighed 4lb 12oz – was doing well and breathing with only minimal support.
He’d also needed a chest drain to get fluid off his lungs, but after 15 days he was discharged home.
She said: “It was surreal. It felt incredible to be leaving the hospital with a baby after the hell of the pregnancy and having to try and prepare myself for the fact he wasn’t coming home. I felt like the luckiest mother in the world.”
But they still faced a wait to know if Josh had sustained brain damage. He is now one and delighted Lucy says he is meeting all of his milestones.
She said: “He is absolutely perfect. As a maths teacher I’m all about the numbers and the evidence but Josh has proved everybody wrong. I don’t use the word lightly but he is a miracle.”
He loves watching Peppa Pig and playing with his big brother Leo, 9.
Josh is now one year old and is hitting all of his milestones
Lucy added: “I cried every single day of my pregnancy but I have not stopped smiling since Josh was born.
“I would like to say a huge thank you to Little Heartbeats for giving me hope when nobody else did and I want to share my story to help and inspire other mums.
“Women need to know the signs of waters breaking early, it is very different to how I thought it would be.
“But crucially they also need to know that it doesn’t necessarily mean there is no hope as my Josh proves.”
For more information visit Little Heartbeats’ wesbite.