“Your baby won’t survive” are the four words no expecting parent every wants to hear. News like this can either send parents into utter despair or devout motivation doing all they can to save the baby.
Louise Adams and her husband, Jakk, had this scare at only 22 weeks into their pregnancy when the expectant mother’s water suddenly broke. Doctors saw a grim future as they told the devastated couple that their baby boy only had a 5 percent chance of survival.
Because the water broke before 24 weeks, doctors held to their word that they could do nothing to save the baby. But the parents-to-be refused to accept this as their fate.
“All they could do is monitor me in the hospital waiting for the inevitable miscarriage, which they said would happen in days,” Louise said. “But I could feel Joseph kicking. I couldn’t just sit around doing nothing to save him.”
So the couple began tirelessly searching for ways to save their son’s life. Finally, they came across stories from mothers around the world who helped their babies survive preterm premature rupture of the membranes, by drinking seven pints of water a day.
The water intake helps restore the amniotic fluid, allowing the baby in utero to continue growing. “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” she recalled. The determined mother kept drinking extra gallons of water each day for 13 weeks, and little Joseph, a fighter, continued to grow.
Louise also drank cranberry juice and ate raw cloves, because she read they fight off infections that result from water breaking early. “I shut myself off from the world. It wasn’t easy but I drank around seven pints [of water] a day,” she said.
Even in her devout efforts, doctors still didn’t believe the baby could be saved. “They told me there was little research and it was unlikely to make and difference. But I had nothing to lose,” the unwavering mother recalled.
After months of hoping and waiting, the miracle baby, Joseph Adams, was born via cesarean section at Royal Stoke University Hospital weighing a tiny 5 pounds 10 ounces. With his dad and older brother, Isaac, nearby, Joseph came into the world a healthy, happy baby.
Joseph continues to grow into a “smiling bundle of joy,” said his mother. “He never gave up fighting and beat all the odds.”