Mom-to-be Louise Adams’ waters had broken at 22 weeks, and doctors had said her baby would die. But as she later searched frantically online, Louise knew that she had to find a way to save her baby. That’s when she came across an unorthodox treatment and felt that she had nothing to lose.
Louise and her husband, Jakk, both work as teachers and live in the city of Stoke-on-Trent in England. It seems that the pair have a lot more than that in common, too, as the two tied the knot in July 2015.
When Louise and Jakk married, Jakk already had a son named Isaac from a previous relationship. And Louise was over the moon to become a step-mom, even announcing the fact on her Facebook bio. So the couple were no doubt delighted when they discovered that they were expecting a baby together.
To begin with, Louise’s pregnancy progressed normally. But then she reached 22 weeks and disaster struck as the mom-to-be’s waters broke early. As a result, doctors warned the couple that there was nothing they could do to save their unborn child.
During pregnancy, a sac of amniotic fluid protects a fetus in the womb. When this sac breaks, the fluid is released – the woman’s waters break. The mother may then go into an early labor, or, if labor does not start, the baby and mother are more likely to develop an infection.
So when Louise’s waters broke early, it wasn’t good news. In fact, a medical team told the shocked couple that because their baby had yet to reach 24 weeks, doctors wouldn’t do anything to help. That’s because in the U.K., medical staff aren’t obliged to treat babies who are younger than this. And so Louise’s baby was left to fight for itself.
Experts further warned the Adams family that their child only had a 5 percent chance of survival. “All they could do is monitor me in hospital waiting for the inevitable miscarriage, which they said would happen in days,” Louise told the Daily Mail in March 2017. However, the couple felt that they couldn’t just give up on their little baby.
Instead, the expectant mom threw herself into researching her condition. And that’s when she discovered that, in some countries, doctors advised women in similar situations to up their water intake significantly, either by drinking more or by using a drip. The thinking was that this would help replace the lost amniotic fluid and keep the baby protected in the womb.
“The more the mother drinks, the more the baby drinks and urinates,” Louise told the Daily Mail. “As excretion of 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.”
Little Heartbeats is a charity that supports women whose waters break in early pregnancy. “Many of our mom’s believe drinking water to replenish their amniotic fluid levels have helped,” a spokesperson from the organization told the Daily Mail. “Many other countries such as the U.S. do recommend that moms increase their water consumption.”
Louise’s own doctors, however, were skeptical, as medics in the U.K. do not condone the practice. “They told me there was little research and it was unlikely to make any difference. But I had nothing to lose,” Louise told the Daily Mail.
So after six days in hospital, doctors allowed Louise to go home. And from that point on, she dedicated herself to drinking as much as she could. Indeed, all she was able to do now was consume as much fluid as possible and hope for the best.
Explaining her routine to the Daily Mail, Louise confessed, “I shut myself off from the world. It wasn’t easy but I drank around seven pints a day. I also consumed cranberry juice and raw cloves of garlic after reading they could ward off infection, common when the waters break early.”
Two weeks later, Louise and her baby were still doing well. Moreover, they had passed the crucial 24-week point of pregnancy. “I knew at that point he at least had some chance of survival if born then,” Louise told the Daily Mail.
And now that the baby was old enough, doctors began to intervene. For one thing, they placed Louise on steroids to help develop her baby’s lungs. She also took antibiotics to reduce the chance of either of them contracting an infection.
Then, a massive 45 weeks into her pregnancy, Louise gave birth to a healthy baby boy. He was born at Royal Stoke University Hospital and weighed 5lb 10oz. Louise and Jakk decided to name their miracle baby Joseph.
Furthermore, little Joseph was fighting fit. “When we heard him crying his eyes out, we were overjoyed,” Louise told the Daily Mail. “He was absolutely perfect and did so well, he came home after just a week.”
The couple’s friends and family were absolutely delighted by their good news, too. Indeed, a Facebook update announcing Joseph’s birth on Louise’s feed was liked more than 100 times. The new mom was overjoyed to introduce her “little warrior” to the world.
Now six months old, little Joseph has continued to defy expectations. “He is a smiling bundle of joy,” his proud mother Louise gushed to the Daily Mail. “He never gave up fighting and beat all the odds.”
Perhaps Joseph gets his fighting spirit from his mom. After all, Louise refused to give up on her unborn baby even though it could have put her life at risk. And by following her tenacious example, Joseph will no doubt achieve whatever his heart desires.