Babies Online - The Blog

Miracle? Or tragedy averted?

This is a horrible story. But it?s also a wonderful story.

On Monday, August 18, 2008, a woman in Israel went into premature labor at 23 weeks of pregnancy. Finding no pulse in the fetus, and with the mother hemorrhaging, doctors performed a surgical abortion–a c-section–apparently to save the mother?s life. The baby girl weighed just 610 grams (that?s about 1 lb. 5 ? oz. by my calculation), had no vital signs, was pronounced dead, and was taken to the hospital morgue?s freezer. About five hours later, the baby?s mom asked to hold her one more time. Hospital officials allowed the visit.

The prospect of holding my deceased child is not one I can fathom. But what happened to this mom is wonderful, bizarre, horrible?all at the same time: she found the baby breathing.

The baby?s father is understandably angry, suggesting the hospital declared his daughter dead too early. The hospital?s deputy director, Dr. Moshe Daniel, defended his doctors, saying they were not hasty.

The baby, now in the hospital?s NICU, has been given a 10% chance of survival, based only on her weight and gestational age. The fact that she was frozen is actually being credited with saving her life, rather than risking it. Lowering her body temperature may have “kept the baby’s metabolism rate and use of oxygen low.”

Impressively, she is still breathing on her own (the lungs are often underdeveloped in preemies). Still, her chances of survival?if left to modern medicine?are slim. Then again, she?s already a miracle baby.

I happen to be one that believes all babies are miracles. But this is different. What a fighter.

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