Carolyn Isbister from England was pregnant and had been eagerly awaiting the birth of her child. Unfortunately, the baby was born incredibly premature and her hope of having a happy, healthy baby seemed lost. But what she experienced in the moments after giving birth, is just incomprehensible.
Due to a womb infection, little Rachael was born at 24 weeks and weighed just 500 grams. The doctors expected the little girl would only have a few minutes to live. It really looked like the child would not survive. She wasn’t breathing and her heart was beating just once every 10 seconds. But Carolyn asked to hold her baby in her arms, at least the one time.
She remembers, “I didn’t want her to die being cold. So I took her out of her blanket and pressed her close to my skin so that she’d be warm.” Carolyn was convinced that this was the only chance she would ever get to hold her child and she relished the moment as best she could. She could hardly believe what happened next.
The little girl, warmed by the heat of her mother’s body, grew stronger and started breathing on her own. Carolyn describes how the wonder occurred, “We couldn’t believe it – and neither could the doctors. She let out a tiny cry. The doctors came in and said there was still no hope – but I wasn’t letting go of her. We had her blessed by the hospital chaplain, and waited for her to slip away. But she still hung on. Her cheeks became rosy and her breathing became stronger and stronger.”
The little one was then taken to intensive care, where she was given respiratory and medical attention. She clung onto life and continued to grow. After 5 weeks, she was finally taken off the respirator. Four months later, when she weighed just under 9 lbs., the Isbisters were finally able to take Rachel home. Her mother was still overwhelmed, “Rachael fought so bravely. It really is a wonder that she’s here today. The doctors only gave her 20 minutes to live, but cuddling me saved her life. This is a moment that I will never forget.” Today, Rachael is healthy, lively, and still loves cuddling for hours.
Once again the power of a mother’s love is proven. If Carolyn hadn’t pressed this tiny girl against her chest, she wouldn’t be here with us today. What a great story that reminds us to always listen to our instincts.