This birth story out of India is both tragic and miraculous simultaneously. A woman, 9 months pregnant, was urinating beside some train tracks early last Friday when she delivered a baby, a son. Just instants later, a train came along and hit the mother. She was dragged more than 300 feet and killed.
The newborn infant, however, was found alive in the middle of the railroad tracks. Passersby saw him and called for an ambulance. The baby was admitted to the hospital and, according to a report in The Hindu, was largely unharmed other than some bruises on his legs. Medical personnel believe the woman may have delivered the baby when her body responded to the shock of hearing the train coming, or that perhaps the force of being hit somehow sent her into labor.
Nobody has any explanation as to how the baby boy survived.
But he did. Railway police told the Deccan Chronicle, “We are surprised that the baby escaped in spite of lying in the middle of the track." One can only imagine how easily this story could have been even more tragic.
It's awful to think of a baby never knowing the woman who carried him, who loved him before she ever laid eyes on him. But the fact that she was able to give him life in the midst of her death is incredible. She didn't choose to do it, but it's the ultimate sacrifice of motherhood -- to give your life for your child. Most of us would do it in a heartbeat if we had to choose. Hopefully none of us will have to.
Yes, she should have been smart enough to stay away from the train tracks, but who knows what went through her mind when she made the decision to do so. Did she think she was taking a risk, or did she think she was far enough away and just stumbled? Unfortunately, the answers matter little now.
Fortunately this little boy joins two brothers, three sisters, and a father who can relate memories of their mother and try to help him know the mother he never really will. Best wishes to them as they mourn and embrace this new life.
Can you believe this baby survived such a traumatic birth?
Image via Suzie T/Flickr