Gideon Whitchurch is now a happy, healthy 6-month-old, and that’s nothing short of a miracle. His mom’s water broke at 28 weeks, but he managed to stay put for an incredible 39 days!
When Jeff and Rachel Whitchurch were pregnant with their first son over five years ago, Rachel’s water broke unexpectedly at 35 weeks. Doctors assured her that it was a fluke and likely wouldn’t happen with any subsequent pregnancies.
Except that it did. Rachel’s water broke the day Gideon reached 28 weeks gestation. They raced to the hospital, where mama was checked into labor and delivery and given steroid shots to help the baby’s lungs grow. They were hoping to make it to 48 hours and were bracing themselves for a host of health problems that can come from such a teeny preemie.
They ended up making it 39 days on bed rest before Gideon was delivered via C-section. He was just over 33 weeks and weighed a little over 3 pounds.
Doctors originally told her that it would be a miracle if she made it 10 days, so 39 is huge. They also told her that every day her baby continued to grow in her could equal three days in the NICU. Rachel said:
I was being given the opportunity to sit in a hospital bed so he didn’t have to .... All the pain, loneliness, stress, fear, needles, medicine, etc., was worth it because I could take my child’s place ... If he had been born at 28 weeks, he would’ve been in the hospital for months and months feeling scared and lonely, being poked by needles, trying to grow and develop his little body into what it needed to be.
Her OBGYN, Dr. Mark Saunders, said that only about 5 percent of women are able to keep the baby in the womb for more than seven days after their waters break. He rarely prescribes bed rest, but in this case, it was essential to keep contractions from coming on and also to monitor fetal health.
Rachel says her baby son is a miracle and a fighter. “With faith and prayers and amazing medical staff, our sweet little boy was born at 33 weeks instead of 28 weeks,” she said. “He was only 3 pounds when he was born, but he was healthy, breathing, and fighting from the beginning. My doctors called me and our little Gideon both miracles.”
Did you ever have to go on bed rest?
Image via Jade Brookbank/Corbis