When this woman- Carolyn Isbister- placed her 20oz baby near her chest to for cuddling, she took as her chance to embrace her.
The doctors had told her and her husband that their baby- Rachel- had just a few minutes to live as her heart was pumping once in ten seconds and could not breathe.
Carolyn Isbister remembers:
I didn’t wish for her death due to cold, so I picked her from her blanket and brought her near my skin to make her feel warm. The baby’s feet were very cold and I wanted to remember this cuddle as it could have been my last one with her.” Then a great thing happened: warmth from the mother’s skin set Rachael’s heart in motion by beating properly. It also allowed her to get little breaths on her own. No one could believe that it was happening including the doctors.
She had let out a little cry when doctors told her about baby’s no hope of living– but I never wanted to let her go. We even got her blessed by chaplain of the hospital and then patiently waited for the baby to slip away. And then suddenly, pink color started returning to her cheeks and the baby was in fact turning from gray to pink in front of our eyes and also began getting warm. The worst part was when she was born and doctors saw her just once and right away said ‘no’ and never ever tried to help the baby with her breathing. They just kept on saying that it would only extend her dying and just gave up,” the mother remembers. A womb infection at 24 weeks had led to the premature labor and birth of the baby. Isbister- an already mother of two (10 year old Samuel and 8 year old Kirsten) – said, “All of us were scared that we would lose her and since I had already underwent three miscarriages before, we thought there was less expectation.” Rachael was grey and lifeless when she was born.
The hospital’s consultant neonatologist- Ian Laing- said that “All signs were that baby could not be saved and we decided to let the mother cuddle her as that was the only option we had. A couple of hours later, the baby was crying. She is certainly a miracle kid and I surely have not seen anything like it in the long 27 years of my practice. I do not have even a least doubt that the mother’s affection saved her daughter really.”
Rachael was later moved onto ventilator where she made steady progress. A tube as well as a syringe provided her the pumped breast milk from her mother.
“The doctors believed that she was indeed a fighter and really deserved some intensive care because of raising hope. And she had done it without any medical interference on her own. She hugged life really tight and it could be possible because of that one miracle cuddle which warmed her up and let her heart beat enough to give her a life,” Isbister said.
After 5 weeks of intense care on ventilator, she started breastfeeding by herself. Now, at four months, baby girl Rachel weighs 8lbs and went home with parents. Her weight is the same like any healthy infant. Doctors initially thought that Rachel suffered from lack of oxygen which could damage her brain but at present, there is no proof of any problem with her. Now, Rachel is at par with anyone of her age.
Her mother tells us that “She is doing very well. The doctors had let us know that she was indeed an amazing little girl and loves her cuddles a lot. Now, she sleeps, curled into my torso, for hours. I’m very glad that it was that first cuddle which had saved her life or else she wouldn’t have been here today with us. I trusted my intuition by picking her up near my chest.”