Lucy Jones proved the saying “mother knows best” true when she ignored the statistics that said her child wouldn’t survive.
Around 18 weeks into her pregnancy, Lucy was “wet[ting] the bed,” which she brushed off as a side effect of pregnancy, as she wrote on Little Heartbeats. However, in actuality, her water had broken way too early.
Lucy had preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM).
PPROM affects 150,000 women in the United States every year. In addition, it is responsible for nearly 40 percent of all preterm births.
It can occur any time before 37 weeks of pregnancy. The earlier a woman goes into labor after being diagnosed with PPROM, the lower the chance of survival.
Doctors told Lucy that her baby’s odds of survival were slim to none.
Lucy was directed to a high-risk pregnancy consultant, who didn’t offer any comforting news. Lucy wrote on Little Heartbeats:
[T]he possibility of him surviving was so slim because his lungs hadn’t developed. And if somehow he did he had a high chance of disability or problems. I was devastated she advised a termination.
Being a math teacher, Lucy didn’t want to give up without knowing the odds. Unfortunately, the consultant said in her whole 20-year career, she could recall the individual names of the babies who survived, as chances of survival were less than 1 percent. Lucy told the Sun:
“As a mathematician, when they told me my baby’s chances were low the first thing I needed to hear was the numbers. When I did I was shocked.”
The chances for survival didn’t look promising.
Despite her faith, Lucy took the necessary precautions, such as making funeral arrangements. She told the Sun:
“I had chosen to ignore the predictions and carry on with my pregnancy but I knew I also had to be prepared having been given the odds that I had, I told the vicar that I didn’t know if my son would live or die. He said he would pray for us.”
Lucy decided to risk it:
“I encourage my students to make mathematical predictions based on the statistics but in this case I just couldn’t, as his mum I had to ignore them and believe he would be OK.
I wouldn’t normally advise ignoring the numbers – and certainly won’t be telling my students to do that…”
However, those minute odds were in her favor.
She sought advice from Little Heartbeats, an online support group. That community provided comfort and well-educated advice.
Meet baby Josh…
Lucy did everything in her power to save her baby. She did extensive research and took vitamins. She recalled on Little Heartbeats:
Those weeks were so hard. I’d cry so much. I woke every three hours to drink water I was drinking up to 8 liters a day.
Her efforts paid off. When Lucy returned to the doctor, her consultant was much more optimistic about the baby’s survival. However, unwilling to take chances, Lucy was under strict care orders:
I was told to take Fragmin injections as the cause of both my pregnancy issues was my blood clotting. I was given a appointment to see [the consultant] every week.
We had to take it week by week we were not in a situation to think too far ahead. I didn’t really leave the house much apart from that hospital appointment and I asked for a midwife appointment too. I needed those two appointment to keep my sanity and I really did depend on them for reassurance baby was ok.
Lucy scheduled a C-section for 35 weeks, with warnings to expect the worst.
However, against all odds, Josh Jones Anderson was born, weighing four pounds, 12 ounces.Screenshot/Little Heartbeats
She told the Sun:
“It was so emotional but a mix of emotions. I wanted to meet my baby but was terrified that his birth might also mean the end of our time together. I didn’t know whether to smile or cry but the whole pregnancy had been like that.”
And after just 15 days in the hospital, baby Josh went home with his grateful parents.
“It was surreal. It felt incredible to be leaving the hospital with a baby after the hell of the pregnancy and having to try and prepare myself for the fact he wasn’t coming home. I felt like the luckiest mother in the world.”
Lucy defied all medical expectations and produced an unbelievably healthy son. One year later, Josh is happy and thriving, all because Lucy stuck with her gut.
Well it's two years to the day I was given the dreadful news my waters had gone. No hope, advised to terminate or I…
Lucy, among various other team members, are fundraising for PPROM research. University College London Hospitals (UCLH) Charity is researching a way to “heal the amniotic membranes after they rupture.” Check out its page in order to donate.
Lucy feels like the luckiest woman alive, and she told the Sun that she wants other moms to be vigilant during their pregnancies:
“Women need to know the signs of waters breaking early, it is very different to how I thought it would be.
But crucially they also need to know that it doesn’t necessarily mean there is no hope as my Josh proves.”
For every successful PPROM birth, other mothers suffer a great loss. Many women whose pregnancies are complicated by PPROM suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If this is the case, seek help. For more information on how to cope with the loss of an infant visit The PPROM Foundation.