Premature baby given 2% chance of survival defies the odds
Natasha Sherwin from Elgin, Scotland, and her husband Sam, rushed to the hospital when her waters broke at just 16 weeks of pregnancy back in 2017. After 48 agonising hours in the hospital with no sign of a baby, she was strongly advised to abort her baby as there was just a 2% chance of survival.
But Natasha was determined to give her little girl a fighting chance and incredibly, her mother's instinct proved right. Against all the odds, her baby managed to stay inside her until 30 weeks gestation, with just tiny amounts of fluid to protect her.
Natasha said, "I was shocked to hear my waters were broke, I thought perhaps I had an accident until I started bleeding. Every time I moved in the hospital, water would trickle down my leg and doctors thought I was going to give birth. I was praying for the best but expecting the worst, two days later, I was asked if I would like to terminate but my answer was always no.”
Natasha bravely went on to say, "I decided I would let mother nature take its course - I wasn't going to kill my baby." Natasha “was warned my baby probably won't survive and asked if I would like to terminate weekly until I was 22 weeks pregnant. I just couldn't do that to my baby - I could feel her moving inside me and I just knew I had to let her fight.”
Natasha’s pregnancy was at a high risk and doctors kept her in from 23 weeks gestation to ensure she was under close supervision: "The fluid would build back up but disappear again - the highest it ever got was 3cm and for 90% of my pregnancy there was none their protecting Faith."
Natasha and Sam welcomed their daughter, Faith, into the world on 12th January 2018. The newborn weighed 2 lb 13 oz and was immediately taken into NICU. A day after Natasha gave birth to Faith it was discovered that she had contracted sepsis, "I was on death's door. I was struggling to catch my breath and unable to speak. I couldn't even see Faith as I was getting sicker and sicker. Sam was told to prepare for the worst as a CT scan discovered my right lung was full of fluid and the left was also filling up and I had pneumonia.”
"I had my first cuddle with Faith after a week, I felt horrendous and still unable to move but I needed to see my baby."
Natasha spent two weeks in hospital and expressed that, without the blood transfusion she received, she "wouldn't be here to see her children grow up". She said: "Once I got better and was told about the severity of my little girls' condition, I was in shock and couldn't believe this was happening to my family. The first six weeks of Faith's life were spent in hospital and after five weeks at home she was emergency flown down to Edinburgh because she stopped breathing and they had to put her on the life support machine. She was fighting for her life due to catching bronchitis and having chronic lung disease her body couldn't fight it off without her having a machine to breathe for her.”
Faith developed a blood clot in her leg and stomach that caused “her leg to go grey and her toes were black." Natasha and Sam were faced with the “hardest decision of their lifetime” as the medical team said they can either amputate her leg or give Faith medication to reduce the clots, but with a high risk of bleeding on the brain.
Natasha continued: "Thank god the medication worked but her health continued to decline as her left lung collapsed due to a build-up of mucus. It was horrible to see our tiny daughter on three different machines."
Despite it all, Natasha now couldn't be happier that she kept fighting for baby Faith, who defied the odds. Faith is now 22 months old and thriving.
Natasha added: "An abortion was never an option for me and I am so glad I took the risk as she has changed our lives for the better. She has completed our family and my son Tyler, 3, is the best big brother."