Pregnant Woman’s Water Broke at 23 Weeks But Doctors Saved Baby and Delivered Her 12 Weeks Later

International   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Sep 16, 2016   |   4:18PM   |   Sydney, Australia

After losing three babies in miscarriages, Tiffany Ahlers panicked when her water broke with her fourth baby after just 23 weeks of pregnancy.

The South Australia mom feared for her baby’s life, and her doctors did, too. After only 23 weeks in the womb, the chances were slim that her unborn baby would survive.

What happened next was a miracle, Ahlers told The Daily Mail.

Ahlers said she expected her pregnancy would be difficult. She has a condition called a double cervix, and she and her partner lost three previous babies. More than half way into her pregnancy, doctors decided to place a stitch in her cervix because the condition was causing it to shorten, according to the report. The night after the procedure, Ahlers said she woke up in the hospital and “felt this big gush.” Her water had broken.

Here’s more from the report:

She was quickly surrounded by doctors in the hospital, who told her she wasn’t allowed to move her head – instead, Ms Ahlers ‘lay there totally still with my legs in the air’ as professionals rushed to her aid:

‘The doctors prepared me for the fact that my baby was coming, and would be here within the week. At that stage, the chance of survival was only about 17 per cent,’ she said.

The now mum of one said that she felt as though she was ‘in shock’ as the days in that first week passed in the hospital:

SUPPORT PRO-LIFE NEWS! Please help with a donation during our Fall Support Campaign

‘I was totally petrified,’ she said.

She continued: “The doctors were asking all sorts of questions about whether we’d like to resuscitate the baby when it came along, and I just thought: ‘I’m not losing this baby. If he or she had any quality of life, we would do everything we can.’”

Three days later, something rare happened. Ahlers stopped leaking amniotic fluid, and when doctors examined her, they found that her amniotic sac had resealed, according to the report. Doctors described the occurrence as extremely rare.

Ahlers stayed in the hospital until she was 29 weeks pregnant, when the doctors allowed her to go home for her baby shower, the report states. She said that day was the point when she finally stopped fearing for her unborn baby’s life.

Six weeks later, her daughter Kaitlyn was born screaming. The baby girl was born nearly full term, weighing 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds), the report states.

“It was all a bit unreal to me,” Ahlers remembered. “My baby was really here.”

A few weeks after Kaitlyn was born, Ahlers said all of her emotions were unleashed. She calls her daughter a “little miracle,” but she said she still struggles with her emotions because she heard for so many months that her baby probably would die.

“Why was I so lucky, I often think,” she said. “It’s hard. You’re pretty much given a possible death sentence for your child and then you don’t get it.”

Kaitlyn now is 20-months old and thriving. Ahlers describes her daughter as “the most wonderful” little girl and “a miracle.”