In an ‘extraordinary’ medical miracle, a pregnant woman was saved by her unborn baby after her uterus ruptured.
The 31-year-old French woman, who was eight and a half months’ pregnant, went to the Jeanne de Flandre hospital in Lille, France complaining of severe stomach pain. She had previously had an emergency caesarean at seven months pregnant because of an abnormal foetal heartbeat, so her doctors were careful not to take any chances.
They checked the baby’s heartbeat and even scanned the mother’s own heart to check for possible tears. ‘There was no bleeding or contractions, everything seemed normal,’ Dr Marion Guckert explained.
But when pain relief had no effect, the doctors decided to do a uterine scan. Worryingly, the scan showed a rupture in the woman’s uterus, severe enough to put both mother and baby’s lives at risk.
Dr Guckert performed an emergency C-section with Dr Charles Garabedian, which revealed a four-inch rupture in the mother’s womb. But they also discovered something incredible: the foetus had managed to stop the rupture from getting worse by positioning its back against the hole, acting like a suction cup.
The foetus had not only stopped the amniotic fluid from escaping, but saved his mother from life threatening internal bleeding. And because the umbilical cord hadn’t been compressed, he was still able to continue to grow and develop normally.
This was why the doctors hadn’t been able to detect any problems until they did the uterine scan. In effect, the woman’s unborn son had saved her life, as well as his own.
The ‘vacuum’ effect meant that the baby was born with a large blister-like swelling on his back. ‘This white mass first worried us,’ Dr Guckert admitted. But thankfully, the swelling soon went down – it was reabsorbed into the baby’s body in a matter of hours, with mum and son both recovering well.
Dr Garabedian told French newspaper Le Monde that the case was ‘extraordinary’.