It was a horrible day for mother Kate Ogg after doctors gave up on saving her premature baby.
She held her lifeless son who was born at 27 weeks weighing 2lb. She told him how much she loved him and cuddled him tightly, not wanting to let him go.
After Jamie’s twin sister was delivered successfully, doctors told the horrible news every parent dreads – that after they’ve been battling to revive her son, but they declared him dead.
Mrs Ogg unwrapped the baby and held him against her skin. After two hours of being touched, hugged, cuddled and spoken to by his mother, the little boy began showing signs of life.
The first thing they noticed was a gasp of air that doctors dismissed as a sign of life, but then Mrs Ogg fed him a little breast milk on her finger and he started breathing normally.
‘I thought, “Oh my God, what’s going on”,’ said Mrs Ogg.
‘A short time later he opened his eyes. It was a miracle. Then he held out his hand and grabbed my finger.
‘He opened his eyes and moved his head from side to side. The doctor kept shaking his head saying, “I don’t believe it, I don’t believe it”.’
The Australian mother spoke of the importance of skin-on-skin care for sick babies, which is being used at an increasing number of British hospitals.
‘He started gasping more and more regularly. I thought, “Oh my God, what’s going on?” A short time later he opened his eyes. It was a miracle’
If something is wrong with a newborn, they are rushed on intensive care, but the ‘kangaroo care’ technique, named after the way kangaroos hold their young ones in a pouch tight next to their bodies, allows the mother to act as a human incubator transferring her radiating energy to keep babies warm, stimulated and fed.
Pre-term and low birth-weight babies treated with kangaroo care have shown to have lower infection rates, less severe illness, improved sleep patterns and are at reduced risk of hypothermia.
‘The doctor asked me had we chosen a name for our son,’ said Mrs Ogg. ‘I said, “Jamie”, and he turned around with my son already wrapped up and said, “We’ve lost Jamie, he didn’t make it, sorry”.
‘It was the worse feeling I’ve ever felt. I unwrapped Jamie from his blanket. He was very limp.
‘I took my gown off and arranged him on my chest with his head over my arm and just held him. He wasn’t moving at all and we just started talking to him.
‘We told him what his name was and that he had a sister. We told him the things we wanted to do with him throughout his life.
‘Jamie occasionally gasped for air, which doctors said was a reflex action. But then I felt him move as if he were startled, then he started gasping more and more regularly.
‘I gave Jamie some breast milk on my finger, he took it and started regular breathing.’
Mrs Ogg held her son now fully recovered, months after the delivery, as she spoke on the Australian TV show Today Tonight.
Her husband added: ‘Luckily I’ve got a very strong, very smart wife.
‘She instinctively did what she did. If she hadn’t done that, Jamie probably wouldn’t be here.’
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