A young mum has given birth to a “miracle” baby boy – ten weeks after her waters first broke.
Lauren Middleton had the shock of her life at 26 weeks when she felt a gush of water after getting up to go to the toilet.
The 24-year-old was rushed to hospital and couldn’t believe doctors when they told her that her waters had broken.
“I was so shocked, I really didn’t think my waters had broken,” she said.
“I was really scared when I heard because it was so early in the pregnancy and my baby was so tiny.
“I knew straight away he was in danger of serious harm.”
Experts made the unusual decision to postpone the birth for as long as possible in order to give the infant time to grow.
Ordinarily during pregnancy the moment a woman’s water breaks signals the start of labour and that the baby is on its way.
After spending three days in hospital, Lauren, from Leeds, West Yorks, was sent home.
From then on she had to attend the maternity unit at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) twice a week for checks.
Lauren said: “It was an incredibly stressful situation because I was worried about the baby’s health the whole time.
“I was in and out of hospital constantly, having that many checks isn’t normal but I knew were vital for the baby.”
Tests carried out at 34 weeks showed Lauren was healthy and doctors decided to leave her until 37 weeks, which is considered full term.
But only a week later, at week 35, Lauren started contracting at home and she was rushed to St James’s Hospital.
“The labour itself was really traumatic and very painful,” Lauren said.
Eventually after 21 hours, at 9pm on October 18, baby Archie was born weighing 6lb 4oz.
Her elated partner Liam Hopper, 27, was at Lauren’s side.
But their joy turned to heartbreak an hour later when Archie was rushed him to neo-natal intensive care after struggling to breathe.
“One minute we were having cuddles and everything was fine and the next minute he was gone,” Lauren said.
The newborn was diagnosed with pneumonia then sepsis, leaving his devastated parents unsure if he was going to survive.
Luckily quick treatment and a course of antibiotics have got Archie on the mend and he has now gone home for the first time.
Lauren said: “The NHS have been unbelievable, I can’t thank them enough.
“If it wasn’t for their amazing work who knows what would have happened to Archie.”
She added: “I genuinely love all the nurses, they’re more like family now.”
After returning home on Friday (25 Oct) Archie has met dozens of family members, including grandparents and aunties and uncles.
He’s also being lovingly looked after by his big sister Ruby, who is three.