A young mother has released photographs of the amazing moment her baby son was born while still in his amniotic sac.
Keely Kilmer, 19, from Washington, says she was shocked to discover her 6lb 5oz son, David Toby Lewis, had made his entrance into the world ‘en caul’, ie still completely covered by his unbroken amniotic sac.
Keely’s partner’s mother Jennifer Lewis, 43, was on hand with a camera to capture a birthing rarity that only happens once in 80,000 deliveries.
Keely Kilmer, 19, from Washington and her partner David Lewis had no idea that their son would make such a dramatic entrance into the world
David Toby Lewis, now five months old, was born with his amniotic sac perfectly intact, a phenomenon known as being born en caul – something which only happens once in 80,000 births
Granmother Jennifer Lewis, 43, was on hand to capture the incredible moment on camera
Photographer and artist Keely said of the birth: ‘It was amazing. I just couldn’t believe it. It felt very special.
‘Seeing his body surrounded by his amniotic sac – which had fed and nurtured him for nine months – was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
‘I couldn’t believe it had happened to my body and my son.’
In history, babies born ‘en caul’ (literally, ‘helmeted head’ in Latin) are said to have special, mystical powers and in medieval times were said to be destined for greatness.
Keely said she even felt the sac before David was released from it, which she described as ‘velvety’.
David Toby, now five months old, arrived three days early on May 21, 2016, at a local birth centre in Washington.
‘Labour wasn’t that bad,’ she said. ‘I’d been walking around before it happened, encouraging him to come.
The special one! David is thriving at five months but gave his parents and extended family quite a surprise when he emerged still in his sac, which a midwife had to pierce to release him from
The family say they had no idea that David would make his way out still in his sac and said they were astounded when the midwife revealed he was encased in the sac that supports the baby in the womb
A scan of David before he was born; he clearly enjoyed his surrounds and wasn’t quite ready to break through the sac when he was born
‘At around midday I went to a birthing centre and around 1pm he arrived. It was painful, of course, but not unbearably painful.’
She said after pushing and pushing – and following a water birth – she was astounded when a midwife said: ‘He’s in his amniotic sac.’
‘My partner of three-and-a-half years, David Lewis, 19, his mother, Jennifer, grandmother Linda, 68 and cousin Cassie, 22, were also there,’ she said. ‘Everyone was amazed.
After being released from the sac by the midwife, David was cleaned up. Right: David as a newborn
‘I just thought it was really, really cool.’ The nurse pierced the sac, removed the umbilical cord, which was loosely around his neck, and placed him in his mother’s waiting arms.
Asked about whether she was embarrassed that so many people watched her deliver, Keely said: ‘Jennifer has had three children, so I found her presence helpful.’ Now David Toby is growing normally – and is not fazed by his incredible start in life.
‘He is perfect, growing just fine, has three teeth and is trying to crawl,’ Keeley says.
Lucky for us! David’s daddy said the tradition that en caul babies bring lifelong luck had proved true so far
His dad, delivery driver David, added: ‘It was pretty crazy. I was sitting behind her and the next thing you know he has come out.
‘We saw the head come out and there was something behind it.
‘He was in a little sac. It was crazy. I was so amazed.
‘I heard it meant he had special powers and lifelong good luck – well he’s proved lucky to us!’