Jamie Ogg turned two the other day, and although that might not seem like anything newsworthy, it’s being lauded as an absolute miracle. The Australian boy and his twin sister Emily were born at only 27 weeks, and Jamie was pronounced dead at birth. But when the doctors gave him to his mother so she could say goodbye to her son, something amazing happened.
He started to move.
Kate Ogg cradled Jamie to her and after five minutes, he was responding to her and even took some breast milk she dripped on her finger. Incredibly, he continued to thrive and he and his sister are now healthy and happy toddlers. The practice of “kangaroo care,” the technique Kate used on her 2 pound baby was thrust into the spotlight, but not everyone is happy about it.
Skin to skin contact for premature infants is still not practiced or even allowed in most hospitals, and the Oggs’ story has upset many parents who have lost children, who say that the story gives false hope and dismisses the pain of those whose children have died. However, Kate Ogg credits the practice with saving her baby’s life.
I can see both sides of the argument, and understand completely why some people, especially those who have gone through the horror of losing a child could see it as dangerous. However, if you’ve been told there is no hope for your baby, and you want to say goodbye, as was the case with the Oggs, what is the harm in trying? It could be the only time you get to hold your child, and if the unbelievable happens and it revives the baby, well, that’s just the best news ever.
Skin to skin contact is also being used more often in NICUs, but it can be intimidating and frightening for new parents, since there is usually a plethora of wires and tubes involved, and the babies are so fragile. Some hospitals are helping parents by having them practice with dolls first, and then moving on to the tiny children. Doctors have said that the kangaroo care can not only help with bonding, but calms the babies, improving their quality of life. So why isn’t it used in more hospitals?
Kate Ogg and her “surprise” baby Charlie
As for the Oggs, Kate reports that they are completely normal and healthy kids now, and although she still gets paranoid about them, they are developmentally on track and act like any other two-year-olds. She delights in milestones and treasures every moment with them. She is also busier than ever, as she got pregnant again right after the twins were born. Their brother Charlie was conceived without the use of IVF, which Kate used to conceive the twins, and Kate had no idea she could even get pregnant without assistance. He also wanted to make an early entrance, and Kate went into labor at only 20 weeks. Doctors intervened, and Kate was able to carry Charlie to term, delivering her “little sumo” at a whopping 10 pounds—eight pounds more than his brother and sister.
Even though he was born healthy, Kate used kangaroo care with Charlie as well, and swears by its benefits. He is now heartier than ever and growing so fast that he and the twins wear the same size diapers. Ms. Ogg says that her family is profoundly blessed, and they couldn’t be happier.
Whether or not kangaroo care is the miracle it seems or not is beyond the point. The bond between parent and child at the first moments of life is irreplaceable, and if those moments are sadly the only time the parents have with that child, they seem all the more precious. What happened with Jamie Ogg’s stunning story is obviously not the norm, but it certainly shows that sometimes the unbelievable can happen, and that kangaroo care might have more power than we think. What do you think? Hit the comments and let us know.