Babies born en caul are very rare. Statistics say that only one in every 80,000 births will see the baby born still in their amniotic sac - meaning a lot of doctors will go their entire careers without seeing one.
However, it’s even rarer for this to happen in water births.
Now, a grandma has captured this unique and precious moment at the birth of her grandson, David Toby Lewis, now five months old.
When Keely Kilmer, 19, from Washington, USA, gave birth to her 2.86kg son on May 21, the sight of young David still surrounded by the amniotic fluid left everyone amazed.
Keen to capture the situation for posterity, her partner’s mum, Jennifer Lewis, 43, snapped the magical moment.
Keely’s scan from December 2015. A regular scan, for a special birth. Source: Collect/PA Real Life
“I couldn’t believe it had happened to my body and my son”
Keely is understandably delighted that she has the image to treasure. She even got to feel the sac, which she described as “velvety”.
In mythology, babies born this way are often said to have special, mystical powers, and in medieval times it was believed they were destined for greatness. While this may not be the general thinking today, it’s undeniably pretty awesome.
“I heard it meant he had special powers and lifelong good luck – well he’s proved lucky to us! Keely shared.
“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.”
Keely, partner David and their son David Toby, now five months old. Source: Collect/PA Real Life
A happy, healthy baby is born
According to Keely, her water birth labour “wasn’t that bad”.
“I’d been walking around before it happened, encouraging him to come. At around midday I went to a birthing centre and around 1pm he arrived.
“It was painful, of course, but not unbearably painful.”
Never did she, or anyone else in the birthing room, expect to hear the phrase, “He’s in his amniotic sac.”
Her partner of 3.5 years, David Lewis, 19, his mum, grandmother and cousin were all there to witness the amazing occurrence, one that Keely sums up as “really, really cool.”
A healthy baby boy. Source: Collect/PA Real Life
Life outside the sac
The nurse pierced the sac, removed the umbilical cord, which was loosely around his neck, and placed David in his mum’s waiting arms.
Asked about whether she was embarrassed that so many people watched her deliver, Keely said: “Jennifer (David’s mum) has had three children, so I found her presence helpful.”
Five-month-old David Toby is growing normally, and is not at all fazed by - or aware of - his incredible start in life.
“He is perfect, growing just fine, has three teeth and is trying to crawl,” his mum said.
Quotes and images supplied by PA Real Life. By Anna Roberts.