One baby boy, arriving on New Year’s Day in the United Kingdom eight days before his due date, was a much longer wait for his parents than just nine months. Mother Emma Parker had suffered eight miscarriages over six years prior to becoming pregnant with little Charlie Al-Derrick Parker, who was delivered at 11:30 a.m. by C-section at Lincoln County Hospital in Lincolnshire, UK.
Emma and her husband Craig attempted IVF twice following Emma’s miscarriages, and twice, it failed. As Live Action News’ Nancy Flanders previously reported, IVF is not without risks:
Women who go through IVF are at increased risk of post-traumatic stress and depression from failed IVF cycles. They are also at increased risk for ovarian cancer. Plus, children created through IVF are at increased risk for developmental disabilities, cardiac problems, chromosomal abnormalities, and even survivor’s guilt when they learn they have siblings who were frozen indefinitely or destroyed.
But Charlie, the Parkers’ ‘miracle baby,’ was conceived naturally, and was born weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces. The couple noted that after having experienced so many miscarriages, they were uneasy until they reached 20 weeks, the halfway point in Charlie’s development. By 20 weeks of pregnancy, babies like Charlie can feel pain (new research shows that this ability actually begins in the first trimester), they have sweat glands, they hear and respond to sounds, and they even have tooth enamel. And sadly, babies this age are still aborted legally in many states.
Emma had some pregnancy complications at 37 weeks and had to be monitored until Charlie’s delivery on January 1.
Emma and Craig Parker told LincolnshireLive that Charlie’s unusual middle name is a combination of Emma’s grandparents’ names: Al for her deceased grandmother, Alma, and Derrick after her grandfather, who lives with the couple. Emma shared that her grandmother passed away near a previous New Year’s Day, and she believes a new baby in their home around the anniversary of the loss of her grandmother will give her grandfather “a new lease of life.”
Babies like Charlie, born after miscarriage, are referred to as “rainbow babies.” The Bump describes a rainbow baby as one that is “born shortly after the loss of a previous baby due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or death in infancy.” It is said to be termed a “rainbow” baby because “a rainbow typically follows a storm, giving us hope of what’s to come.”
No doubt, Charlie’s parents agree with these sentiments of hope. “We are looking forward to spoiling him and there’s lots of people waiting to meet him,” Charlie’s father told LincolnshireLive. “It’s a totally different love you have when a baby is born.”