Womb with a view

19.04.29: EVERY NIGHT the last thing Jane and David Walton do before going to bed is log on to the Internet to say goodnight to their unborn baby.

He is lying in an artificial womb at the Connolly Fertility Centre in Croydon. A camera in the room is linked to the Internet and the Waltons can watch him in the clear plastic chamber that forms the centre of a nest of wires.

"When I was 15 weeks pregnant I started to miscarry," says Jane. "Normally I would have lost the baby but my doctor said this new artificial womb might save him."

Not only can the Waltons watch baby Thomas over the link, they can also sing and talk to him.

"The doctors said it was important that he get to know the sound of our voices," says Jane.

It is now Thomas's 10th week in his new artificial womb and he appears to be thriving. "All the signs are normal, as far as we can tell," says Dr Randolph Bittermann.

"We have completed this procedure successfully with a number of animals but this is the first time it has been attempted with a human foetus."

When the time comes for Thomas to be born, a number of drugs will be added to his amniotic fluid, including a megadose of adrenaline. Then he will be lifted out of the womb.

Jane will also be given a number of drugs, including large shots of progesterone and oxytocin, the 'love hormone', to help her bond with the child after the "delivery".

If all turns out wel