So the pregnancy test came back positive. Didn't see that one coming? Well, it could always be worse. At least Mom-to-be has a good seven or eight months from the due date. She can pick out a name, prepare the home for the new baby, and ready herself emotionally before the infant arrives. She has months. Some people, in rare circumstances, get a day.
Imagine that you're nine months along, carrying a baby full term, and you don't even know it. Imagine that one day, maybe while you're at work or chatting with some friends, you get a terrible stomach ache. You've never hurt this much before, and it almost feels as if you're being torn apart. You excuse yourself to the restroom, bent over in spasms of pain, when you realize a horrifying truth.
You're going into labor. How could it be anything else? But you never knew you were pregnant to begin with. You may have been on birth control or been using contraception dutifully. Maybe you even had an IUD. Yet miraculously sometimes, life finds a way despite how hard we work for it not to (or whether we know it did). Accidental labors, while uncommon, do happen.
This article spotlights 15 accidental pregnancy stories and the brave mothers who went into labor without knowing what hit them until the baby started crying. Perhaps this will be a little comforting for you so that next time, when you're griping about how long the pregnancy is taking, you'll thank yourself that you have so long to prepare.
15 Heather Richard
Nothing could possibly be worse than being arrested for a warrant and going into labor for a baby you didn't know you were carrying all in the same day. Even one or the other would turn a day from promising to an utter nightmare. For a mom to brave both as they come is not only impressive but probably worthy of receiving a medal of some sort. Heather Richard: wherever you are, know that you have our respect.
Richard was in trouble with the Canadian police for outstanding warrants when the police came knocking on her door to arrest her. At this time, Richard had no idea she was expecting but in this moment, she went into labor. The officers could not have picked a worse timing if they tried: when they found her, she was bowed over the bathroom delivering her baby after severe abdomen pain.
Her baby was fully delivered at the hospital at a healthy 5 lbs. If there's a silver lining to this situation, Richard was able to have a child she never knew she could (even if it was bad timing). Of the incident, Richard later reported: "The baby just fell out. I was freaking out. I’m still in shock. I’m not supposed to have kids.”
14 Klara Dollan
Klara Dollan, marketing agent and London resident, had just started a new job when she began having severe stomach pain. It was unlike anything she had experienced before, and although she thought it may have been period pain, she had never experienced a period so stomach-splittingly horrible. By the time her two hour meeting had finished, she had to go home due to unbearable cramps.
Dollan had recently begun comfort eating following the break-up with her boyfriend, so she hadn't noticed the extra pounds associated with pregnancy. Other symptoms were just as easily brushed off. Once she came home and was able to find a restroom, she went to the bathroom and pushed... and out came a baby's crowning head! Of the incident, her first words were an understandable: "It's a baby, oh my! It's a baby!"
13 Trish Staine
So many of these accidental pregnancies fall under the category of hilarious... but only in hindsight. Trish Staine's story is no different. Staine was athletic and prided herself on taking long runs. During a particular ten mile run, she felt pain so excruciating she thought she was dying. When her family called an ambulance, she was rushed off to the ER where doctors found not an aneurism or a broken bone, but a fetal heartbeat.
Although she had not missed any periods and her husband had received a vasectomy long before, Staine delivered a six pound baby hours later. She had already delivered two children, then aged 7 and 11, before and had not been trying for another baby.
Often when mothers have accidental pregnancies, they are either over- or underweight. Both can cause missed periods and other symptoms that make pregnancy signs hard to spot. Yet Staine was in excellent shape as an athlete, proving that labor can happen to anyone when they least expect it.
12 Ada Guan
Think of the absolute last thing you want to do on an airplane. If the answer isn't "giving birth," you are wrong. The best way we can respect Ada Guan is by reading her story of accidental labor and thanking our lucky stars that we are not her and will not have to go through the pain of labor (not to mention labor without knowing you were pregnant beforehand) on an airplane.
Guan and her boyfriend were headed to Tokyo when she started to feel acute stomach pain. The twenty-three year old soon realized that, though she didn't know it, she had been carrying her boyfriend's child for thirty-seven weeks. Once she understood her predicament, she was certainly shocked.
Luckily, the three doctors on-board were able to deliver the baby with proper medical treatment on such a short-notice. Over the Pacific ocean, Guan gave birth to a baby girl, whom she named Chloe Guan. She had taken a pregnancy test a month before, which had come back negative.
11 Pamela Vugtz
Dutch kickboxer Pamela Vugts was 17 when her family rushed her to the hospital following a potentially deadly match. She had attended a kickboxing gala in Den Bosch when, after being kicked in the stomach during a match, she began bleeding. Expecting the worst but never the actual outcome, doctors told Vugts and her parents that she was seven months pregnant and going into labor.
Hours later, Vugts delivered a healthy baby girl by Caesarean section. She had no sign that she was pregnant, as she had always had a heavier build and had not missed any of her periods. She has assumed she had just put on some weight over the holidays. She was able to raise her baby at home with her parents after the labor (though, understandably, it must have been some time for her to rest and recuperate before she returned to the ring).
10 Nadia Watson
Nadia Watson woke up in the middle of the night with the worst stomach pain she had ever experienced (much like other mothers in this article). Initially, she assumed her period had come a little early and with accompanying cramps. She soon discovered that this was not the case as the pain became increasingly unbearable. The twenty-two year old screamed as she delivered her baby alone and suddenly aware that she'd been expecting.
Where was her partner through this ordeal? Asleep. Apparently her screams did not wake him and Watson did not receive help until neighbors called the police and help arrived. Once her boyfriend realized what had happened, he was in understandable shock.
During the pregnancy, Watson had not put on any weight nor had she shown any noticeable signs of pregnancy. She also retained her periods throughout the term and, until the labor began, was completely in the dark. Luckily her baby was born at a healthy seven pounds, a girl that she named Poppy.
9 Amanda Diesen
On a much happier (though still cutely funny) note, a paraplegic man and his wife found the perfect way to announce their pregnancy to the world. After Todd Krieg became paralyzed in a dirt bike accident in 2014, the couple did not know if they would ever have children. Krieg could not feel anything below his chest, and doctors were inconclusive about whether he would be able to conceive with his partner Amanda Diesen.
Diesen found out about her pregnancy much earlier than many of the mothers on this list, but she knew she needed to celebrate this "happy accident" in a special way. She took the above engagement photo jokingly but also sweetly, using humor to spread the beauty of a situation that worked out in a way that could only be described as a miracle.
8 Gaynor Rzepka
Twenty-five year old Gaynor was visiting her parents when she awoke with sharp and intense pain. Thinking she needed to use the restroom, she pushed and pushed until she caught a baby that she didn't know she was expecting. She was in shock, understandably and similarly to other stories in this article. She had just completed a ten hour shift at her job, and a baby was the last thing she thought she would end the night with.
Like many others with accidental labor stories, she had her period up through the due date. She had no morning sickness, no pain, no signs of pregnancy until the birth was undeniable.
Women like Gaynor are rare, yet her account proves that pregnancy is different for everyone. Some women crave pickles and ice cream. Some go through strong personality changes as they adjust to this new milestone. Some physically don't react as they would expect and end up delivering their baby on the same day they know they're pregnant. Like most things in life, pregnancy is not straightforward at all (despite how much we wish it would be).
7 Julia Dellitt
Julia Dellitt could not remember the last time she had her period when she decided to check in on it. After buying a pregnancy test during her lunch break, she almost went into shock after seeing the positive plus sign. She could not believe it was happening, even as she texted her partner about the news.
Pregnancy had not been on the menu at this time for Dellitt, and so she needed time to sort through her emotions. She thought about how she was supposed to feel about a pregnancy versus how she actually felt, and she didn't know what to do about the dissonance. She also struggled with wondering whether her life was ending as a mother or just beginning a new chapter.
In the end, she just let herself be okay with whatever happened. When she was upset, she allowed herself to feel that way. She welcomed mixed feelings and the contradictory anxiety and love she felt for her baby. Once the child came, she was more than prepared to handle it despite the accidental conception.
6 Roxana Rodriguez
Italian nun Roxana Rodriguez expected many trials when entering the cloistered life. Pregnancy was the last thing she ever, ever expected. She had been in her convent in Campomoro when, after serious stomach pain, she was rushed to the hospital. There she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, who she named Francesco after the current pope and St. Francis of Assisi.
Her fellow convent members were surprised and a little disappointed in Rodriguez, who had sworn vows of celibacy when becoming a nun. Because of this, she was given more than a little stress following the delivery. Yet of all the hands for a baby to come into, the hands of a person devoted to goodness and charity is a pretty great place to be.
5 Jamie Ann Richardson
Despite miscarriage and infertility troubles in the past, Richardson found herself pregnant after doctors had told her that her ovaries were shutting down. The mother of three had just barely found out that she was pregnant and that, after this, she likely never would be again. Rodriguez had gone through two pregnancies in four years beforehand, so this baby was a burden and a blessing all at once.
Health concerns rattled Richardson all throughout the pregnancy, and she worried that her baby would not be as healthy as she hoped he would be. Yet when she delivered, he was a hearty 10 lbs and unable to fit in much of the newborn clothes doctors had prepared. It is a blessing, of course, to have a healthy baby (especially in Richardson's case) but 10 lbs is never an enjoyable weight to carry. Doubly so if unannounced!
4 Stephanie Hughes
Iowa resident and mother Stephanie Hughes went to the hospital for excessive bleeding and extreme cramps. Like many mothers, she thought that she had started her period. She was in for a grand surprise. Because her youngest son was age 12 at the time, the possibility of a baby was nowhere near her mind when she went into labor.
Although she understood that she could face an uproar and teasing from friends and family, she felt that an accidental pregnancy and labor could happen to any person if they didn't see the signs fast enough. Some mothers have health concerns that make seeing those signs harder. Some are under- or overweight, which creates symptoms similar to a period. Some just operate on the denial of any kind of pregnancy and hope that it will go away.
For Hughes, she had to face the music when her baby came three hours after she knew she was pregnant. Denial was never an option for her: the only thing she could do was embrace the baby and hope for the best.
3 Rachel Hills
Rachel Hills discovered her pregnancy a little earlier than other mothers on the list: she knew that she was expecting two months before she delivered. In comparison to mothers giving birth the day they found out, this may seem like a long time. Think about your pregnancy, though: you get to know for almost four times that amount. What would you do if your time to get ready for the child was essentially quartered?
That's right. It's a miracle Hills stayed sane at all. Many women wouldn't.
Because Hills had shown no sign of pregnancy, even her doctors were taken aback by the news. Her obstetrician tried to convince her to pursue an abortion but at six months, she felt this was not the right path. Although her time preparing for the pregnancy was short, she felt that her child Tara was a miracle baby and that despite the hardships, she was blessed to have the child in her life.
2 Jennifer Favela
33 year-old Jenny Favela's water broke over the Labor Day holiday after excruciating pain. Any problem? Just one: Favela had no idea she was pregnant. Although mother to a 13 and 17-year-old, she personally had no idea she was pregnant. She had not experienced morning sickness, unlike her earlier pregnancies. She hadn't noticed any period troubles, not to an extent that she considered pregnancy. By any account, she shouldn't have been expecting.
But she was. This California resident gave birth to her baby in the hallway of her home as her husband Jeff delivered the baby to the best of his abilities. He tried to remember what he had seen in tv shows as well as what he had observed when his children were born. From here, he was able to assist Favela until professionals could arrive.
The couple then broadcast their ambulance ride via Snapchat, breaking the pregnancy news in the most surprising (and exciting) way possible. After their impromptu Facebook post, they received many congratulations that were just as flustered as the baby's parents.
1 Elizabeth Poblete
Elizabeth Poblete is an Olympic weightlifting champion from Santiago, Chile. She is best known for representing Chile at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where she competed in the women's heavyweight category (and placed twelfth). While her feats of athleticism are as astounding as they are impressive, Poblete has gone through emotional hardships as well as physical.
Although she did not know she was expecting until she went into labor, she had an accidental pregnancy shortly after her time in Beijing. During a training session in Brazil, Poblete experienced stomach pain and other symptoms that prevented her from finishing the workout. Within an hour, Poblete realized she was going into labor and was rushed to the emergency room, ready to give birth to a baby she never knew she had.
After hours of labor, her baby was born three months early and named Eric Jose Poblete. He was taken to another hospital in Sao Paulo, where he and Poblete received intensive care for several days. Unfortunately, despite her medical team's best efforts, the baby died within a week after birth. Though heartbroken for a child she never truly got to know, Poblete was able to recover both emotionally and physically and continue pursuing titles as a weightlifting champion.