For many women who've given birth, it can be hard to imagine not knowing you were pregnant for nine whole months. After all, there's typically a missed period, aches, pains, weight gain and eventually, the big day arrives - contractions and all. But a UK mother recently made headlines when she delivered a surprise baby alone in the bathtub at home, after not knowing she was pregnant at all.
Charlotte Dubard, 24, a student and waitress from London received the shock of a lifetime earlier this year when she gave birth to a 6 lb 8 oz baby boy while in the tub after experiencing abdominal pains.
"One evening, I started to get cramps but they were really quite mild - milder than my usual period pains," she said. "Then the next day they continued and they kept coming and going in waves which I now realise were my contractions."
Dubard was in labour, but at the time, she didn't understand what was happening. When she used her iPhone camera to take a look down below, she was shocked at what she saw: a full head of hair, crowning.
Little Elias was born shortly after, and as a shocked Dubard cut his cord with a pair of nail scissors, she called her boyfriend, Miguel, who was at work, and asked him to come home. The baby was immediately taken to hospital for an examination and was given a clean bill of health despite the fact that Dubard continued to casually drink and smoke, take oral contraceptives, and work waitressing shifts - often being on her feet as much as 14 hours a day - throughout her entire pregnancy.
She admitted she only gained "a little weight" as well and continued to have regular periods, further pushing the idea of a pregnancy way down on the list of possibilities for the couple.
Despite his dramatic entrance, Dubard calls her little boy a miracle baby.
"He is so healthy after all I put him through," she said. "Also, so many things could have gone wrong with me giving birth alone, but it all went remarkably smoothly." She added that the midwives at the hospital were also impressed that she instinctively knew where to cut the cord, claiming it poses a danger if done incorrectly.
"I have no idea how I knew exactly what to do, I guess instinct took over," she admitted.
As the couple settles into life as a brand new family of three, they've decided to slightly adjust their plans. They're putting their move to the U.S. on hold for now and getting to know each other right where they are in London. Dubard is grateful for the support she's received from her family as well, who have made this all possible.
"[Despite them being] very strict Catholics ... they see Elias as a miracle. My grandmother says he is a little angel," she said.