A surprise birth is one of those instances in which women question the true nature of the event when they haven’t experienced it for themselves. How could a person carry a baby to term and not know it, especially in cases when the woman has experienced pregnancy before? For one Iowa woman, three prior pregnancies still did not prepare her for the surprise birth she experienced last week.
Brittany Young knew she was pregnant, but she thought she was only 12 weeks pregnant. According to the Des Moines Register, the 24-year-old woman began experiencing some pain on Wednesday, so she took some Tylenol and laid down. The pain went away and then came back a little later, so Young took a shower.
“I got in the shower, not even five minutes after that, I was like, my stomach is still hurting. Not even five seconds (later), I had to push,” Brittany described.
Suddenly, Brittany had a surprise birth. She delivered a healthy baby girl weighing six pounds and eight ounces. This baby was certainly not a baby whose gestational age was 12 weeks.
“This baby’s eyes were open; she was just sitting there staring at me. She didn’t cry or anything. I was in shock. I was like, there’s a baby here.”
Young had a friend with her in her apartment, so she called for the friend to help as she sat dazed in the shower. The friend called for an ambulance, and police and medics arrived to find the friend holding the baby with the umbilical cord still attached to Young, who was still in the shower.
Young and the infant, who was named Miracle, were separated and taken to Mercy Medical Center.
According to the Associated Press, Young may have gone into labor quickly because she had already experienced three previous births before. As for her not knowing that she was pregnant most of the time of her pregnancy, Young doesn’t have much of an explanation other than misunderstanding a technician who most likely told her she had 12 weeks left to go in her pregnancy rather than that she was 12 weeks along.
Most women who experience a surprise birth are young and not experienced or are older women who think they are experiencing menopause. Sometimes a woman apparently just disregards the symptoms of pregnancy as other things, or she is simply too busy to notice any symptoms at all.
Young is certainly not the only woman who has had the shock of a surprise birth; according to Oddee, one in 600 women experience a surprise birth when they go into labor or find out they are pregnant right before they give birth.
[Photos by Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register]