A Massachusetts woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl an hour after realizing she was pregnant.
According to ABC News, Judy Brown, 47, went to Beverly Hospital in Beverly, Massachusetts, complaining of severe abdominal pain. While the woman thought the pain was a result of a stone in her gallbladder, the doctors quickly realized that Brown’s stone was, in fact, a baby.
“It’s good news: There’s no blockage. You are pregnant and you are going to have her now!” one of the doctors told her, according to WCVB Boston.
The woman gave birth to a healthy baby girl, weighing nine pounds, whom she has named Carolyn, after her mother. Judy has been married to Jason Brown for 22 years and Carolyn is their first child. After repeated attempts to conceive a child in the first few years of their marriage, they almost gave up on the idea of ever becoming parents.
Judy admitted that she was overwhelmed when doctors told her that she was pregnant.
“It was a little bit scary getting into the hospital thinking something was really bad was going on.. To understand and take in that I was pregnant and was about to go into labor… it was very overwhelming.”
Judy had been having complications with her body, but she thought they were a result of her undergoing menopause, as did her husband. She never expected to conceive a child, let alone give birth to one.
“After being married for 22 years, it really wasn’t coming up being pregnant,” she added. “It was not really there in my mind. I felt like I was turning into my mother.”
According to Mashable, Dr. Kimberly Gecsi, an obstetrician and gynecologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said though such an occurrence is quite rare, it is quite possible for women giving birth not to realize they are pregnant well into the advanced stages of pregnancy.
“People don’t know sometimes or they’re in denial about it and denial can be pretty strong.”
Doctors pointed out that in Brown’s case, it could be the latter. Since Judy and Jason had both given up hopes of becoming parents, it is possible that Judy lived in denial, a phenomenon which could be best described as being similar to the placebo effect, where a fake substance can sometimes improve a patient’s condition simply because the person has the expectation that it will be helpful. So even when pregnancy symptoms might have been quite explicit, her psychological conditioning would have convinced Judy to believe that her pains were a result of abdominal problems.
Gecsi said Judy’s case taught everyone an important lesson, which we must all take home. She pointed out that women in their late-40s should not think that they can’t get pregnant and must use contraception until they talk to their doctor about stopping because of menopause.
“Most physicians who see women in their 40s should be counseling them on contraception,” she added.
As the woman gave birth to her first child, concerned relatives and friends swarmed the scene, hardly able to believe that Judy was pregnant. The couple had to borrow a bassinet and a stroller to take Carolyn home.
Asked if she would like to give birth again, the woman said Carolyn will be the couple’s only child, adding, “I will get the surgery before it even becomes a thought.”
[Photo via Gui Vicente / Unsplash]