A Florida woman does not know she was 37 weeks pregnant until she experienced excruciating stomach pains that turned out to be actual labor contractions.
Crystal Gail Amerson thought she was suffering from food poisoning in the early morning of Sunday with stomachache so painful that she had to rush to the bathroom. Little did she know that her presumed food poisoning was actual labor pains and that she was about to give birth to a baby boy.
"I had Chinese food the night before, and I kind of figured maybe I had food poisoning or something like that," Amerson said. She detailed that the pains started at around 4 a.m., but the ambulance did not arrive until it was about 6:30 in the morning.
Amerson, who lives in Pensacola, said she and her fiancé had no idea they were about to have their second child. She said in an interview she experienced few pregnancy symptoms even with their first child, and so being pregnant with another was completely a surprise.
The 29-year-old mother of two added she did not notice she was pregnant since she did not gain a lot of weight. She also wears scrub suits in her job at a retirement for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.
"So I guess the way they fit me as well, it was hard to notice anything or tell anything," Amerson said.
Dr. Julie DeCesare, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the Sacred Heart Hospital, explained that some women may not experience typical pregnancy signs. In some rare cases, the woman may not know she is actually pregnant until a few hours prior to birth.
DeCesare said irregular menstruation typically causes pregnancy or when a contraceptive fails to prevent pregnancy. However, she said she has seen cases where the mother was just in denial of the situation.
"Usually, by 20 weeks you can feel the baby kicking," DeCesare said.
An unknown pregnancy, also called cryptic pregnancy, is a phenomenon that occurs in 1 in every 475 pregnancies of 20 weeks and below. However, researchers from Serbia said having it unnoticed for as far as 37 weeks is a rarer case of just 1 in 7,225 births.
Amerson's fiancé, Brian Westerfield, posted photos of their new baby named Oliver James. Baby Oliver was born in an ambulance at 6:59 a.m. on April 1, measuring 18.9 inches in length and 5.27 pounds.
Surprise babies are not extraordinary occurrences. Last month, a 23-year-old woman was rushed to the emergency room out of an apparent kidney infection.
It turned out that Allyson Opfer was already suffering from a pregnancy complication, pre-eclampsia, and that she was two weeks overdue from giving birth.
Opfer underwent a C-section operation to reduce chances of fatality to both the mother and the child.