Did you know that it’s possible to be pregnant and carry a baby to full term without knowing it until you actually go into labor?
Such a scenario sounds improbable, but it’s not impossible, as some cases prove!
Ally Opfer, a mom from Cleveland, Ohio, knows exactly what it’s like, and she shared her experience in an interview with People.
On December 21, 2016, when Ally felt pain in her stomach, she thought it was just period cramps. But when a period didn’t start and the pain didn’t go away, the young woman realized it could be something else and went to a nearby hospital.
At first, Ally’s doctor thought the pain was caused by kidney stones and ordered an ultrasound. The test revealed something no one expected to see: a baby! Imagine Ally’s surprise when she found out she was pregnant and would give birth in 30 minutes.
Ally had no typical pregnancy symptoms, she told People. Her periods had always been irregular, so she didn’t think her missed periods could indicate pregnancy. She said:
I had absolutely no symptoms either and felt totally normal, so that’s why I believed I wasn’t pregnant. Everything was normal for me. I never had morning sickness, no unusual tiredness, nothing. I never grew a baby bump or showed or anything. I gained a little bit of weight, mostly in my face, but I didn’t gain a bigger belly. I actually felt normal and great until I went into labor!
So, on December 23, Ally gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Although the young mom wasn’t prepared for his arrival, she was excited:
Once the shock wore off, I was excited and my family was very excited too. So even though I wasn’t wanting to become a mom for a while still, I was very happy. I’ve always loved babies and kids!
Ally and her newborn son, whom she named Oliver, went home soon. Ally’s family and friends rallied around to help, especially Ally’s mom, who “taught [her] everything there is to know about babies.”
Oliver is growing up healthy and happy, and Ally enjoys being a mom. She has adjusted well to this role and has an important message she wants to share with other women:
We all experience pregnancy differently. Some carry differently and show more than others and some have different symptoms than others. I always thought “there’s no way you wouldn’t know you’re pregnant!” when I’ve read these kind of stories or seen them on TV. It’s hard to understand until it actually happens to you, but something everyone should understand is that every pregnancy is different.
How is it possible to be pregnant without knowing it?
There are several possible reasons why some women don’t realize that they are pregnant until they go into labor.
In some cases, a woman may have physical signs and symptoms that indicate she’s expecting a baby, but she may go into deep denial and convince herself that she’s not actually pregnant. This is common in cases when pregnancy is unwanted, according to WebMD.
In other cases, women don’t develop typical signs and symptoms of pregnancy, such as weight gain, morning sickness, and food cravings. Rarely, a baby may grow in such a position that there’s no significant belly growth in his or her mom, especially if the mom is overweight. Also, women who have irregular periods may not realize when a missed period indicates pregnancy.
Pay attention to any changes in your body, however slight they may be. Although many 'surprise' babies are born healthy, it’s important to get proper prenatal care and monitor baby’s development throughout pregnancy!
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.