Australian model Erin Langmaid, 23, had the surprise of her life on October 29, when she gave birth to a baby girl named Isla… even though she had no idea she was pregnant.
Langmaid gave birth at home in her bathroom. She described feeling unwell the day Isla was born, and her labor took only 10 minutes. She shared the news two weeks later with an Instagram post of herself, baby Isla, and her S.O. Daniel Carty: “The hardest week of our lives, you are my rock. And now you are Isla’s. 2 years with you 💗.”
According to People, via an interview with7 News, the 23-year-old had no idea she was expecting. She didn’t have any typical pregnancy symptoms and was consistently using contraceptive injections. “I wasn’t showing obviously because I fit into everything. It’s just really bizarre,” she said.
According to the interview, Carty was nearby when she went into labor. He stepped into action with the surprise birth. “I heard a scream and I ran in there and then I saw the little one and I thought, ‘Hang on, there’s two,’” he recalled.
When Isla wasn’t breathing, and Carty called 000 (Australia’s version of 911) and had the operator walk him through the steps to restore his daughter’s breathing and save her life. “I’m still in shock, but you just adjust and this is our life now,” Langmaid said. “We wouldn’t change it.”
A surprise full-term baby seems pretty unbelievable. However, Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., clinical professor of ob-gyn at Yale School of Medicine, previously told Women’s Health that cryptic pregnancies can happen for a handful of reasons in young women. They happen often enough to be the basis of a reality show, too. Here are some common causes of cryptic pregnancies:
You’ve always had irregular periods.
If your flow is often MIA and never sticks to a schedule—either because of your own body chemistry or a condition such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (which causes an off-kilter cycle)—you wouldn’t necessarily think that no period equals pregnancy, says Minkin.
Pregnancy tests aren’t 100-percent accurate.
While chances are slim that you could get a false negative from a home pregnancy test (Minkin estimates it’s less than a one percent chance), it is possible—especially if you pee on the stick so early on that your body isn’t producing enough of the hormone the test is supposed to detect, if you drink too much water and dilute your urine so that your hormone levels are also diluted, or if you use it wrong.
Rule of thumb: Always do a backup test. If that comes out negative, but your flow isn’t showing up, and you detect other early-pregnancy signs like nausea or nipple tenderness, have your doc test you, suggests Minkin.
The growing baby is super quiet.
“It’s normal for the baby to start moving around and kicking in the second trimester, but not all do,” says Minkin. It’s also possible that the baby is moving, but because the placenta is in front of the baby, the pregnant woman doesn’t feel anything, she adds.
You’ve always had a funky stomach.
If you’re used to dealing with nausea, vomiting, bloat, and other upset-stomach issues, you may blow off morning sickness and an expanding belly as just more G.I. tract irritation, says Minkin. “And then when it disappears after a few months, you think it’s over—you wouldn’t realize you just passed your first trimester,” she says.
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