One mum’s true-life surprise baby

No bump, no morning sickness and then, suddenly, a baby! As shocked new mum Klara Dollan relives her cryptic pregnancy, other women say it happened to them too...

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It seems staggering, right? The whole idea of going through 9 months of pregnancy without a clue that you are expecting? Yet cryptic pregnancy (and then a surprise birth) may actually be more common than you’d think.

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In fact, when new (and very surprised!) mum Klara Dollan, 23, above, appeared on This Morning earlier this week to talk about the shock arrival of her little girl Amelia, lots of other women tweeted the show to say they, too, had only known they were pregnant when they went into labour.

New mum Danielle Jane tweeted a gorgeous pic of her surprise baby Jacob (above). Another viewer, Chloe Whitehead, said, “The exact same thing happened to me that happened to this poor woman. It’s actually giving me flashbacks!” 

And Shaunni Little tweeted, “My surprise baby was born 4 weeks ago. My waters broke in a restaurant. Biggest shock ever!”

Given that most of us go through the 9 months enduring very visible signs of pregnancy, from morning sickness to swollen ankles (er, not to mention the tell-tale enormo bump), just how did Klara (and all these other women) not know?

Klara said she had gained 28lbs (she’s 6ft tall) but, with no other symptoms (she put her lack of periods down to being on the Pill) she’d reasoned her weight increase was down to comfort eating after splitting from her boyfriend, Kris. 

‘I didn’t know this wave of pain was a contraction’

Klara told This Morning than, when she woke in the night with stomach cramps on the day Amelia was born, she assumed she was having period pains. She’d just started a new job and, anxious to impress, she set off to work the next morning, despite the cramps, and even stood for a 2-hour meeting – completely unaware she was having contractions.

“Every 5 to 10 minutes, there would be a wave of pain,” she said. “I can’t describe it. I didn’t at that time know it was a contraction.”

Klara added that she had her pen in her mouth and, at one point when a wave of pain hit, bit down on it with such force, she broke it. 

When it all became too much for her to cope with, Klara ‘shot out of the door’ and headed back home. But, to her horror, she discovered she was locked out of flat, and had to spend an agonising 2 hours on the steps of her block waiting for a locksmith to come and let her in.

When she did finally get indoors, the pain was so bad, she considered phoning for an ambulance. Before she’d had time to do that, her screams alerted her landlord, who called a female neighbour to go and check on her.  

‘I screamed, “It’s a baby!”‘

By this point, Klara was bleeding heavily, and she said it was just crossing her mind that she might be having a miscarriage – when the baby’s head emerged! 

“I screamed, ‘It’s a baby!’,” Klara said. “I can’t describe how I felt when I saw the head. I just wrapped her up and waited for the ambulance. But at this point I was distraught.”

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Klara and her baby daughter were taken to hospital where they were both given a clean bill of health, with her little daughter weighing in at a very robust 7lbs. And it was from the maternity unit Klara had to call her mum and break the news that she had become a granny!

“I knew my mum would be in court: she’s a Crown Prosecutor,” Klara explained. “So I Whats-apped her first and said, ‘Don’t want to worry but you need to go to the Royal Free Hospital after work – and I’m in maternity!'”

As for her former partner Kris, Klara said it was all a huge shock to him but he has taken the news ‘very well’ and is as ‘involved as he can be’ with his little daughter.

But can a surprise birth really be a surprise?

Some people have found Klara’s story hard to believe. It just seems too astonishing and bewildering that anyone could not know they’re pregnant – particularly if you’re currently sporting a large pregnancy bump yourself…

But Dr Helen Stokes-Lampard, a clinical senior lecturer and spokesperson for the Royal College of General Practitioners, who joined Klara on This Morning, said it certainly wasn’t beyond the realms of possibility for a woman not to know she is pregnant.

“Often very busy women, or overweight, women will not notice the changes in their body, or will bleed throughout, or be on the Pill and not expect to have a period,” she said. “So for the disbelievers, it can happen!”

Pictures: ITV/ThisMorning, Twitter

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