The Short of It
On Mother's Day, 23-year-old Ada Guan gave birth to a baby she didn't even know she was carrying while on an Air Canada jet heading to Japan.
While flying from Calgary to Tokyo for vacation with her boyfriend, Wes Branch, Guan began experiencing stomach pains that they thought could be a bad stomachache, cramps or an ulcer. As her pain worsened, the flight attendants asked for the help of a doctor, who happened to be on board. He gave Guan Tylenol and an IV, but nothing helped.
"She told me, 'something fell out of me,'" Branch told Global News. "I lifted up her pants, and I saw a head, and then I heard, 'wah.' I thought, 'oh my God, I think we have a kid.'"
Guan and Branch are now the surprised but happy parents of a baby girl, who was born at 37 weeks and named Chloe.
The new parents, who have been dating for 1 year, had no idea Guan was pregnant. Although she had gained a little weight recently, her boyfriend said that a pregnancy test she took was negative. Branch also said that Guan recently had visited a doctor, who also didn't detect her pregnancy.
While Guan's story is not common, it does happen that women are pregnant and don't know it. Irregular periods could make a woman less likely to suspect pregnancy; diluted urine from too much water consumption can mask pregnancy hormones from being detected by the testing strip; and a placenta that develops in the front of the uterus could prevent a woman from feeling a baby's movements.
Based on a recent study in the British Medical Journal on surprise pregnancies, Dr. Gil Weiss, assistant professor of clinical medicine at Northwestern University and an OB-GYN in Chicago, told Yahoo Parenting that he estimates the odds of an undetected pregnancy at 1 in 3,000 births. According to the CDC, a total of 3,932,181 births were registered in the United States in 2013; based on Dr. Weiss's odds, as many as 1,311 of those could have been a surprise to the mom-to-be!
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