It's hard to imagine how someone can go nine months without knowing that they're pregnant. There must have been symptoms. There had to be signs - kicking, nausea, cravings. It's something that is physically affecting your body. How could one not know?
It's a phenomenon known as "cryptic pregnancy." Although very rare, the condition affects about 1 in 2,500 women who don't know they're pregnant until they're in labor. There are many contributing factors that can hide the pregnancy, like a lack of actual symptoms and obesity.
Dr. Patricia Devine, Director of Labor and Delivery at Columbia University Medical Center explains, "This is an extreme situation, a very rare situation, because it is pretty hard to miss all of the signs of pregnancy."
But, it does indeed happen. The following cases are women who went their entire pregnancy claiming to have no signs or symptoms until delivery. These are stories of people who gave birth without knowing they were pregnant./s
90-Year-Old Gives Birth To Mummified Fetus
In 2009, 92-year-old Huang Yijun of Southern China gave birth to a calcified fetus she had been carrying in her body for 50 years. The phenomenon is known as lithopedion, and it occurs when a pregnancy fails and a baby calcifies - or turns to stone - outside of the uterus.
Doctors explained that the condition is similar to an ectopic pregnancy, and they rarely last for months before breaking down in the body.
Woman Delivers 10-Pound Baby Hours After Learning She's Pregnant
Boston native, 23-year-old Katherine Kropas never suspected she was pregnant when she arrived at the hospital for stomach and back pain. Kropas had been on birth control, and experienced no pregnancy symptoms in the months before her unexpected pain. When she spoke with a doctor she learned she was pregnant, and an hour later she delivered a healthy, 10-pound baby girl.
She told CBS local news, "I thought I had put on some Christmas season weight, but I never thought I was pregnant. Never."
47-Year-Old Learns She's Going To Be A First-Time Mom Right Before Labor
A 47-year-old Massachusetts woman never expected to find that pregnancy was the cause of her severe abdominal pain. Judy Brown believed she was just going through changes in life - like menopause - when her symptoms worsened. She went to the hospital and discovered that she was actually in labor.
Brown delivered a healthy, 8-pound baby girl named Carolyn Rose.
Teen Mistakes Pregnancy For A Stomach Bug
A 17-year-old Wisconsin teen mistakenly thought she had the stomach flu when she went to use the bathroom one night. To her surprise, she discovered she was actually in labor when she delivered her baby into the toilet.
Luckily, Braeley Pettigrew didn't panic. She and the baby were rushed to the hospital where they were treated. She told local news, "I never thought I would be having a baby at 17, but my first instinct was to get him out of the toilet and wrap him up to keep him warm."
She originally told her mom and police the baby was abandoned on the front porch. She eventually admitted the child was hers, and she lied out of fear. Both mom and baby are doing well.