Childbirth is a painful, yet beautiful, experience for a mother who must wait nine long months before welcoming her newly born child into this world.
But for one woman, the waiting period was cut short after she checked into a hospital for stomach pains only to discover that she was in labor, unexpectedly giving birth to her son only 45 minutes after discovering that she was expecting a baby.
An Unexpected Pregnancy
It was just an ordinary day when Lisa Leathard, soon after returning home from work, started complaining about severe pain in her stomach. Unaware of her pregnancy, Lisa assumed that she had probably eaten something wrong which had upset her stomach.
Little did she know about the huge surprise that was waiting for her at the hospital after she checked into the accident and emergency department because of the progressive pain. It was only then when she was told that what she had thought of as stomach cramps were actually labor pains signaling that a baby was on its way out! The news came as a huge shock to Lisa and her husband Nick who were not expecting their world to turn upside down so suddenly.
Four years later, Lisa recalls the birth of her first son Toby as the best surprise of her life and even though the couple had only 45 minutes to prepare themselves for parenthood before Toby’s arrival, they still welcomed their bundle of joy with the same enthusiasm as any other parents.
Rushed to the Emergency Room
Lisa said that if she had known that the stomach cramps she had that day were actually labor pains, she would have gotten to the hospital much earlier than she did. Instead, she dismissed the pain after returning home from office thinking that it was only something minor that would go away with time but the pain got progressively worse during the night.
Concerned about his wife’s health, Nick called an ambulance to carry Lisa to the hospital since she was unable to get out of bed on her own. The paramedics weren’t exactly sure what was wrong with the 38-year-old Lisa so they decided to drive her to Derriford Hospital where she was given an ultrasound. Suddenly, everything was clear to the doctors. Lisa wasn’t sick… she was pregnant.
A Surprise Delivery
The couple listened in disbelief as the doctors told them that there was baby on its way and Lisa was soon going to become a mother. It all seemed so sudden and before she knew it, the soon-to-be-mom was being rushed to the delivery suite to prepare for the arrival of her firstborn.
The hospital declared an emergency delivery and the delivery suite was soon filled with doctors standing by in case they were needed. Lisa was told by the midwife that since the hospital didn’t have any background on the baby, they weren’t sure what to expect from the delivery.
It was a scary moment for the mother and the doctors, but luckily, everything went smoothly and within 45 minutes, Lisa was holding a healthy, 7 lbs. baby boy in her arms. In less than an hour, Lisa was put through a rollercoaster ride of emotions going from shock to fear to joy, but it was all worth it in the end.
Developing Post-Partum Depression and PTSD
After the birth of her son Toby, Lisa called her office and informed them that she will need a maternity leave. She said that it was a surprise for everyone in the family and her office. Lisa’s sister who was a mother herself, had a few baby essentials such as clothes, cot and baby monitor from her own childbirth which she was able to lend to her sister.
No one ever expected that the 38-year-old would ever become a mother, especially since she and her husband had agreed on not having any children. Lisa said that at the time she had Toby, she and Nick had been busy moving house and with the added pressure of work, she simply didn’t have time to notice any signs of pregnancy.
She did experience post-partum depression and PTSD months after the unexpected birth and had to undergo therapy to overcome her fear and get her mental health back on track. Lisa was finally able to recover a few months later and accept the reality of motherhood. Today, the couple has welcomed a newest edition to the family: Toby’s younger brother, Noah.