A 47-year-old Massachusetts woman was rushed to the hospital for abdominal pain, only to find out she was in labor. Here's why cryptic pregnancies are still a thing.
When Judy Brown went to the hospital with severe abdominal pain, she got the surprise of her life: She found out she was pregnant. Very pregnant. In fact, she was already in labor.
Brown, 47, gave birth to a healthy baby girl just one hour later. Not surprisingly, Brown's story has gone viral.
The new mother went to Beverly Hospital in Massachusetts on Wednesday. "It was really scary going into the hospital thinking something really bad was going on," she told ABC News. "To understand and take in that I was pregnant and was about to go into labor...it was very overwhelming."
But as overwhelming and shocking as Brown's situation was, it's not unheard of, according to experts. "People don't know sometimes or they're in denial about it and denial can be pretty strong," Kimberly Gecsi, M.D., an obstetrician and gynecologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, told ABC News.
We tend to believe that women are only fertile until they reach a certain age, but age isn't the only factor at work. According to The Office of Women's Health at the U.S.. Department of Health and Human Services, women can become pregnant as long as they're still having periods, even if those periods are irregular. This likely explains how Brown was able to conceive at her age, even if her body may have been going through changes.
Dr. Gecsi told ABC News that women in their 40s should speak with their physicians about contraception.
"After being married for 22 years, it really wasn't coming up being pregnant," Brown said. "It was not really there in my mind."
Tech Times pointed out a few factors that might contribute to "cryptic pregnancies" like Brown's: Inaccuracy of pregnancy tests, unnoticeable weight gain in overweight women, minimal pregnancy symptoms, an irregular menstrual cycle, a previous infertility diagnosis and a simple case of denial are all possible causes for an undetected pregnancy.
Brown and her husband, who have no other children, named her daughter Carolyn Rose. Both mother and baby are doing well, according to a representative for the hospital.