Rebecca Oldham, 25, from New Zealand, admitted to hospital to remove her ovaries, was shocked to know that a 9lb or 4 kg baby was developing inside her womb. She experienced several months of abdominal cramps, which eventually made her undergo surgery.
But, to the doctors' surprise, while operating her, they found a baby boy growing inside her. "I was facing not being able to have any more children because they thought there were problems with my ovaries, and all of a sudden we had a son," New Zealand Herald quoted Oldham as saying.
Oldham, who suffered for several months with stomach cramps, even underwent many intensive testing, including three scans, six pregnancy tests and two blood tests, while doctors tried analyzing the cause of her pain.
Eventually, she was admitted to hospital in November last year for surgery. The surgeons who were shocked to discover the healthy baby inside her and woke her up for a short while to inform her that the operation was changed to an emergency caesarean.
Oldham and her partner James Tipene, have a 20 month baby, Hayley.
"I am so glad they woke me and told me I was going to have another baby. Even though it was short notice it was better than waking up and being handed a baby, " said Oldham.
The case has been described as extremely rare by doctors who are trying to find out how the pregnancy was missed.
It is believed that the mother developed stomach pains as the baby was lodged along her back making him unable to move around.
However, the phenomenon of surprise birth is not as rare as thought. According to a spokesperson for Middlemore Hospital, previous records and statistics show that one out of 600 mothers-to-be have been found unaware of their pregnancy until they gave birth.
The situation is observed among busy or overweight women or those approaching menopause as they do not expect to be pregnant and will not look for any signs.
Moreover, bleeding during the course of pregnancy is common, mostly during the first few months, which makes women assume that they have regular menstruation.