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Stunned mum, 45, didn't know she was pregnant

Published: 27 Feb 2014 11:33 GMT+01:00

The mum, named only as Karine was at the Val Thorens ski resort on holidays with her family when she rushed to the bathroom early on Tuesday morning because she was not feeling well. However she soon realized it wasn’t a case of stomach flu.

The mother from near Lille in northern France, was on birth control and says had no idea she was pregnant. Incredibly within 15 minutes of the first pain she had given birth to a healthy baby girl, French paper Dauphiné Liberé reported.

"We are flabbergasted. There had been no symptoms, no one knew. There was pains, but we were told it was psychological. Especially since my wife has used contraception for long time," said the new dad, who was named only as Eric.

The couple already had two children, but it had been 12 years since the birth of the youngest one.

It was some quick thinking on the part of the father that allowed for the birth to go as well as it did. When the dad-to-be realized this was not just a case of cramps he went to to grab his brother and sister-in-law who were sleeping in an adjacent room in the lodging at the Val Thorens ski resort in the Alps.

After a brief assessment the sister-in-law, a trained prenatal nurse, realized the pains were contractions and even spotted the tiny head of the child beginning to emerge from her mother. The sister delivered the baby before paramedics even had time to arrive.

It was a rare, but not unheard of case of a surprise baby. While the mother and her brand new 3.2 kilo daughter were being flown to the maternity ward in the nearby city of Albertville, a nurse reportedly told her it was the fourth case he’d personally been involved in.

Indeed there are many reasons why a tiny minority of pregnant women do not know they are expecting until they reach labour, which range from false negative test results, weight and psychological issues or just ignorance of the signs and symptoms.

A Serbian study estimates that one out of every 7,225 pregnancies is unknown to the mother until the moment of delivery.

"This is an extreme situation, and a very rare situation, because it is pretty hard to miss all of the signs of pregnancy," Dr Patricia Devine,from Columbia University Medical Center told CNN.

"Sometimes you doubt that they were completely unaware. Other times, it's completely plausible," she added.

Aside from the avalanche of practical concerns over caring for the unexpected arrival, such as time off work and getting the baby home from the Alps, the stunned parents also had to quickly come up with a name for the little girl.

“It will be Toscane, followed by Odile and finally Rosaëlle,” the parents said. The middle name, Odile, is that of the sister-in-law who brought the little girl into the world.

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Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

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