A woman got the shock of her life when what she thought was a gastrointestinal virus turned out to be something much worse.
Lucy Shaw, 34, was suffering from stomach pains when she suddenly gave birth to twins.
She was 30 weeks pregnant – just seven weeks short of full term – when her boys were born on July 5th.
But she hadn’t the slightest suspicion that she was pregnant beforehand, also known as a cryptic or invisible pregnancy.
Jacob and Jaxon James weighed just 3 pounds 9 ounces and 3 pounds 8 ounces respectively and were taken to the Royal Stoke Hospital’s neonatal unit.
The University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (UHNM), which runs the hospital, said the boys are doing “incredibly well” given the circumstances.
Lucy, from Biddulph, Staffordshire, said: “I woke up in the early hours of the morning feeling unwell and thought I had a gastrointestinal illness.
“A few hours later I called my mother because I was in severe pain.”
Lucy’s mother came and called 999 immediately.
“She took one look at me and called an ambulance, it was definitely not a stomach bug,” Lucy said.
“While mum was on the phone to the switchboard they asked if she could see anything and then it occurred to me to check and I could feel a head.
“I kept trying not to rush and said they couldn’t come yet because it was too early, but the operator told me to rush if I felt I had to.
“A few minutes later Jacob was born at 6am and my mother gave birth to him just as the paramedics arrived to deliver Jaxon at 6:15am.”
The twins were put on ventilators to help them breathe, while Lucy was also treated for blood loss.
Four weeks later, Jacob and Jaxon are fine and will be going home soon.
Lee Abbott, Clinical Director of Neonatology at UHNM, said: “Jacob and Jaxon are truly miracle babies.
“Upon arrival, they were so cold that their body temperatures could not be measured, both had blood acid levels inconsistent with survival, and they also had low blood pressure.
“Both have come through, are doing incredibly well and are expected to go home with minimal special care.”
Lucy said: “I look forward to taking them home when they’re done. We can hardly wait.”
Cryptic pregnancies that go unnoticed can be due to a variety of reasons, including a hidden baby bump, mental health issues, a false negative test result, and the absence of symptoms.