As she rushed to the hospital on Wednesday, Judy Brown was convinced that something terrible was happening.
The 47-year-old was experiencing abdominal pain so severe she thought she must have a gallstone or some sort of massive blockage in her body, according to ABC News.
The medical staff at Beverly Hospital in Beverly, Mass., discovered that Brown didn’t have a blockage inside her — she had a baby.
But the shock didn’t end there, ABC reported.
Not only was Brown pregnant, she also was about to become a first-time mother. As if on cue, Brown gave birth to a healthy 8-pound, 2-ounce daughter about an hour later, according to ABC.
Her name: Carolyn Rose.
“It was a little bit scary getting into the hospital thinking something really bad was going on,” Brown told ABC News. “To understand and take in that was I pregnant and was about to go into labor … it was very overwhelming.”
Brown and her husband, Jason — who have been married 22 years — were never fixated on having a child, according to ABC affiliate WCVB. The couple described their laidback approach to having a child like so: “If it happens, it happens.”
It wasn’t as if Brown didn’t notice her body going through unexpected changes, she told WCVB. A bulge had appeared around her midsection in recent months, she said, but she attributed the sudden weight gain to aging. Being pregnant, she said, never crossed her mind.
“I felt like I was turning into my mother,” she said.
Kimberly Gecsi, an obstetrician and gynecologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, told ABC News that it’s possible for some women not to realize they are pregnant until they are on the verge of giving birth. Such cases are rare, she said, but possible.
“People don’t know sometimes or they’re in denial about it, and denial can be pretty strong,” Gecsi said.
Gecsi told ABC News that, until they talk to their doctors about menopause, even women in their late 40s should not assume they are unable to become pregnant.
“Most physicians who see women in their 40s should be counseling them on” contraception, she said.
The next step for the Browns — who only days ago had no plans of becoming parents — is to scramble to get a hold of a car seat, a stroller and a bassinet, according to ABC News.
And despite the couple’s shock, the new addition to their family was a welcome one. Judy Brown told WCVB that her daughter is already “daddy’s little girl.”
“When she cries, I am there,” Jason Brown said.
Despite his happiness, he told WCVB that his little girl will not have any siblings
“I will get the surgery before it even becomes a thought,” he said.