(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
By the time the 22-year-old Allyson Opfer and her doctors realized that she was pregnant, she had been in labor for almost 40 hours.
“I went to the hospital that day, because I had terrible cramping,” Opfer, now 23, tells Reader’s Digest. “I knew cramps that bad had to be something serious.” They were—she was bringing a new life into the world.
“The doctor originally thought I had kidney stones,” she recalls, but “then they brought me back for an ultrasound, instead of finding kidney stones, they found a baby!”
Even more shocking was the fact that the baby was full-term and in need.
WOMAN WHO DIDN’T KNOW SHE WAS PREGNANT WITH THE BIRTH WHILE IN COMA
The baby was not the only one who is in trouble—Opfer was close to death himself.
“My blood pressure was through the roof,” she explains.
She had pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy-induced form of high blood pressure which can lead to seizures and strokes.
“They told me that if I had waited longer to come to the ER, I would be dead,” says Opfer. “The only way to save my life was to deliver the baby via an emergency c-section immediately.” Look for these 11 subtle signs of pre-eclampsia.
Remarkably, the German had no idea that she was pregnant. Women in the first trimester often suffer from fatigue and morning sickness, but Offering not the symptoms. During her pregnancy, she felt good, and when they came, they blamed it on the fact that she was not to eat or exercise.
MOTHER , WHO SUFFERED FROM A HEART ATTACK DURING PREGNANCY WARNING ABOUT RARE CONDITION
“I had no symptoms the entire pregnancy,” the German recalls.
They even had a pregnancy test when she realized that she hadn’t had her period in a few months. But the test was negative; she was not surprised, because her menstruation had always been irregular.
Experts explain that the German experience is more than people realize.
“Depending on the body of the bone structure, the pelvis and the rib cage can be formed to more easily accommodate a growing uterus in a discreet manner,” said Kyrin Dunston MD, FACOG, and many of “Her Brilliant Health Radio,” a podcast on iTunes. Read these 10 very early pregnancy symptoms you might miss it.
For women with an irregular menstrual cycle, says Dr. Dunston, the absence of bleeding may not seem like a big deal. She explains that the vast majority of pregnancy may go nicely for both mother and baby without medical intervention or help is needed. But Dr. Dunston also said that the German’s case underscores the need for regular prenatal care to protect the health of the mother and the developing baby—and for the management of possible complications, such as pre-eclampsia Opfer ago.
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Everything turned out well for Opfer and her baby 30 minutes after the mad rush to the operating room, she was with her new son, Oliver, in her arms. She recovered from the pre-eclampsia, and a year later reports that she is thrilled with motherhood. But she is not the only one whose “diagnosis” proved to be something totally different—these 11 people found out that their cancer symptoms are entirely coincidental.
This article first appeared on Reader’s Digest.