A woman who said she didn’t know she was pregnant arrived at the hospital and delivered a 10-pound baby girl hours later, a Michigan newspaper reported.
Linda Ackley, 44, said she thought she had a hernia. She’d been told she couldn’t bear children.
“She is our miracle baby,” the stunned new mother, who gave birth on Feb. 8 by emergency C-section, told the Jackson Citizen Patriot. The couple named the little girl Kimberly Kay.
Her husband, Mike, got the news over the telephone.
“Some people have nine months to prepare. I had  hours,” he said. “I wish someone would have taken a picture of my face.”
Surprise births occur regularly, an OB-GYN in Cleveland told ABCNews.com.
“It happens more than you would think,” said Dr. Kimberly Gecsi, who works at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland.
“Every time it does there’s always the, ‘How could they not have known? It seems crazy.'”
Gecsi gets two or three cases of this type on average every year, she said. It occurs mostly among young women, who she said are in denial.
“Teenagers will until the day they die say I don’t have sex, so it just doesn’t occur to people,” she said.
But sometimes even doctors miss the seemingly obvious.
“I’ve had patients sent to me by family practitioners convinced the patient had cancer,” Gecsi said.
Though babies born to unprepared mothers are often born healthy – as the Michigan baby was last week – missed prenatal care isn’t a good thing, said Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a senior medical contributor for ABC News who has a private OB-GYN in New Jersey.
Her advice to women of child-bearing age: “Be familiar with your own body and pay attention to the way in which it talks to you. Prenatal care is really important for not just the baby but the mother also,” said Ashton,