Surprise labor as the result of an unknown pregnancy isn't the rarest of our unusual emergency room visits. In fact, TLC has a show, "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," devoted to the topic. But it's not a common occurrence, and when it happens, it shocks everyone involved -- including the patient.
In early 2010, a Michigan woman was surprised when she started giving birth in her home bathtub. Not only was she unaware she was pregnant, but her husband had undergone a vasectomy several years before [source: Sher, et. al]. A Kansas State student experienced similar shock when she delivered a baby into a toilet as she suffered from what she thought was a urinary tract infection [source: Heavey].
Unknown or surprise pregnancies often go undetected when a woman experiences none of the symptoms (weight gain, morning sickness, loss of menstruation) of a typical pregnancy. So when a woman unaware of her pregnancy goes into labor, she may assume the pain or abdominal discomfort she's experiencing are due to another cause. Or, when she has just delivered a surprise baby and makes her way to the emergency room, even veteran medical staff can be shocked.
Not all unusual emergency room visits involve human patients. Keep reading to find out more.