Couple Seeks Advice Following "Cryptic" Birth, and Reddit Had Plenty of Wisdom to Share
The show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant had a two-year run on Discovery Life and TLC from 2009 to 2011. ICYMI, each episode featured two or more women who didn't know they were pregnant until they went into labor.
Not knowing that you're carrying a child might seem unbelievable, but it does happen, albeit rarely. Research shows approximately 1 in 2,500 people don't know they aren't pregnant until delivery.
A couple recently became the "one" in 2,500, and the surprised new dad took to Reddit to share the news and ask for some advice.
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"So, the craziest thing happened today," wrote u/RubyOnRailsOP in the Parenting subreddit.
Readers would soon learn that may be the understatement of the year.
"My wife and I suddenly became parents to a baby boy," he continued. "We had no idea my wife was expecting, and I drove her to the ER for some cramps to find out she is in labor."
The good news: Though the baby was born prematurely at 31 weeks, the unexpecting father says mom and baby are both doing well. He's excited to see his new baby, who is currently in NICU, tomorrow, but he's understandably stunned and overwhelmed.
"We weren't planning on having any kids, so we are both grossly under-prepared," he wrote. "Any advice or encouragement would be [greatly] appreciated."
In less than a day, nearly 450 Redditors have poured in with advice for the new parents.
Some of it was practical.
"Diapers, wipes, a crib, a car seat, onesies, zipper pajamas, swaddle blanket, bottles, formula (if necessary), pacifiers, a baby tub, and baby soap [are] pretty much all you need for a few months. Then, you buy as you need. A stroller, bouncy chair, high chair, [and] baby swing might be on your wish list," one person wrote.
"Only buy what you absolutely need. I know the wipe warmer sounds amazing, but it's an expense you don't need. My daughter stayed in a pack and play for the first four months of her life. I didn't buy a high chair until she was ready to eat solids," said another.
And others offered insights into less tangible aspects of parenting.
"My only advice is to take all advice with a grain of salt. When it comes to having a newborn, everyone you meet has advice (even if you don't ask for it). When in doubt, trust your instincts," wrote another.
"Make sure to take care of your wife. Her hormones will be all over the place, and she might cry a lot. Make sure she gets metal healthcare if she ever needs it (PPD is pretty common)," advised another.
Unfortunately, people who give birth unexpectedly may be more likely to experience postpartum depression or other forms of distress. Additionally, cryptic pregnancies can lead to complications, including higher risks for prematurity and death.
About 1 in 475 pregnancies qualify as cryptic, or stealth, pregnancies, meaning a pregnancy isn't detected until 20 weeks. So, how could these pregnancies go undetected until the mid-way point or even until a person goes into labor?
Experts say that a few common reasons include lack of pregnancy symptoms and false negatives on pregnancy tests. Some people have irregular menstrual cycles for various reasons, including amenorrhea from participating in intense sports or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). These individuals may not think twice if they skip several cycles. Other times, a person may be in denial and experiencing a mental health issue.
Experts share that it's essential to seek medical care if you're experiencing pregnancy symptoms, even if you don't see those two lines appear on an at-home test. Doctors can order bloodwork and ultrasounds to be sure.