Grab a cup of tea or coffee and a biscuit for this post. It’s lengthy but lovely.
As many of you know, in addition to doing professional photography, I work as a paramedic. It was in that role, a couple of weeks ago, that I happened to be at the emergency department of a hospital when something exciting happened.
Staff were buzzing about the patient who had come in with terrible abdominal pain and, unexpectedly given birth to a baby!
As you can imagine, it was much nicer than the regular trauma and other illnesses we usually deal with, so the topic was top of the list for conversation. I had all the questions for the staff that anyone would…how did she not know she was pregnant? When was the baby born? etc etc. Of course, as health care workers, we are required to maintain patient confidentiality so there weren’t too many details passed on.
While my partner was doing the paperwork for the patient we had brought in, I was imagining how the family might be feeling with such an unexpected surprise. Was it a welcome one or might it be too much for them. I made discreet enquiries and it turned out that, while shocked (hello! of course) the family were very happy.
For those of us who are parents, we know the amount of preparation and consideration that goes into welcoming a baby into the world. Imagine if you didn’t get any of that time! I really wanted to help them out a bit but, again, confidentiality must be maintained and I was limited. So, I sat down and wrote a note.
On a torn out sheet of my notebook, I congratulated the parents and extended family on the birth of their little one and explained that, while many parents get time to plan and save for the luxury of professional photographs of their newborn, I understood that they had many more basic things to consider and wanted to gift them a newborn session. I said I wouldn’t intrude anymore (let’s face it, not everyone wants photos of their baby) and I’d wait to hear from them. I attached a business card and gave it to one of the nurses to hand to the parents.
Hospitals are busy places so I never really knew if the note had made it to it’s intended destination or not…until last week when new mum, Sarah, contacted me. We organised a shoot and she, her sister and mum (proud grandmother) came with the beautiful Ethan yesterday.
Talk about a lovely, lovely family. Ethan is one lucky little man to have such doting family who have adapted to his unexpected arrival with so much love and pride.
Of course, I was dying to know the details and Sarah shared her story and has, very generously, allowed me to share it here.
I think you can guess my first question, I’m sure it has been everyone’s… how did you not know you were pregnant?
Turns out her monthly cycle continued normally and, while she put on a bit of weight, she didn’t really think much of it. Her mum said she noticed that Sarah was putting on a bit of weight but, again, it’s getting into winter and we all bulk up for the cold months (well, many of us do anyway). She had no morning sickness (neither did I when I was pregnant), no real cravings, although, in hindsight, she notes that she developed a liking for Fetta cheese which she didn’t have before. The only other thing, again in hindsight, that she developed was an absolute, unexplainable, distaste for a particular air freshener her mum used (now explained LOL).
I still couldn’t get past the physical changes though. I looked like a beached whale when I was pregnant and both of my children wriggled like crazy.
BUT Sarah is a dancer. She is super fit and dances 3 times a week (I think – maybe it was 5) doing cartwheels and the splits right up to the day Ethan was born. She leads a typical, busy live of a woman at university (studying a bachelor degree), dancing and working part time. No one knew.
To the day…
Sarah was at university in a dance class and was feeling a bit “off”. She developed abdominal pain in the afternoon and her mum took her to the local GP who gave her some strong pain relief and advised them to go to hospital because it could be appendicitis.
Sarah’s mum and dad weighed up between two hospitals equidistance from their home and decided the Northern would be a better run in the early evening. So, off they went.
Sarah said she was in so much pain, she thought she was dying. Imaging how terrible it must have been for her parents watching their daughter in so much unexplained pain.
She was triaged into a cubicle and, asked if she could be pregnant. She said she wasn’t because everything was pretty normal. Staff followed normal procedures and did a blood test and ultrasound. Nothing. Yes, Ethan didn’t show up on the ultrasound. This blew me away. How is that even possible. Afterwards, the staff said that he was probably so low down in the birth canal that they didn’t see him…
So, with no explanation, they dosed her up on morphine. Wasn’t much help though.
Shortly after, she needed to use the bathroom. Because she was so dosed up on morphine, the staff wouldn’t let her use the bathroom and got a bed pan for her instead.
Can you guess what the activity level was after she used the bed pan? LOL
Darling little Ethan made his way into the world via a bedpan in the emergency room at the hospital.
What a story he’ll have to tell as he grows up.
He’s such a chilled out little man – nothing phased him too much during our shoot and Sarah says he is an angel.
Congratulations to the whole family and welcome to the beautiful little Ethan.