Woman didn't know she was pregnant until labour started
A 21-YEAR-OLD woman who gave birth on Christmas Day, despite not knowing she was pregnant, has described her son as "the most surprising and best present ever".
First-time mum Leanne Carter has named her unexpected baby Joseph.
He was born at 8am on Christmas Day after Miss Carter was admitted to hospital with what she thought were just bad stomach cramps.
Speaking from her hospital bed, she said: "It was a big surprise – I didn't know anything about it, I just became bloated in the last four weeks."
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She said she had no other physical symptoms. Her periods continued as normal and she had not felt the baby moving around.
She added: "When I heard of these kind of things before I always thought 'how could you not know?'
"It's still sinking in a little bit but I'm getting there. It didn't sink in at all on Christmas Day."
Miss Carter woke up at 2.30 on Christmas morning with what she thought were severe period pains.
Several hours later, they had worsened and her mum suggested they go to the Queen's Medical Centre, in Nottingham, to find out what was wrong.
She said: "When I was there I went to the toilet and just felt the need to push. My mum had to go and get the staff and they asked if I was pregnant.
"They wheeled me in and the first time I realised I was pregnant was when they gave me the gas and air as I was pushing.
"I was shocked, then scared and worried and I didn't know if he was OK but then I was happy.
"I didn't intend on having children for a long while yet but I'm happy and I'm dead excited."
Joseph weighed 4lb 12oz and is said to be doing well.
His 21-year-old mum had recently started working at a shop in Ilkeston and said she had carried on normal life throughout her pregnancy.
She said: "I did a lot of heavy lifting – he's had it tough, but he's fine. I just carried on life as normal, did my day-to-day stuff."
Miss Carter, of Northgate Street, Ilkeston, said she would be moving with her son to live with her mum and grandparents until finding a house with her boyfriend, Scott Curwood and his son.
She said: "They're all very happy and dead excited.
"I told Scott straightaway, he was shocked but he's more than happy."
Doctors think Joseph was born around two weeks early and has suffered no lasting effects from his surprise entry in to the world.
Miss Carter said: "Joseph is definitely the most surprising but the best Christmas present ever.
"He's very quiet and quite sleepy – my mum says he's the spitting image of me.
"He's going to be tall, he's got massive feet and tiny little skinny legs."
Leanne and Scott had been planning to spend Christmas with their respective families, opening presents and having a festive dinner.
She said: "I don't like hospitals as it is and Christmas is my favourite time of year.
"It wasn't exactly how I wanted to spend my Christmas Day."
Alison Atkinson, head of maternity at Nottingham University Hospitals, said: "I'm delighted that Leanne and her baby are both well and happy.
"It's rare for a woman to give birth without knowing she's pregnant but I'm pleased that it was a happy surprise.
"It was also a lovely surprise for our team in the emergency department who were thrilled to be a part of this wonderful Christmas story."