LeAnn Mowery, Kentucky Mom, Didn't Know She Was Pregnant
In a real-life example of something from the TLC television show "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," a Kentucky mother unexpectedly gave birth to a full-term baby boy in her bathroom on Dec. 30, and she had no clue she was carrying a child, according to WKYT News.
According to reports, LeAnn Mowery said she had taken several pregnancy tests, but they had all come back negative.
Ironically, Mowery often watched the aforementioned show and was critical of the idea that it was even possible for a woman not to know she was pregnant.
But, as the series suggests, Mowery isn't the only woman who's been caught off guard by a surprise childbirth.
Last year, an Oregon mother reported to the hospital after she thought her appendix burst, according to CBS. When doctors told Kim Nelson she was in labor, she thought they were joking.
The mother had attributed the extra weight gain to ovarian cysts and a bit of extra snacking, but she didn't suspect she was pregnant.
MSN Health also features a series of accounts from users who share very similar stories.
User ABMommy posted that she didn't realize she was pregnant until she was in her third trimester:
I've got to say that when I was seven months with my first son, I didn't know. I was very trim and small before I got pregnant. I was on birth control and still had a period like clock work. I didn't start gaining weight until I was almost done being pregnant. I didn't have any symptoms until later only because I thought it was gas and the kicks didn't feel like kicks. Just gas bubbles.
In fact, about 1 in 475 pregnant women are unaware of their pregnancy until halfway through it, according to a study by Marco Del Giudice, a cognitive scientist at the University of Turin.
Mowery and Nelson, on the other hand, are examples of the 1 in 2,500 pregnant women who remain completely unaware of their pregnancy until they've gone into labor.
In most cases, "cryptic pregnancies" aren't related to denial or mental illness. The mother simply has not experienced any recognizable symptoms, or the fetus produces low levels of pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which might cause the pregnancy to go undetected for a while, according to Del Giudice.