A shop assistant who thought she was suffering from terrible period pains was amazed when she was told she was actually nine months pregnant and had gone into labour.
Sarah Ireland, 23, had been bouncing blithely on a trampoline to celebrate the Royal Wedding just weeks before.
The new mother from Scarborough in North Yorkshire said she only found out she was giving birth to a son when she was in the back of an ambulance on the way to hospital.
During her unknown pregnancy, she actually dropped a dress size from 16 to 14 and did not take a single day off work. She didn’t suffer from morning sickness and went out frequently with her friends.
Her son Stanley Joseph, who weighed in at 7lbs 8oz, was born in the early hours of May 31, two weeks late.
She said: ‘I had been at work all day and went to bed at 8.30 but just could not get comfortable. I assumed I had monthly pains so I took some paracetamol and got a hot water bottle.
‘But I wasn’t improving. I live with my mum so I woke her up at 3am and she ran me a bath thinking it would ease the pain.
‘I asked my mum to dial 999 but she didn’t for two hours, she said ‘you don’t call an ambulance for period pains do you?’
‘We finally called for an ambulance, and at first I was in so much pain the paramedics thought my appendix had burst, but then they recognised I was having contractions from how much I was crying and how I was behaving.
‘Everything happened so quickly it was surreal. Then the ambulance man said ‘I can see a baby’s hair’.
‘I just went into complete shock, he was born in just four minutes in the back of the ambulance on the way to Scarborough hospital.
‘On the day of the Royal Wedding I was using the trampoline in my aunty’s garden, it’s amazing to think I was eight months pregnant at the time.’
Stanley spent five days in the special care baby unit as he was suffering from hypothermia and at first Sarah said she struggled to bond with him.
‘They took him to the special baby unit when he was just five hours old. I think I was in denial, I still didn’t really want to hold him,’ she said.
‘Even when we took him home in the car it still hadn’t sunk in he was mine.
‘It didn’t feel real until about two weeks after when things had calmed down a bit and I was alone at home with him. Then I felt I could bond with him, hold him, and feed him. He’s doing brilliantly and I love him to bits.’
His second name is Joseph in honour of the ambulance man who helped deliver him.
Sarah is now adjusting to the surprise addition to the family with her mother Brenda and sisters Aimee, 12, and eight-year-old Kacey.
Brenda, who works in a fish and chip shop, said: ‘I was shocked at first but I am delighted. He is gorgeous, how can you not be pleased?
‘Everyone has been so supportive and generous. We have been given four prams, six Moses baskets and bags of clothes.’
Mike Wright, A&E locality manager for the Scarborough area at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: ‘On behalf of the Trust I would like to offer our congratulations to the family on their new arrival.
‘It is nice when our staff can use their skills and expertise, not only to help save a life, but to bring a new life into the world.’