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One Tuesday morning, Katherine Kropas began experiencing aches in
her stomach and back that were so intense, she headed to the emergency room. According to the Washington Post, an hour later, the 23-year-old called her shocked boyfriend Dan Keefe and told
him that she was being wheeled into surgery to deliver a baby neither of them
had any idea they had conceived.
According to CBS Boston, Kropas was on birth control and had a regular
menstrual cycle through the duration of her pregnancy.
"I thought I had put on some Christmas season weight, but I never
thought I was pregnant. Never," she told CBS.
A 10-pound healthy baby girl was delivered by Caesarean section
at 11:06 p.m. Kropas named her Ellie, after her grandmother who drove her to
the hospital. Her parents soon joined them as they waited, awestruck, for news
of the baby's safe arrival.
Dr. Kim Dever is chair of the
Obstetrics and Gynecology at South Shore Hospital.
"Very often, especially in your
first pregnancy, you're really not aware of what you're feeling and we
often have women joke and say they're feeling gas pains or they can attribute
it to other natural conditions," Dever said.
Pregnancies that go full-time without
the mother realizing she is pregnant are called cryptic pregnancies. Support
groups for cryptic pregnancies are
forming across the country and online so that women can share their surprise
The South Shore Hospital where baby Ellie was
delivered reports that it ushers in nearly 3,500 births. Of these joyous
deliveries, they say there are typically one or two that catch everyone by surprise.