I didnt know I was pregnant until giving birth – all tests were negative

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    A woman didn't know she was pregnant until she gave birth at home.

    Toni Brown had no idea she was expecting since multiple pregnancy tests came out negative. But the 42-year-old went through labour at home in Essex.

    The mum-of-three said both over-the-counter tests and medics missed that she was with child. Toni originally thought she was suffering from a genetic thyroid problem.

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    Examinations and blood tests came back negative as did multiple pregnancy tests. The food and beverage supervisor then gave birth to baby Theo last month.

    While the baby arrived premature at 34 weeks old, Theo and Toni are now doing well. The mum said: "I was constantly in pain after the original symptoms started.

    "I felt like I was bloated – it was a lump in my stomach that wouldn't go away. I did pregnancy tests but they were all negative.

    "That's why I think when I went to the GP. I changed my diet in the hope it would fix the problem – but the lump in my stomach was still really painful.

    "In the end they misdiagnosed me with fecal impaction and gave me laxatives."

    Toni admitted herself to The Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow last week as she was in so much pain. Her sister drove her to A&E in the hope doctors would run further tests.

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    But after a long wait and brief examination, Toni was sent home after having an enema – an injection to cause the intestines to empty.

    That evening, Toni's husband, Gary Brown, 41, heard her screaming in the bathroom. He opened the door and his wife was sprawled across the tiles covered in blood and placenta with a baby next to her.

    Instead of finally being able to go to the toilet, she'd gone into labour and had Theo. Dad Gary said the ordeal was "traumatising" and he's still not over the shock.

    He said: "I had to scoop Theo up and wrap him in a towel. I was so taken aback at what was happening.

    "I called the ambulance who took Theo to hospital and it turned out he was born six weeks early. He was very premature at 3lbs and 7oz."

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    Gary added: "Neither me, Toni or any of the doctors we saw at the GP or the hospital had any idea she was pregnant. Her stomach was slightly raised but we thought it was just swelling from her stomach problems.

    "Thankfully Theo is doing well now and he is out of the incubator. There have been no complications and love Theo very much, and he's part of our family now."

    Sharon McNally, chief nurse and deputy chief executive at The Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, said: "Congratulations to Ms Brown on the birth of her baby.

    "We are unable to comment on individual cases and encourage Ms Brown to contact our patient experience team for further support."

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    • NHS
    • Pregnancy

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