‘If you saw a photo, you would not think I was pregnant’
MOST new parents have about nine months' warning of a baby's arrival, but for Jessica and Shayde Aupouri there was only nine whirlwind hours to prepare.
The couple from Penguin, Tasmania welcomed a healthy baby girl, Wynter Jae Aupouri, into the world at 2.08am on Monday.
To say they were taken by surprise is an understatement - 30-year-old Mrs Aupouri had no idea she was even pregnant, experiencing what is termed as a stealth or cryptic pregnancy.
The married couple's first child was only detected during an ultrasound on Sunday afternoon, which confirmed Mrs Aupouri was an incredible 41 ½ weeks pregnant.
Hours later, she gave birth to Wynter, who weighed 3.4kg (7 pounds, 10 ounces) and was perfectly healthy.
It left the pair dumbfounded and their families stunned, while medical staff marvelled at the rare event.
"I wouldn't change it for the world. We are incredibly blessed. She's just perfect," Mrs Aupouri said.
Mrs Aupouri did not experience morning sickness, her periods were normal, she occasionally had a sore back she put down to bad posture and, by her own admission, gained some weight through eating too much takeaway.
"But if you saw a photo, you would not think I was pregnant,'' she said.
On the Friday, she suffered vomiting, diarrhoea and developed pains consistent with what she thought was a heavy period. But when the pain worsened as the weekend progressed, she went to the emergency department at Burnie's North West Regional Hospital.
Tests were done and an initial ultrasound found "something round" which was initially believed could be a cyst. But a secondary ultrasound revealed the true reason for her symptoms - she was in labour.
"[The attendant] said 'did you hear that?' … 'that's a heartbeat, there's a human in there','' Mrs Aupouri recalled.
"She said I was 41 ½ weeks pregnant and 3cm dilated and that my waters had broken on Friday.
"Within five minutes I was over at the private hospital and they were pretty much getting me ready to give birth to this baby. It was just so quick."
Mrs Aupouri said the couple, who married in July last year and recently moved to Tasmania from NSW, had always planned to have children, yet it came as a "huge shock".
"I had no time to prepare, had nothing ready and all I had was my handbag,'' she said.
Mrs Aupouri, who works in finance, had worked throughout the entire stealth pregnancy and regularly attended the gym, with no obvious sign she was carrying a child.
"The only thing that I really could remember was in January I had one week where I was throwing up every day and car sick, but I just thought it was a stomach bug,'' she said.
Husband Mr Aupouri said he was "over the moon".
"At first I thought Jess was just crook. We had an argument on Friday because she wouldn't let me take her to the doctor, but she finally gave in on Sunday,'' he said.
"The nurse came out to get me and there's Jess sitting in the wheelchair looking sad but happy at the same time.
"She said 'I'm 41 weeks', I said 'what does that mean' and she goes 'the baby's coming now'.
"I was a bit dumbfounded and I'm still a bit in disbelief.
"Words can't explain how I feel, plus I've wanted this for a long time, to have my own crew."
Mrs Aupouri's mother Sara Hardin said she was still "gobsmacked" by the chain of events.
Hobart obstetrician and gynaecologist Warren Kennedy said stealth pregnancies were "extraordinarily uncommon".
"I would say it's very rare. I have only ever seen it two or three times over the past 20-plus years,'' he said.
"Some of these pregnancies are ladies who are carrying quite a lot of weight who don't necessarily notice the change in their bodies straight away because of that.
"You can get very light bleeding during a pregnancy that can trick you into believing you're still having a period.
"I have had some patients who, and this is uncommon, who during the entire pregnancy they will have no great indication of foetal movements."
WHAT IS A STEALTH PREGNANCY?
A stealth pregnancy, also known as hidden, cryptic or undiagnosed pregnancy, occurs when the presence of the pregnancy is not realised until labour has begun and childbirth is imminent. Many different factors can lead to this situation, including medical issues, body size, absence or misdiagnosis of morning sickness, and unawareness of fetal movements. In many cases, the telltale signs of early and late pregnancy are either absent, underappreciated or misdiagnosed.
Friday, August 21 - Jessica wakes up at 3am suffering vomiting and diarrhoea. She also experiences pain caused by what she believes to be a heavy period and stays home from work.
Saturday, August 22 - Jessica remains sick and puts the symptoms down to a likely stomach bug.
Sunday, August 23 - The pain worsens and husband Shayde takes her to the North West Regional Hospital's emergency department about 2pm. Tests are done and an ultrasound about 5pm reveals she is 41 ½ weeks pregnant. She is told the baby is on the way and is transferred to the North West Private Hospital.
Monday, August 24 - Baby Wynter is born at 2.08am.
Friday, August 2 8 - Jessica and Wynter leave hospital and go home.