Pregnancy. Most moms will tell you that it’s simultaneously the most beautiful and the most difficult thing on the planet. After all, nine months is a long time! That’s almost a year of a growing belly, swelling ankles, back pain, melasma, sickness, weird cravings, and just about any other symptom under the sun. I don’t know from experience, but I have to imagine that this can really take a toll on a person both physically and mentally.
Plus, there’s all the new clothing you have to buy, new vitamins you have to take every month, and a whole host of other expenses and inconveniences! Then when it’s almost time for the baby to arrive, you have to set up a nursery, strap in a car seat, baby-proof the house, stock up on diapers, and the list goes on and on.
The blessing in having 9 months of pregnancy is that you have plenty of time to prepare….or such is the case for most mothers, anyway. For 23-year-old cheerleading coach Ally Opfer, things were a little different.
You see, she didn’t know she was pregnant until 30 minutes before giving birth to her son, Oliver.
In a blog post for Love What Matters, this mom detailed her harrowing journey from typical 23-year-old to new mother in one day.
Here’s how her story started:
I woke up the morning of December 21, 2016, feeling absolutely normal, not knowing what I was about to go through. Just a couple hours later, I started feeling some minor cramping and brushed it off as nothing. It gradually became a little more painful throughout the day so I figured it was that time of the month for me as I had started bleeding a bit too. I went on with my day as normal and ignored the cramps that seemed to get a little stronger.
But the hits kept on coming. After a long day at work, Ally came home and succumbed to the pain. She tried to take ibuprofen but the cramps would not quit. She was eventually in the fetal position on her floor.
She tried to muscle through the pain, but eventually, she just had to go to the hospital to see what was going on. When she arrived, she went through all the usual ER motions. They took her vitals, asked her questions, and started her on an IV. Then the nurse said it seemed like she was experiencing labor. In her words:
At this point, I had symptoms of labor but we had told them I took a pregnancy test and it came back negative, and I obviously didn’t look pregnant so there was just no way I was pregnant. The nurse wanted my mom to keep track of my ‘cramps’ to see how long they lasted and how far apart they were… you know, because they seemed like contractions.
Around the same time, the doctor came back and said that it appeared she had some sort of infection since her white blood cell count was high.
The doctor then felt her abdomen and came across a hard lump. He thought it might be kidney stones and said that if that happened to be the case, she’d need emergency surgery.
They took an ultrasound to be sure, and then the nurse asked one more time: “Are you pregnant?” With a firm “no,” Ally assured her that it wasn’t possible. Still, the nurse had a funny look on her face and called the doctor back in. That’s when she learned the unthinkable.
The doctor said, “You’re 38 weeks pregnant and 10 centimeters dilated.” Ally was absolutely stunned. The image below was taken not long before the labor and as she states in her essay, she didn’t even show.
They took her to the delivery room and found that her vitals were looking bad. Her blood pressure was extremely high and she was on the verge of a stroke. She was told by the doctor that if she’d have waited any longer, she would have died. They had to do an emergency C-section. Even as she laid on the table, she could not believe she was pregnant. She was convinced that they’d find something in there that was not a baby.
Doctors successfully performed the C-section and with tear-filled eyes, Ally and her mother welcomed little Oliver David Opfer into the world! After a whirlwind night, Ally was officially the mother of the first Opfer boy in 43 years! They made all the necessary phone calls and family and friends streamed in through the next day to welcome the unexpected bundle of joy into the world.
How’s that for an incredible birth story? Despite his rocky journey into the world, he’s a happy, healthy little guy and his mama couldn’t possibly love him more.