Holly Henton thought she’d just got her period when she started experiencing cramps.
But later that day, the pain got much worse and she collapsed, meaning she had to go to hospital.
The 23-year-old coffee shop worker, from Market Harborough, Leics, was rushed to hospital – and she was shocked when doctors told her that she was actually 41 weeks pregnant and about to give birth.
She had no idea she was having a baby as she’s had no symptoms and was still having regular periods.
Stunned Holly was rushed into theatre where her son Theo was born weighing 7lb 14oz by emergency C section.
Now a proud mum to seven-month-old Theo, Holly says she can’t imagine her life without him.
She said: ‘I was still getting my periods as normal and there was nothing unusual going on.
‘I’d put on a little bit of weight but it was just after Christmas and nothing that you would make you think I’m having a baby.
‘I’d put on a couple of pounds but it was around my bum and thighs so I thought it was just from overindulging on chocolate over the festive break.
‘I hadn’t had any of the normal symptoms, no cravings, sickness or nausea either.’
Because she didn’t know she was pregnant, she’d been smoking, drinking and having lots of caffeine throughout.
She said: ‘When they told me I was 41 weeks pregnant I went into shock.
‘I knew I wanted kids one day but further down the line when I was in a happy healthy relationship and older.
‘I was 22 and had no idea I was pregnant so I had still been smoking and going out drinking every weekend with my friends.
‘I used to cover the early shift at Costa so I would get there for 5am and have four coffees before we’d even opened and another two or three during the day.
‘I wouldn’t have done any of that had I known but luckily Theo was still perfectly healthy.
‘It’s been emotional and stressful but it’s also been amazing watching him grow and seeing my bond and connection grow with him every day, I wouldn’t change anything for the world.’
The Costa Coffee barista, she had just helped to shut up her shop for lockdown when she started getting cramps, but dismissed them as pre-menstrual pains.
When normal painkillers did nothing, she became more concerned but it wasn’t until she collapsed on the toilet in the early hours of the morning that her mum, Joanna, 54, decided to ring an ambulance.
Eventually, Holly was taken to Leicester Royal Infirmary for initial checks before she was transferred to Leicester General, where a gynaecologist confirmed she was 41 weeks pregnant, but as her waters still hadn’t broken she would need an emergency c-section.
She said: ‘I started getting pains but I was due on my period so I thought it was just cramps and took some paracetamol.
‘That didn’t touch it and the pain was getting steadily worse.
‘I woke up at 5am in excruciating pain and went to the toilet but I couldn’t get back up, the pain was so bad.
‘When I got to the hospital they were asking about my periods but they said it was probably just water retention.
‘When I saw the gynaecologist he told me I was pregnant but I was just stunned, I didn’t even believe him at first.
‘After that it was all kind of a blur, it didn’t even feel real, everyone was rushing around me and I just remember shaking and feeling like I was going to pass out because I was so scared.’
After the c-section, they gave him to Holly and she realised she was a mum. She’s broken up with her ex, Theo’s dad, in August, with no idea she was having his baby.
She said: ‘I broke down in tears and said I’m not ready for this, I’m going to be a single mum, how are we going to manage.
‘There wasn’t that instant connection you have when you’re planning to have a baby and looking forward to it, but I told myself I needed to get on with it and look after this baby.’
Giving birth just as lockdown hit, Holly was able to have her mum there for the birth, she was forced to spend the majority of her four days in hospital alone.
She reached out to Theo’s dad to tell him the news and now the pair have decided to stay friends, working together to raise their surprise son.
She added: ‘I didn’t tell people for a few weeks because I was still coming to terms with it myself, but when I did tell people everyone was amazing, they were coming round with nappies, clothes and all sorts for Theo.
‘My mum was amazing, she was running around getting everything ready for us coming home and was teaching me and showing me how to do things.
‘After a while I started to feel like I was falling in love with him because he was always so happy and content.
‘I would pick him up and he would start smiling and I realised maybe this baby is exactly what I need.
‘I’m so happy now, I can’t imagine my life being any different.’
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