Crystal Gail Amerson, a 29-year-old Florida woman from Pensacola, woke up with serious stomach pains on Sunday morning, which she assumed were from bad Chinese food she ate the night before. And while she was half right in her assessment that it was, in fact, a "food baby" causing this physical distress, the half she got wrong was pretty significant. According to USA Today, Amerson was 37 weeks pregnant—and her stomach issues that night were her first indication that she was carrying a child.
"I had Chinese food the night before and I kind of figured maybe I had food poisoning or something like that," said Amerson.
The idea that you could be pregnant for about 9 months and not realize the changes occurring in your body seems pretty unbelievable, but it’s certainly happened before. Amerson herself actually gave birth to her previous child without any signs leading up to delivery.
USA Today reports Amerson never experienced morning sickness or any dramatic weight gain the first time around. "I gained a little bit of weight, but I think with my first baby I didn’t notice either," she said. "I never gained that pregnancy shape, really. And then I wear scrubs to work because I work at a retirement home for Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. So guess the way they fit me as well, it was hard to notice anything or tell anything."
Fortunately for her, the human body has a series of alert systems that let you know something is definitely happening inside. "The stomach pains were just excruciating and I could hardly move," Amerson explained. "I think it was about 6:30 [a.m.] when [the ambulance] got there…It escalated so quickly that I was having contractions and we figured out kind of what was going on because at first we really didn’t know what was going on."
Now, although these things do happen, what Amerson experienced is extremely unusual, according to Julie DeCesare, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Sacred Heart Hospital. DeCesare has reportedly only witnessed pregnancies like this three times in her 20 years of medical practice. "Usually by 20 weeks you can feel the baby kicking," she said. "You can feel the baby move about 12 to 14 weeks in, usually, with a second or third baby. With a first baby, it often takes longer."
Although being oblivious to one’s own pregnancy might seem like a red flag when it comes to parental awareness, Amerson will definitely notice her child now that it’s here in the world. Her infatuation with Chinese food, however, has probably come to an end for good. "That’s what I was telling my mother-in-law, I think I’m traumatized from Chinese food," said Amerson. "I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to look at it the same way again."