Becoming a Mom in 3 Hours (No, I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant!)

Sometimes as a mom I get the feeling that I don’t fit into the “typical” mom category. Whenever I am asked, “What was your pregnancy like?” I laugh, since my pregnancy and delivery was a total of three hours from start to end.

My reply: “I didn’t know I was pregnant.”

Next come the flood of questions. I understand it’s natural for a person to have a lot of questions, because it’s not an everyday conversation you expect to have with someone. The most common question I get is, “How could you not know you were pregnant?” That is a great question. I really don’t have an answer. I am typically that person that can tell in advance that I will be getting sick in a couple of days. Because I did not know I was pregnant, I feel at times I am not worthy of that mom title.

Before I even start, here are the top three answers to the questions I get asked all the time:

I took my birth control everyday religiously. (I had a five-year plan.)

My period came every month like clock work.

I did not have the typical signs or side-effects of pregnancy.

I didn't know I was pregnant

Months Leading Up to The Birth

This is what my pregnancy was like. As you can see, while there were a few “symptoms” of pregnancy, they always had a reasonable explanation. 

  • I slept every chance I got in the months of December and January.
  • My husband and I began a hybrid program of P90X and Insanity in February of 2012.
  • I ran two miles regularly.
  • I threw up once in the morning after an intense workout.
  • My ankles were swollen once after a long weekend shift at my job in July.
  • My last workout was a five-mile bike ride.
                                           Approximately 7 months pregnant.

Days Before Delivering

The day after my five-mile bike ride, my lower back really began to ache. I thought it was due to over-exercising. The next day went by and I could barely move. I had to work that night, but my pain grew worse. I came home and my mom handed me an ice pack. Without knowing she asked, “Are you pregnant?” My response: “I hope not.”

That night I was extremely uncomfortable. My back felt like someone was kicking my back from the inside out and there was no position I could lie in to get comfortable. I was also getting up about every 30 minutes feeling like I had to go to the bathroom, but nothing was happening.

The 3 Hour Stretch

I held out all night and decided it would be best to go see the doctor for my back pain the next morning. At this point I could barely move, and I have little memory driving myself to the doctor’s office. After being taken back to a room, I was told I must provide a urine sample. I thought that was odd, but was not going to question it. I really just wanted medicine for my back. The Physician’s Assistant (PA) was about to prescribe me some pain meds, but I informed her I had some abnormal excessive discharge.

The PA did an exam and ran out of the room. I was left with my legs up and wondering what caused her to leave suddenly. Later I found out she asked the nurse to do a pregnancy test on my urine sample I had provided. Once the PA came back she pushed on my stomach and kindly informed me,

“You are 10 cm dilated and totally effaced. The back pains you are having are what we call contractions. Congratulations! You are going to be a mom!”

Next, the nurse came in and said that it was a positive pregnancy test. I was instructed by the PA to call someone to take me to the hospital since I was in labor. I called my mom who worked down the street from where I was. Then I called my husband to inform him of the news that we were going to be parents that day! Before I knew it, the ambulance and fire truck arrived to the clinic. I was completely at a loss for words and didn’t know how I should be feeling since I had just been told five minutes ago that I was going to be a mom!

I finally made it to the hospital, and the next two hours were a blur. Answering questions left and right from the doctors, in the back of my head I only had these two questions that still stick with me today:

How could I not know I was pregnant?

Will the baby be okay?

My husband arrived, and once he was there I knew I would be all right, no matter the outcome.

The doctor broke my water, and within the hour my daughter was born with three pushes.

While I may not be a typical mom because of how I entered motherhood, I’m reminded everyday how lucky I am that I have that sweet girl of mine calling me, “Mommy.”



Angelica was raised in West Liberty just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Iowa City. After getting married to her high school sweetheart and living in the D.C. metro area, they decided it was not where they wanted to raise a family, and moved back to Iowa in 2012. They welcomed their daughter nine months after moving back. Then in 2018 added a yellow lab to their family. Angelica enjoys running, reading, and binge watching shows with her husband. She loves Disney, Reese's, and being a mom.


  1. What a great story! Thank you for sharing this perspective. This is one that is often judged in a harsh way. I am so glad that you and your daughter were both healthy.

  2. I have to admit this seems so far fetched. Great story but I don’t think you can get a positive on a urine test at 40 weeks. Hcg dwindles to almost nothing. Congrats on your baby!

  3. I can totally believe it! Aside from not getting my period, you can’t tell I’m half way through my pregnancy. And since we were actively trying through fertility treatments, I knew to test but without that it may have taken me months to know too. Zero symptoms thus far. I have only gained a few pounds and that can easily be chalked up to diet! What an amazing story to tell your miracle baby. So glad everything went smoothly.

  4. Hi Angelica, same thing happened to me this January.
    I found out about my son 3 hours before he was born. Never felt him because of where the placenta was, wasn’t sick at all, didn’t gain weight or have a baby belly and haven’t had periods in about 4 years anyway.

    Apparently it happens 1/2000 births!


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