December 5, 2018

For Michigan mom Kelly Yakich, who was already 41 years of age, and on birth control, the odds of getting pregnant again should have been practically nonexistent. So imagine her surprise when, one night in June, she woke up with sharp contractions.

She expressed that she was “in utter shock” when an ultrasound revealed a baby inside her, growing up “behind her ribs.” After sharp pains began in her back, they traveled to the front of her body. Then, the bleeding started; before she knew it, she was in a hospital bed giving birth to her fourth child.

Yakich hadn’t complained of any pregnancy symptoms in the nine months leading up to the birth of baby Gunnar. As she explained to the fascinated local news outlets, there had been no nausea, no cramping, and no cravings. She hadn’t even noticed a baby bump.

The proof was in her arms, though. At 6 pounds, 4 ounces (approx. 2.8 kilograms), baby Gunnar was perfectly healthy and not at all a hoax.

This kind of remarkable story has been reported by TV shows and documentaries before, but the stereotypical “surprise delivery” tends to be related to weight. Obese women can be more likely to overlook certain pregnancy symptoms, and can even find themselves losing weight instead of gaining it to further mask their condition.

For Yakich, though, this was her second pregnancy shock—and in her case, there’s actually an incredibly fascinating explanation.

According to Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, an OB-GYN who spoke to Insider about the amazing story, the fact that every woman’s body is different can result in some pretty insane miracles like this one.

It sounds like something out of a movie. This Mid-Michigan mom said she didn't know she was pregnant until she was in labor! How could it happen? We talk to her, starting at 5.

Posted by WNEMTV5news on Wednesday, June 27, 2018

To start, Yakich had been on a form of birth control known as Depo-Provera. Administered to the patient as a shot every three months, the method can sometimes result in a woman failing to get a menstrual period—so when Yakich didn’t get one for the nine months leading up to Gunnar’s birth, she had just chalked it up to the side effects.

Many women also have pregnancies that lack all of the typical symptoms, such as nausea and cravings. Although they tend to be portrayed frequently in movies and TV shows, American Pregnancy estimates that over 50 percent of women experience nausea, not that it’s a guaranteed symptom. And for the majority of women, those symptoms stop altogether after 12 weeks.

Add in that Yakich is already a busy mother of three and it’s easy to see how any fatigue or small health changes could be chalked up to something else.

The biggest mystery is obviously how Yakich was able to avoid the physical changes—most noticeably a baby bump—with baby number four, which is usually fairly noticeable. Even for women who boast smaller pregnancy bumps, the gradual stretching of the uterus with each subsequent pregnancy usually means that later children show up more, not less.

According to her doctors, though, both Gunnar and her previous surprise pregnancy—a now-5-year-old named Beau—grew in a unique position that kept Yakich from “showing.” Both baby boys grew up, instead of out, behind her ribs and up against her back.

It’s not a particularly common phenomenon, given that it’s not a typical position for a baby to grow. The majority of women will experience slight differences in the way that their body develops, but it’s rare for a change that significant to occur.

In this case, though, it meant for a shocking summer night—which, of course, the Yakich family is embracing wholeheartedly!

Watch the video here: