She worked a ten-hour shift and ran a half marathon, unaware she was pregnant. But when Gaynor Rzepka came down with severe pains, her mom thought it was appendicitis. Instead it was a healthy baby boy who was ultimately born on the bathroom floor.
Gaynor, 25, from from Llantwit Major, Wales gave birth to baby Olly-James on February 16 weighing a healthy 6lbs 5oz. Unaware she was expecting the mom-to-be continued to work a ten-hour shift at the local supermarket right till the day of the birth.
Looking back, the only thing that the new mom can connect with pregnancy, is a sudden fondness for the chocolate Mars bars, and ‘putting on a stone around Christmas time.’
On the day of the surprise arrival Gaynor was working her shift at Filco as usual when she felt unwell. Her manager asked if she wanted to leave work early, but instead she finished her shift.
At home it was around 1 am when her pains started to get worse.
She said, ‘I was having a really sharp pain in the side of my stomach all day and I didn’t know what it was. The only way I can describe it is that it was like someone stabbing me in the right hand side of my groin. I didn’t think much of it. At about 5am I felt like I needed the toilet but I couldn’t go. I had another really sharp pain at about 5:20am and went to the toilet again. I stood up because I didn’t feel right. I just pushed and he arrived. I caught him before he went into the toilet.
She was really shocked.
‘My first words were just repeating: “Oh my God”. I didn’t know what else to say. I burst into tears and sat on the floor.’
Although it seems strange that a mother cannot know that she is pregnant, statistics show that one in 600 mothers-to-be might be unaware of their pregnancy especially those women who are approaching pregnancy, are overweight or have a very busy life.
Sometimes bleeding during pregnancy may also occur, leading some women to believe that they are still getting regular periods.
Gaynor says she had worked in the same supermarket for nine years and has lifted boxes as heavy as 25 kg regularly during these last nine months.
She added: ‘A few days before I had the baby I was lifting up bags of potatoes for the customers.’
Her family was as shocked about the new arrival as the mom.
‘My mum said: “It’s a baby”and my dad was saying, “Don’t worry, keep calm”.’
Gaynor feared her partner Paul, a 29-year-old bar manager would be as shocked.
“I thought, oh no, he will kill me, so I said to my mum to ring him. He was over the moon about it.”
She says she did not have any tell-tale pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, pain or heartburn. She also had her periods regularly. It was only around Christmas that she felt a belly and thought it must be because of the festivities.
Her mom, and new grandmom, 53 year old Tania who also works at Filco says, “I had been up with Gaynor all night. I thought she had grumbling appendix. I was sat on the settee watching the Winter Olympics and the next thing I knew she ran up to the toilet.”
“When I heard her scream I ran up the stairs, and half way up the stairs I heard the baby scream. I just thought, “Oh my God, that’s a baby”. I saw the baby and my maternal instinct kicked in. I put my arms out, took the baby and wrapped it in a towel. Then helped sit her down and wrap her up. She was quite white as she had gone into shock.”
First responders came within ten minutes of her call, and paramedics arrived soon after. Gaynor and the baby were taken to The Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend where she stayed overnight.
She said, “The doctors reckon that because I was so active throughout the whole pregnancy that is why I didn’t feel him move.”
The family is now making the required changes in their lives for the new arrival. They have been buying new clothes and things required for the baby. Luckily Gaynor’s older sister has two boys so their belongings have been passed on. Her partner, who works 4 hours away, is also trying to move back to be closer to his baby boy.
Gaynor says, ‘It was like having two shocks – the first was when he was born in the bathroom. But then when I brought him home from hospital wrapped up in a blanket. I never thought that would happen to me.
‘The sense of responsibility and knowing my life would never be the same again scares me much more than Olly-James coming in the night.’
The unexpected baby is also being showered gifts from unexpected places.
Denise Blackmore, Filco store manager said, ‘She was due to work a shift the following day. When her mum rang me that morning, I thought it’s not like Gaynor to be ill. She doesn’t take sick days, she is very reliable. When her mum told me I was a bit taken aback.’
‘Obviously we are really pleased for her. Because she is such a well-liked girl in Cowbridge, all the customers have been coming in and giving presents for the baby like balloons, blankets, teddy bears, and sending her flowers.’
Seems the baby did arrive to give his mom a well deserved break from work.