A woman who didn’t know she was pregnant went to hospital thinking she had period pains – and left with an unexpected son.
Rhea Martin, 24, had been to an A&E the day before due to a severe back pain. She was given painkillers and advised not to return for period pains during a pandemic.
The next day the crippling pain continued as Rhea, from Heaton Norris in Stockport, relaxed with her boyfriend Luke Melling.
She returned to the hospital and kissed her partner goodbye, thinking she would be out in no time.
The 24-year-old was stunned to be told she was going into labour.
She fell unconscious from the shock and woke up in a different room with a midwife telling her: “pull it together for your baby and push”.
With no time to process the news, Rhea was unable to call Luke or her parents to let them know she was pregnant.
She gave birth to little Myles Melling, weighing 6lb 7oz, at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport on October 20.
Rhea explained how she had failed to notice she was expecting as she had a “cryptic pregnancy”, where the baby slouches towards the mother’s back, preventing her from developing a physical bump.
She said: “Afterwards I called Luke and told him to come to the hospital where I met him outside.
“I told him there and then and the first thing he asked was if he was a boy, because he’s always wanted a son.
“We can laugh about everything now but at the time it was actually quite traumatising.
“You go into hospital thinking you have serious back pain and a bad stomach ache caused by your period and come out with a baby.
“We had no time to process anything or prepare so the last six weeks have been challenging and we’ve been so lucky to have amazing parents who have helped us out massively.
“In the first week after Myles arrived we kept discussing plans to do as a couple, then we’d remember we had a baby and the things we used to do wouldn’t be so ideal for a baby to join.
“It’s been a pretty surreal time but we wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Rhea, who was made redundant after the first lockdown, had just managed to secure a new job.
But because she had only spent four weeks in the role she does not qualify for company maternity leave or pay.
Rhea said: “Financially it’s been a difficult time. We had already started saving for a home together but have struggled to put away as much as we had hoped to due to the Covid climate.
“After coming out of hospital, I moved straight in with Luke at his dad’s house and we’ve been raising Myles there.
“Obviously for the last four weeks we’ve been in a lockdown and since Luke is a personal trainer he’s been out of work so we’ve had a lot of time together in the house.
“We’re really hoping to save enough to buy our own place next year but it will mean Luke finding more work so it’s quite stressful.
“We’re determined to give Myles the best start to life he can have, despite having absolutely no preparation.”
Rhea was a dress size 8 in March, but crept up to a size 10 in May. She assumed the weight gain was due to spending more time at home during lockdown.
She carried on doing home workouts up until giving birth and Luke, a 27-year-old personal trainer, never noticed a change to her body.
Luke said: “I was extremely shocked that I didn’t notice my own girlfriend was pregnant. Especially being a personal trainer, I felt rather silly.
“But Myles is the biggest blessing from what has been a strange year for us all. We had a few hours to turn from a new couple to a family.
“I love Rhea and can’t thank her enough for making me a father.”