Brit who didn’t know she was pregnant gives birth in Amsterdam

Hospital OLVG in Amsterdam
The OLVG hospital in Amsterdam Oost. Feb. 25, 2014Photo: Apus apusWikimedia CommonsCC-BY-SA

A British woman who was unaware she was pregnant gave birth to a baby girl at her boyfriend’s apartment, after taking part in a seven-kilometer run through Amsterdam. Charlotte Wheeler-Smith, 31, and OLVG hospital pediatrician Sophie Van der Schoor said the scary situation resulted in "a miracle".

“Everybody’s been very shocked but very supportive as well,” Wheeler-Smith said of those close to her, including her family back home in the United Kingdom.

“It's really a rare situation. Something like this happens about once a year, but this year it hadn't happened yet," Van der Schoor said. The hospital handles roughly six thousand births annually.

The birth took place on June 21, the new mom revealed on British TV show Good Morning Britain, while holding her baby, Evelyn Rose. She had consulted with a physician earlier in the day because of stomach problems, but was told it was likely just gas or irritable bowel syndrome.

An ambulance was called to her boyfriend's apartment an hour later, when Charlotte and her partner Dominic noticed that a portion of the umbilical cord had prolapsed. They quickly worked to deliver their baby in the apartment, aware of the problems that can be caused by an umbilical cord being delivered first. "I understood what I had to do and started pressing. And then she was there," Wheeler-Smith said.

The newborn girl was having trouble breathing, and Dominic started resuscitation procedures while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Paramedics transferred them to the OLVG where doctors continued work to revive the baby. Evelyn was then transferred to a neonatal intensive care unit, where she was treated for three days to minimize the impact caused by a lack of oxygen.

Shortly after, Wheeler-Smith and Evelyn Rose were out of the woods and allowed to go home. Wheeler-Smith had high praise for Van der Schoor and the medical team that provided her family's care.

“I’m really proud of Dominic and Charlotte that they were so calm," Van der Schoor said. “This is really a wonderful story.”

“Without all of that [support] behind us, along with this exceptional medical team here, we wouldn’t be here today,” Wheeler-Smith affirmed.

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