Just hours after finding out she was pregnant, Caity Mason began active labour with a baby she was unknowingly growing while partying, playing sport and drinking alcohol over Christmas and New Year.
The 25-year-old Melbourne woman had even been having her regular monthly period, and showed no physical sign of being pregnant whatsoever, she told The Sunday Project.
When she saw her doctor on January 21 complaining of stomach cramps, she was told she was in fact 35 weeks and five days into a pregnancy and 10 centimetres dilated.
She was taken straight to hospital in the early hours of the following morning, and gave birth to her son, Flynn, the next day.
Ms Mason announced her shock news to Facebook from her hospital bed, telling friends and family she was equally as surprised as them.
“So I have some very big news! Much to my surprise I’m expecting a baby....no joke! Needless to say I’ll be here till further notice. I’m very excited and shocked but i have great support around me,” she wrote.
“This is my journey and my decision and I’d ask you to keep your questions and options to yourself.”
In an update on January 23, she shared an album of photos of baby Flynn, who was born at 5.18pm weighing 2.79kg.
“New Year’s and Christmas I spent on the Murray River skiing and knee boarding, wakeboarding, tubing; everything that you shouldn’t be doing. I played netball all through my pregnancy - rough games of netball,” she told host Lisa Wilkinson.
She said being pregnant was the furthest thing from her mind, having drunk “copious” amounts of alcohol at festive and birthday celebrations.
This all changed very quickly after she was told of the news of her surprise baby and was forced to drastically adjust her lifestyle overnight.
Flynn’s dad opted not to be involved putting additional weight to the new mum’s shoulders, but fortunately she had a sturdy support network in close friends and family.
Ms Mason has credited Flynn’s birth for bringing added stability and purpose to her life, much like another Australian mum Erin Bussenschutt who also gave birth shortly after finding out she was pregnant.
Four years ago, when she was aged 21, Ms Bussenschutt attended a doctor appointment to have a contraceptive device inserted, but was told the procedure would not be carried out because she was already pregnant.
She went into labour the next day while at work, and gave birth to her son, Andrew, who’s father had also opted out of being involved in their lives.
Despite this, the mum thrived after realising her new life path, and is now pregnant with a second child with her fiancé.
“He [Andrew] gave me a new purpose and a new reason for making something more of myself and he made me realise that there are more things in life that are important than what I was stressing about,” she said.
Professor Euan Wallace, an obstetrician and gynaecologist from Monash University, told the program it was not uncommon for women to experience a full pregnancy with little idea they were with-child.
“These pregnancies do happen, and the important thing is that when women say they didn’t know, we believe them,” Professor Wallace said.
Women pregnant with their first child and with strong abdominal muscles are most likely to experience no obvious physical signs during their pregnancy.