A 23-year-old ballet teacher who found out she was pregnant just two hours before giving birth has revealed how she discovered she was expecting a child after going to the hospital to get treatment for a suspected kidney stone.
Lizzie Quah, from Bloomington, Illinois, relayed her shocking story in a now-viral TikTok video during which she explained how she traveled to the ER in the middle of the night after suffering severe cramps.
The mother-of-one described the pain as the ‘worst period cramps of her entire life’, and added that she was ‘worried she was having another kidney stone’ so she asked her mother to take her to the ER at 2.30AM on June 23 last year.
Surprise: Ballet instructor Lizzie Quah, 23, has revealed she found out she was pregnant just two hours before giving birth to a baby girl
Shock: The Bloomington, Illinois, native, pictured with her daughter Winnie June, initially thought that she was suffering from a kidney stone
New normal: Doctors only discovered that Lizzie was pregnant when they examined her and found out that she was actually eight centimeters dilated
‘So [I got] admitted and in order to give you the drugs for the kidney stone they have to make sure you’re not pregnant,’ she recalled in the video.
In order to administer the drugs as quickly as possible, Lizzie says the doctors performed a physical exam to ensure that she wasn’t carrying a child, revealing: ‘Because [I was] in so much pain, they ended up sticking a hand up there to make sure everything’s fine.’
It was then that she discovered that she was actually pregnant – and was actually already eight centimeters dilated by the time she had her initial exam.
‘Turns out [I was] actually eight centimeters dilated and in active labor and having a baby that night,’ she said.
Just two hours after learning that she was expecting, Lizzie ‘pushed out a full term baby [weighing] 6lbs 7oz’.
But while the ballet instructor’s pregnancy might have been incredibly easy, the birth was anything but simple – or safe. In fact, she describes it as the ‘most traumatic experience of her life’.
‘I found out I was pregnant in the ER with a judgmental doctor’s hands up my vagina, then four hours later I gave birth,’ she told Buzzfeed News.
Opening up: Lizzie recounted her ‘traumatic’ birth story in a now-viral TikTok video
Struggle: In the video, Lizzie describes being in unbearable pain and asking her mother to drive her to the ER at 2.30AM
‘I didn’t get an epidural because it was too late to help me. I was in excruciating pain, I had no idea if I was having a girl or boy, full-term or premature, healthy or sick baby… It was a lot to process while also in labor.’
To make matters all the more stressful and upsetting, Lizzie was also told that she was suffering from several incredibly serious conditions: placenta previa, toxemia, and preeclampsia.
As well as putting her at serious risk during birth, the conditions were also likely to blame for Lizzie not realizing that she was pregnant in the first place.
Speaking to Buzzfeed, Lizzie revealed that she essentially experienced no symptoms to indicate that she was pregnant, explaining that the pain she felt before going to the ER was agonizing, but didn’t feel any different to a kidney stone.
‘I had one around three years ago, and it was the worst pain I’d ever experienced,’ she said.
‘It was severe cramping [and] searing pain in my lower back and lower abdomen, it really felt like someone was pulling me apart from the inside out, which ironically was kind of what was actually happening!’
However, the idea that she might be pregnant never even crossed Lizzie’s mind, with the ballet professional explaining that, while she gained ‘a little bit of weight’, she put it down to the fact that she had been eating more unhealthily in the months before she went to hospital.
Agony: ‘It was severe cramping [and] searing pain in my lower back and lower abdomen, it really felt like someone was pulling me apart from the inside out,’ Lizzie said of her cramps
Obstacles: Lizzie was also told that she was suffering from several incredibly serious conditions: placenta previa, toxemia, and preeclampsia, which meant she was at high risk
Joyful: Thankfully, Lizzie was able to safely deliver a beautiful baby girl, Winnie June, who is now 11 months old
Lizzie also shared that she was ‘more tired than normal’, but she thought that was just the result of her increasingly-busy work schedule.
The mother-of-one also had what she thought was a regular period throughout her pregnancy, although doctors believe that the bleeding she experienced may actually have been the result of her placenta previa.
‘I had every period, but now that I’ve researched a little more on the medical conditions I had, placenta previa (or possibly anterior placenta, there’s really no way of knowing for sure which I had), I now know they likely caused bleeding that I mistook for a period,’ she told Buzzfeed.
Placenta previa and anterior placenta are both conditions in which the baby’s placenta covers the mother’s cervix. It can cause severe bleeding throughout pregnancy and during delivery.
Thankfully, Lizzie safely welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Winnie June, who is now 11 months old.
The ballet instructor is now openly sharing her story in the hopes that she can provide support and help to other women and new mothers.
‘Whether you knew you were pregnant or not, women deserve respect, understanding, and support while birthing and postpartum,’ she said. ‘I was lucky to have an amazing support system and I still struggled. Advocate for yourself, find support, and don’t try to struggle alone.’