The worst thing a woman can say the day she gives birth is: "I didn't even know I was pregnant."
With these words, she brands herself a dolt, a liar or worse – an unfit mother – in the public eye.
The latest in the Clueless Mom Club is Kendra Reid, the 23-year-old Ottawa woman who gave birth to an eight-pound baby boy in her bathroom Sunday night. Reid thought she was having premenstrual cramps, she told CTV, but "one push later, out pops the baby right into the toilet."
Skeptics didn't buy her story. "I cannot believe that she didn't know she was pregnant," commented a National Post reader by the name East of Eden. "She appears to be a slim woman and surely her 'weight' gain was in the form of a baby bump and not 'fat.' "
Others accused Reid and her 33-year-old fiancé, Mitch Stone, of faking their "unexpected birth" to get free baby stuff in their Kijiji ad.
"Sorry, where is Child Services in all of this? What about prenatal care?" wrote an Ottawa Sun reader identified as Guest.
Clearly, nothing is more annoying to mothers than a woman who gets through pregnancy scot-free, avoiding morning sickness, crazed hormones and tedious examinations of their privates.
Even so, people love to pounce on "accidental baby" stories – the weirder, the better. Recent entries include the dumpster baby, the bathroom floor baby, and the one about the half-marathon runner who didn't know she was pregnant because she was so fit. (Sheesh.)
But as unlikely as they sound, undetected late-stage pregnancies do happen, Slate.com reports. Extrapolating from a German study published in the British Medical Journal, Slate writer Jordan G. Teicher estimates the probability of not detecting a pregnancy before labour to be about 1 in 2,700 in the United States. Some women have very irregular periods, including underweight athletes, anorexics and women with polycystic ovary syndrome, he notes. Moreover, the signs of pregnancy can be misunderstood. "Fetal movement? It could be gas or indigestion. Morning sickness? A stomach virus. Weight gain? Bad diet and lack of exercise," Teicher wrote.
Speaking to CTV, Reid said she used to watch I Didn't Know I was Pregnant on the Discovery Channel. "I always used to make fun of it," she said. Is her "spontaneous baby" in fact a hoax, inspired by TV?
Either way, Reid should probably stop going around saying "the actual [delivery] itself was over in minutes." Talk like that won't make her any friends at the local baby group.