When Samantha Hicks put on a few pounds, she thought it was just down to being in lockdown and going out less.
She had no idea she was actually pregnant and only found out she was full-term when she went to hospital with stomach pains.
Throughout the pandemic she has been feeling unwell and while she initially thought it could be because she was carrying her third child, two negative tests put her mind at ease.
She caught Covid-19 in November and was in hospital, where staff did ask if she could be pregnant but she said no. It is a routine question, which is only followed up with a test if the patient isn’t sure.
Samantha, from Portishead, North Somerset, had also been suffering from feelings of movement in her stomach but with a family history of irritable bowel syndrome, she thought she had developed the condition.
Speaking to the BBC, she said: ‘It never occurred to me I was pregnant as I had taken two previous tests which both came back negative
‘I felt a bit of movement but I thought it was because I had not been well.
‘My tummy was a bit swollen but again, because I felt sick and I wasn’t great, it never occurred to me I was pregnant.’
On Christmas Day, her husband Joe asked again about the possibility of her being pregnant but Samantha was sure she wasn’t.
Then on New Year’s Day, he had his hand on her stomach when he felt the baby kick and persuaded her to take another test.
This time it was positive but the couple thought she was only around five months along because of the previous negative tests.
Samantha returned to her job in a care home, even walking for 40 minutes to get there.
On January 11 – the day they were planning to announce Samantha was pregnant with their third child – she started to develop stomach pains and went to hospital.
It was only when baby Julia was born that staff realised she was actually full-term.
Luckily, Julia was healthy, weighing 7lbs 8oz.
With the couple unprepared for the baby’s arrival, friends and family rallied round to get everything they needed.
After staying in hospital for a few days for observation, Julia was able to come home to meet her brothers, age three and eight, on Friday evening and they are now getting used to being a family of five.
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