Janice Kerwick, 43, from Bexleyheath, southeast London, thought she was infertile because she couldn’t conceive for a decade. She had been experiencing stomach pains for months but three pregnancy tests were negative; she had even lost weight.
With the pain intensifying, doctors diagnosed appendicitis and prepped her for emergency surgery. But the mandatory pregnancy test just two hours before she was due to go under the knife revealed she was actually eight months pregnant.
Baby Arabella was born happy and healthy a few hours later. Janice and her husband Daniel, 39, call their little daughter a miracle baby after having given up on the idea of ever having a child together.
“I went from believing I was infertile and that I had appendicitis, to being told I am two hours away from having a baby,” Janice said. “We were both in complete shock. I didn’t really believe it was happening until I actually held Arabella in my arms.
“It sounds far-fetched, but I truly had no idea I was pregnant. I had dropped a dress size, I hadn’t felt kicks, and got three negative pregnancy test results.
“After so many years of wanting a baby, we had given up thinking it might ever be possible.
“It wasn’t a typical pregnancy experience, but it brought us our little miracle baby after all these years.”
The couple had been trying for a baby for nearly a decade. They believed Janice was infertile because she had been diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) in her youth.
“I always knew we’d struggle to get pregnant but it was still hard accepting,” Janice said.
Janice started suffering from severe stomach pains at the end of 2020 and was in and out of hospital for months as doctors hunted for an explanation. Pregnancy seemed the least likely option.
She said that, after taking three negative pregnancy tests, they had cycled through a string of possible diagnoses: from gastritis through to pneumonia and a severe stomach bug.
But on June 21, she was overwhelmed by even more crippling stomach pains, lost control of her bladder, and was being physically sick.
“I was shaking in pain. I’ve never felt anything like it,” she said. “I was terrified. I had no idea what was happening to me.”
After calling 111, she was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Greenwich for an emergency appendix removal after the paramedics suspected she had appendicitis. But just two hours before the surgery, it was found out she was eight months pregnant. And she learned the loss of control of her bladder was actually her waters breaking.
She said: “I found out I was pregnant just two hours before I had to go for the C-section. I felt completely numb at first like I couldn’t accept what was actually happening to me.
“I immediately rang Daniel who was like a rabbit in the headlights; he had minutes to drop what he was doing and jump in the car.
“I phoned my parents and they thought I was joking. I just kept saying ‘No mum, in a couple of hours you’re going to be a nanny.'”
Despite barely having processed the news herself, her C-section took place and tiny Arabella, their miracle baby, was born at 9:55 p.m. on June 22, weighing 5 pounds (approx. 2.3 kg). Doctors estimated Arabella was born between 33 and 37 weeks of gestation.
Janice could finally hold her baby daughter the following morning, which she said was a “tearful experience.”
“It didn’t feel real until I actually held her in my arms,” she recalled. “But as soon as I did, it was the best feeling in the world and I just burst into tears.”
Doctors explained that the pregnancy hadn’t shown as a bump because Arabella had very little fluid around her in the womb.
But despite the shock of birth, Janice and Daniel said it was the best thing that could have happened to them.
“We are loving finally having our baby after believing for so long it would never be possible,” Janice said. “She is perfect and everything we wanted.
“We are so grateful for our miracle and she was worth all the years of waiting. I think we’re still in shock a bit though—not many people can say they went into hospital for an appendix removal and came home with a baby!
Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.