Ellie Johnson started feeling unwell in August 2018 and claims she consulted six doctors who told her she was not pregnant, but she was – despite having no symptoms and being on the pill
A student claims six different doctors reassured her she wasn’t pregnant – then she went into labour.
Ellie Johnson was having abdominal pains, but had no idea she was carrying a baby after taking three pregnancy tests which were all negative. The 24-year-old visited six doctors and had an ultrasound scan which all confirmed she wasn’t expecting. She was also on the pill at the time so it seemed unlikely.
The history student began feeling unwell in August 2018, but claims doctors told her she had a “blockage” in her body. The mum from Essex said: “I was on the contraceptive pill. I was taking it every day and even through my pregnancy, I was taking it every day. I didn’t really have any symptoms. I was still having periods every month and didn’t have a bump or anything like that.”
She first saw a gastroenterologist in October and had blood tests which didn’t detect any hormones showing she was pregnant, Ellie said: “The only reason I started going to the doctors was because I had stomach pain, was really uncomfortable and felt like I was putting on weight. I did a pregnancy test at home and thought ‘oh, it’s negative, it can’t be that’ and had six doctors say that I wasn’t pregnant.
“I went to the doctors and they looked me over, sent me for some blood tests and gave me a pregnancy test while I was there, and it came back negative. They thought it was something to do with my digestive system so I was sent to specialists. All of the easy stuff was being ruled out by tests and they thought it was quite serious and that I basically had a blockage somewhere.”
An ultrasound scan on December 20 failed to detect anything in her womb. But she realised this wasn’t the case the next day. After going out for dinner, she went to bed but woke up hours later with excruciating stomach and back pain. She threw up for the next four hours and her mum called an ambulance at 2am and she was taken to A&E.
Ellie said: “I went for a wee and it felt like all of my lower stomach muscles were just pulling and I thought ‘there’s something there, there’s something going on that’s not quite right’.” She called out to to the nurse who rushed in to examine her.
She recalled: “I said the pain was really bad and worse than it ever had been and they basically pushed me onto my side and her head was born, and that was the first time I knew that I was one, pregnant, and two, in labour. Her head came out and the doctors recoiled back from the bed and said ‘we need to get a midwife’ and pulled the panic button. At that point I had another pain and she was delivered on the bed behind me.
“I didn’t quite believe it. I thought I was hallucinating at that point as well because of the pain and then I had this bundle put next to me and cuddled up with me, and there was a little baby face. And that was the first time I kind of fully believed that this was happening to me.”
Ellie’s daughter Alicia was born at 5.40am on December 22, 2018 and weighed 6lbs 12oz. She claims she had been taking the contraceptive pill for six years and was advised by doctors that this meant that it wasn’t as effective as it should have been.
She was also told it was regulating her hormones, which is why her pregnancy wasn’t detected via tests. Ellie believes her pregnancy wasn’t spotted on the ultrasound because Alicia’s back was against her spine, which also explains the excruciating back pain she experienced during labour.
After her friends and family got over the shock, they rushed to her aid to provide the new mum with nappies and baby equipment – seeing as she’d not had time to get anything ready for Alicia.
Ellie said: “Because I was still in that panic mode, my first reaction was ‘I can’t be a mum, I can’t do it, please don’t.’ I spent 20 minutes alone with her and said ‘you know what, if my body could have done that, I can do it, it’s meant to be’ and I just fell in love with her at that point anyway.
“I rang my friends and they didn’t believe me, so they had to come to the hospital and they all cried. I think I was the only person that didn’t cry, because I was still in a bit of a blur.”
Now Ellie couldn’t imagine her life without Alicia, whom she describes as a “whirlwind of energy.”