Nolly Mdalana of Mthatha was on the pill and had no plans of becoming a mom – but nature found a way.
The cramps were painful enough to wake Nolly in the early hours of the morning.
“At first I thought they were stomach cramps but they got worse and felt like period pains,” Nolly (26) tells us.
Little did she know the mystery pains were in fact contractions and she was about to give birth – but she had no idea she was pregnant.
“I felt bloated and made multiple trips to the bathroom but nothing happened,” she says of that night. Her partner gave her painkillers after finding Nolly folded up in a foetal position on the bathroom floor.
“Just a couple of minutes after taking the painkillers the pain subsided and I went back the loo,” she recalls.
“When I was finished in the bathroom and I had just put my head on the pillow, I felt a sharp pain shoot up my spine, like an iron rod had been stuck up my backside.”
Nolly leapt out of bed and rushed back to the bathroom, screaming and terrified. “I suddenly felt the urge to push,” she recalls. “I just thought ‘I want to get whatever is in me, out of me,’ not knowing that it would be a baby.”
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After pushing a few times Nolly felt something.
“I looked up at my boyfriend and hysterically said ‘there’s a head coming out of me!’”
Nolly gently tugged at the head and the rest of the baby quickly followed. “She was so slippery she almost fell into the toilet,” she adds.
“I scooped her up and was in total disbelief. I held her up in the air like the cub Simba in The Lion King,” she says with a laugh. “My boyfriend and I were completely shocked. We couldn’t believe that we’d just become parents.
“We swaddled the baby in towels with the umbilical cord still attached and rushed off to the hospital.”
When they arrived at the hospital Nolly was still in shock and worried about her baby girl.
“I was so traumatised by everything and I just cried whenever I thought about my baby.”
Nolly said she had no idea she was pregnant until she gave birth on 17 April. She’d gained a little weight in recent weeks, but she’d attributed that to an unhealthy diet.
“My belly had gained a little bit of weight and so had my breasts but it wasn’t anything that made me think I was pregnant.”
Doctors told her that she has a retroverted uterus, which means it’s curved in the opposite direction of an anteverted uterus, as it tilts towards the abdomen.
A retroverted uterus faces the lower back, and as a result this kind of pregnancy can go unnoticed as the belly doesn’t protrude and the foetus’ kicks aren’t as noticeable.
The newborn, Sipesihle, whose name means “beautiful gift” weighed 2,5kgs, had no complications and mother and child were discharged from the hospital two days later.
“I now have a permanent cuddle buddy,” Nolly says lovingly.
“I’m still trying to make sense of what happened and how I fell pregnant, because it was all really traumatic.
“My family and friends have been so supportive. I don’t know what I would’ve done without them,” she adds.
Nolly, who recently left Johanesburg and was in the process of job hunting after moving back home to the Eastern Cape, says becoming a mom wasn’t something she wanted for herself right now.
“But I’m here now and I’ll try my best to give my baby girl the world.”
Additional sources: Health Line, Better Health, Insider