When 25-year- old Lizzie Jenkin started feeling sick, she did what any of us would do – she went to the doctor.
Gastroenteritis was the prompt diagnosis.
‘The doctor explained the condition can make you feel tired and sick and cause abdominal pain,’ Lizzie tells New Idea. ‘He handed me a prescription and said to take it easy and rest.’
Lizzie, a medieval enactment enthusiast from Western Australia, did just that.
Two months earlier she’d met a fellow history buff, Will, 33.
The pair had felt a spark and started dating, so smitten Lizzie was relieved when her sickness began to die down.
‘I tried not to worry when I had heartburn or indigestion,’ Lizzie explains. ‘I just put it down to having a problem with my stomach.’
Life continued as normal. Lizzie – a deli worker – had never had a regular period, so when she experienced some light spotting she didn’t fret.
‘I loved work, especially tucking into cold meats and soft cheeses from the deli of a lunchtime and evening,’ she explains.
‘Things were still going really well with Will. He had met my family and they seemed to love him almost as much as I did.’
Then something terrible happened on the way to work one day – Lizzie was involved in a car crash and the impact badly injured her back.
‘For the next few months I was in agony,’ Lizzie explains.
‘I tried to ease the pain with a hot water bottle, which thankfully did seem to help.
‘I was also becoming tired much of the time, but I put it down to working long shifts and tried combating the fatigue by drinking numerous cups of coffee every day.’
While Lizzie wasn’t a big party girl, she’d enjoy the occasional glass of wine over dinner with friends – and when her family planned a trip to Singapore to visit Universal Studios, she gladly went along.
‘The roller-coasters were out of this world – swooshing and throwing us high up into the clouds,’ Lizzie recalls. ‘But at one point I felt really sick.’
With Will unable to make the holiday due to work commitments, Lizzie was looking forward to seeing him again – and when she touched back down on Australian soil, she headed straight to his place.
That’s when things took a strange turn.
‘I suddenly started feeling really under the weather. My stomach felt swollen and sore and I felt really sick,’ Lizzie tells New Idea, explaining she thought her gastro condition was flaring up again.
‘Even though it was only 8pm I thought a good night’s sleep would do the trick, so I took two paracetamols and headed off to bed.’
But by 4am the pain was becoming unbearable.
‘I paced up and down the hallway and Will’s dog, Nym, looked at me with concern,’ Lizzie recalls. ‘Will offered to take the day off work, but I felt sure it would pass.’
Just half an hour after he had reluctantly left her alone, Lizzie headed to the bathroom and felt a strange sensation – like something inside her was forcing its way out!
‘It suddenly dawned on me... I was having a baby!’ Lizzie recalls of her realisation.
‘I could feel this little human making their way out, so in the bathroom, with only Nym the dog to keep me company, I lay down and began to push.’
Mimicking breathing that she’d seen women in labour do on TV, Lizzie powered through and before she knew it, she was holding a baby boy – who was later named Henry – in her arms.
Needless to say, Lizzie – and Will, who arrived on the scene not long after – were both stunned, with Lizzie admitting the experience has been a ‘complete roller-coaster’.
But the couple were thrilled to discover baby Henry was a perfectly healthy 3.6kg.
‘A doctor explained the baby was facing inwards towards my spine and that was the reason I didn’t pop or feel any kicking,’ Lizzie – who remained a size 14 throughout her pregnancy – explains.
The nausea that had been mistaken for gastro was actually morning sickness, and the whiplash from the crash was in fact growing pains.
Despite the shock at their surprise arrival, both Lizzie and Will are besotted with their new addition, who has recently turned one.
Lizzie beams as she says: ‘I had never even held a baby before, but from the moment Henry entered my life, everything fell into place.’
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