College student says didn’t know she was pregnant until baby was crowning due to ‘cryptic pregnancy’

A college student has shared how she gave birth just 15 minutes after learning she was pregnant, as the internet declares: “New fear unlocked”.

Kayla Simpson was 20 years old when she welcomed her daughter Madi in November 2021, after rushing to the emergency room for what she thought was appendicitis.

In a viral video titled, “How I became a mom within 15 minutes”, the New Jersey-based TikToker explained how her daughter was the result of a cryptic pregnancy – in which a pregnant person is unaware that they’re expecting.

In a video with nearly nine million views, Simpson shared that she didn’t have any signs or symptoms of pregnancy. Simpson, who was a sophomore at Indiana University at the time, first experienced severe abdominal pain when she was at home and curled up in a ball. At first, her mother thought it was period cramps but Simpson informed her that she had just finished her menstrual cycle.

They decided to “brush it off” by taking some Advil and using a heating pad, but they “knew it was serious” when Simpson couldn’t walk down the stairs. When her mom drove them to the emergency room, Simpson said she was “in so much pain [she] couldn’t even walk straight”.

According to Simpson, she was given an ultrasound to rule out a hernia, ovarian cyst, or appendicitis. Her mother then noticed “something familiar” on the monitor which appeared to be “little feet”. The doctors then discovered that Simpson was crowning, and just 15 minutes later she gave birth to her daughter, Madi.

“Throughout my so-called pregnancy, I had lost 30 pounds, was the flattest I have ever been and had my period every month,” Simpson said. “Madi was a completely healthy baby and had no medical problems whatsoever. Within those 15 minutes, my life changed forever and now I can say for the better.”

Simpson jokingly added that her daughter “also pulled the biggest prank she ever will in her life”.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, as many as one in 475 pregnancies go undetected until around 20 weeks, and about one in 2,500 pregnancies aren’t recognised until labour. With a cryptic pregnancy, a person may not know that they’re pregnant because they don’t experience the common symptoms of pregnancy, or may mistake the signs as something else. Some women may also have occasional spotting throughout pregnancy, which could be mistaken for a period.

The viral video shocked many TikTok users, as some people called cryptic pregnancies their newest fear. “NEW FEAR UNLOCKED,” wrote one person, while another said: “Biggest fear.”

Others took the opportunity to share their own experiences with cryptic pregnancies. Surprisingly, many people in the comments had cryptic pregnancies of their own or were the result of one.

“I had a cryptic pregnancy as well, doctors kept telling me ‘it’s gas’… well, the gas turns 23 in July,” one TikToker commented.

“I’m the child of a cryptic pregnancy,” said someone else. “So wild.”

“My kidney infection is now four years old and my bestie for life,” a third person said.

Last year, another college student went viral on TikTok after sharing their cryptic pregnancy story. Teagan Brill was a senior in college in February 2021 when she gave birth to her son, Owen, a week after learning she was pregnant.

Much like Simpson, Brill also didn’t experience any symptoms or signs of pregnancy during those nine months. She explained in her TikTok that she witnessed no changes to her menstrual cycle, although she later learned from her doctor that this was not her period. She didn’t show in her stomach at all, and continued to drink alcohol during this time.

The Independent has contacted Kayla Simpson for comment.