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Surprise Pregnancy After Failed Vasectomy

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She gave birth at home ... but had no idea she was pregnant.

In 2004, father of three Ryan Emmons had a vasectomy. But last April, Ryan's family had the surprise of their life when wife Carri woke up in the middle of the night with severe cramps ... and ended up giving birth to a baby she didn't even know she was pregnant with. Hear the complete 911 call here.

Carri was concerned that her husband would suspect that she had cheated, but doctors say Ryan had had a failed vasectomy. They share their story with "20/20" tonight:

For men worried about vasectomy failure, doctors recommend checking semen samples at regular intervals to ensure that the tubes remain closed.

Are surprise pregnancies like Carri's on the rise? There is an entire TV show dedicated to the subject: "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," on TLC. And statistics show that one in six hundred women who give birth had no idea she was pregnant. How crazy is that?!


next: This Just In: Mom Gets Old
40 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lisa R. April 9, 2010, 7:26 PM

Does anyone believe that a woman could be pregnant and NOT KNOW IT??? I’ve been pregnant. I’ve had babies. How is it possible that you could carry a baby to term and have absolutely NO IDEA that were pregnant?! I don’t believe it.

Anonymous April 11, 2010, 11:55 AM

Lisa, some women don’t have ANY symptoms. Their periods continue normally, they barely gain any weight, no morning sickness or cravings.
It is possible for someone to not realize they are pregnant, especially if it is their first child.

David April 11, 2010, 11:57 AM

I work at a hospital, so I’ve heard stories that some large women don’t show. I can’t verify it, but seems possible on the appearances level. As for the other changes her body would’ve gone through, how do you not notice you’ve stopped having periods?

Anonymous Mom April 12, 2010, 7:31 AM

Some women don’t stop having periods, or bleeding at the very least. Even back in the 1940’s, my grandmother had “periods” the entire nine months she was pregnant with my uncle, who is now 68 years old. As he was her first child, I have to wonder how long it was before she even realized she was pregnant.

Anonymous Mom May 3, 2010, 12:23 PM

I used to scoff at women like that…how can you NOT know you are pregnant? Well, karma is a you-know-what. After two healthy children, my husband had a vasectomy last year. This Spring, I felt a little pudgier around the middle and had a bit of a sour stomach. Nothing AT ALL like my other two pregnancies. My periods were lighter, but I never thought anything of it because my husband was supposed to be sterile! Surprise, surprise, I am now 13 weeks pregnant and my husband and I are shocked beyond belief. We followed the urologists’ instructions and did the follow-up tests. My husband had TWO clear tests post-surgery. He went back to the urologist after my positive pregnancy test and his last sample had live sperm. So - it can and does happen. Why would this woman consider being pregnant when her husband was supposed to be sterile and she had no symptoms like her previous pregnancies?!?!

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Sasha February 17, 2011, 10:51 AM

I find it very very hard to believe that someone did not know they were pregnant. A baby moves around inside all the time. Unless this person was so obese that they just did not know by looking at themselves. But the movements inside her belly should have prompted her to go to a doctor! So I think it is BS. I have had 3 kids and knew right away that I was pregnant!

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