SYDNEY – A 37-year-old woman on a backpacking holiday Down Under gave birth in the bathroom of a hostel -- completely unaware that she was pregnant, The (Sydney) Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday.
Almost as stunned as the woman, identified only as Lena, were two Frenchmen sharing her room who were startled by the crying of the newborn baby girl.
Lena said she started to feel unwell late on Monday night with excruciating stomach pains, but put it down to gastroenteritis.
"I honestly had no idea I was pregnant, none at all. I thought I had a gastro bug," she said. "I just remember sitting on the toilet thinking I was going to die from gastro, it was terrible. Then all of a sudden, I pushed and she just came out."
The baby girl, named Bethany, was born a healthy 5 pounds, 5 ounces, and was in the maternity ward of a Sydney hospital with her mother Tuesday.
A few years ago, doctors told Lena she was suffering early menopause and her chances of having children were slim.
"I just assumed I couldn't have a baby. I thought I'd been through menopause, so that was the end of that," she said.
Lena, whose nationality was not disclosed, put a small pot belly down to eating a lot of noodles lately.
Frenchmen Mathieu Caron and Antoine Flinois shared a room with Lena for the past week and had no idea she was pregnant.
"I was working on my laptop, and Lena came into the room, but the light was off so I couldn't see at that stage that she was holding a baby," Caron said. "But then she said to me 'Help, help', so I turned my laptop to light up the room and then I saw the baby."
The Frenchmen -- who had been in Australia for just over a week -- sat Lena down and called for an ambulance.
"Wow, it was pretty full-on. I was shaking afterwards," Caron said.
Lena said, "I have had absolutely no preparation, none at all ... but it's OK, we'll make it work."
The baby's father was not identified in the report.