Fourth baby comes without warning for Godwin mom
Posted February 9, 2011 7:06 p.m. EST
Updated February 10, 2011 1:54 p.m. EST
Godwin, N.C. — When Godwin mother Chrystle Michael gave birth to child number three, a baby boy named Nathan, she felt her family was complete.
"Three was plenty for me," she said. "I had my tubes tied."
Nathan was born in January 2010, and Michael, 25, had a tubal ligation shortly afterward. Fast forward one year and Michael started having unexplained pain in her abdomen.
"I was hurting really bad, like in my kidney. I thought I had a kidney infection," she said.
The pain persisted for two straight days, until finally Michael rushed to the emergency room.
"When I got there, they asked me, 'Is there any way you can be pregnant?'" Michael recalled. "I'm like, 'No, there's no way possible.'"
But not only was Michael 39 weeks pregnant, the pain she was experiencing was something familiar. She was in labor.
Besides gaining 25 to 30 pounds over the course of nine months, Michael said she had no symptoms and absolutely no idea she was pregnant. She blamed the weight gain on a sedentary lifestyle.
"I didn't exercise and eat healthy and stuff like that," she said. "I thought that's where it came from."
No weird food cravings, no kicking, nothing whatsoever alerted her to the fetus growing inside her. Michael said she even continued to menstruate.
"This pregnancy was nothing like any of the other three," she said.
On Jan. 24, Christopher, a healthy baby boy, became the latest addition to the Michael squad. Girls Aubrey and Alexis are 4 and 5 years old, respectively. Nathan is just over one year.
"Immediately I busted out in tears. What am I gonna do? I have no clothes, I have no diapers, I have nothing for a baby," she said.
Baby Christopher Michael – whose mother calls him "a miracle baby" – is a tiny little bundle of proof that a tube-tying operation is not an absolute guarantee against pregnancy.
"I had my tubes tied. If it wasn't meant for him to be here, he wouldn't be here," she said of the January 2010 procedure.
It's rare that a woman gets pregnant after the tube-tying procedure, but it can happen, said Michael's gynecologist, Dr. Thomas Giebmanns of Dunn, who did not perform Michael's procedure. After being tied, Michael's fallopian tubes grew back together again.
"Just big enough for an egg to pass through," said Michael.
Giebmanns said only 4 to 6 of every 1,000 tubal ligations fail.
Now, Michael said, her family feels more complete than ever. Four is enough; she’s having another procedure to seal off a larger portion of her fallopian tubes next month.