A COUPLE only realised they were going to be parents on the day their baby actually arrived.

Catherine Urch, 22, managed to get through her entire pregnancy without her or her boyfriend, John Parkins, knowing she was expecting.

The arrival of little Samuel Edgar came as a huge shock to the couple who thought Catherine, known as Cat, was suffering from a medical complaint.


Former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School pupil Mr Parkins, 23, who lives in Burnley, said: “I took her in (to hospital) thinking it might be kidney stone and now I’m a dad.

“It was the last thing I expected. I still find it hard to believe, even now.

“I can’t recall or represent what I went through, thinking she was going to die, to finding out I had a beautiful boy.”

Mr Parkins was spending the weekend with his girlfriend in her home city of Coventry when she suddenly went into labour and delivered the 4lb 9oz baby, who shares his middle name with both of their grandfathers.

He was born in the early hours of Monday after Miss Urch was rushed to hospital with stomach cramps.

Mr parkins, of Coal Clough Lane, who also attended St Theodore’s RC High School, said: “A nurse came in and said ‘how long have you known your girlfriend was pregnant’?

“I said ‘you’re talking to the wrong person, my girlfriend isn’t pregnant’.

“They said, ‘you have to come and have a look at this’.

“She was on the bed on her back, with a midwife at the bottom, and Cat said ‘you’ve got a baby’.

“Then it went blurry, and I almost fainted.

“They showed me this baby, and doctors and nurses were saying ‘this is your son’, and I went into shock.”

Until then, Miss Urch had had regular periods throughout her pregnancy, had not put on any weight, and had been taking the contraceptive pill.

She said: “I’m shocked by what happened but I’m over the moon. I think that we are extremely lucky and he is a little miracle.

“Samuel is growing strong and he’s been the talk of the whole hospital. Even the security guards know who he is.”

The couple, who have been together just over two years after meeting at university in Northampton, spend weekends together due to the distance between their homes.

Mr Parkins, who is set to graduate with an MA in journalism this summer, described Monday’s events and said: “Cat started complaining of indigestion.

“She’d had recurring stomach problems in the past, so she took a painkiller, but from about 9pm it started to get really bad.

“It got worse and worse so I decided to ring for an ambulance.

“The ambulance came about 1am or 2am, and took her to hospital.

“When we were on A&E a doctor came and examined her and said it was probably either acute constipation, an infection, or they’d check in case it was an ectopic pregnancy.

“Cat was sat next to me and said she was feeling a lot worse. She threw me out of the room and said ‘call a doctor’.

“They took one look at her and said ‘call a midwife’.

“She was carried off, and nurses took me to a family room.”

Baby Samuel, thought to have been born around 33 weeks, will be kept in hospital for around six weeks for observation but he is doing well and is due to be moved off the special care baby unit soon.

Mr Parkins said: “He’s quite healthy considering we didn’t know about him. We had no idea until the baby’s head was coming out.”

Mr Parkins said the couple’s families and friends had rallied round, buying baby supplies and ‘hundreds of outfits’.

He said: “They’ve all been fantastic, especially Cat’s family, because we’re here with them in Coventry.

“They’ve been nothing but wonderful and managed to provide tons of baby clothes.

“My dad drove down from Burnley straight after work on Monday. It took him four and a half hours. He’s very happy to be a granddad.”

Mr Parkins said the couple had yet to decide where they will set up home as a family, but will spend the next few weeks in Coventry while Samuel is in hospital.

He said: “I’m starting to come to terms with it now. I’m happy I’ve got a beautiful baby boy, but it’s terrifying.

“My life’s changed completely, and I don’t know what I’m going to do. I still live in Burnley.

“I’m overwhelmed really. I don’t know how to describe the way I feel.”

The Lancashire Telegraph’s health expert Dr Tom Smith said: “It’s extremely unusual. I doubt if many GPs will have ever seen a case like this in their lifetime.

“It’s difficult to understand how it happened if she was taking the pill every day.

“It’s very rare, particularly if she was having periods. One of the problems of the pill is that you do get little residual bleeds, which are not a full period, which is maybe what she was experiencing.

“It will happen maybe once in a GP’s lifetime, if that. I’ve been a GP for many years and never seen it. It’s very unusual.”