• Julia Sidwell

There's a baby under those abs?!

When Hayleigh Gettings started suffering with stomach pain, the 20-year-old partygoer had no idea that she was in fact nine months pregnant and about to give birth! Hayleigh had been told time and time again how she had an amazing story that she should get published and when she spoke to Tell and Sell Stories she finally decided to take action!

Hayleigh Gettings That's Life Surprise Baby Story

We published her story in The Sun newspaper, as well as both the UK's That's Life and Australia's That's Life magazines, getting her a triple-deal!

Hayleigh Gettings Surprise Baby Story

Hayleigh was like any other carefree 20-year-old. But she never expected to go from party girl to becoming a mother in just four hours when she was told she was almost 39 weeks pregnant.

No one else expected it either, especially when Hayleigh’s cropped tops revealed abs to die for. She hadn’t gained any weight and had done all the things you’re not meant to do when pregnant, including drinking her fair share of alcohol.

Hayleigh, from Consett, County Durham, had celebrated her 21st birthday in Newcastle with pals, drinking champagne and downing buckets of booze while dancing until the early hours. It was just five weeks later when she woke up with an unusual stomach pain.

Hayleigh, now 23, says: “That day I had a training course for a new job in a restaurant. The pain in my stomach was niggling me all day and eventually my grandma took me to see the doctor. He prodded my stomach and told me he thought I had blocked bowels. My mum who had joined us at the surgery said: ‘The pains sound a bit like contractions. Are you sure there’s not a baby in there?’ The doctor looked baffled and made me do a pregnancy test. We were all surprised when it was positive.”

But Hayleigh didn’t want a baby. She had never discussed having kids with her then boyfriend - having her own family simply wasn’t in her plans. She had been working towards a career in fitness - teaching classes and planning to do a course in rehabilitation.

The pains – contractions – were coming thick and fast now and the doctor was concerned Hayleigh might be losing the baby so he referred her to hospital. There, she was given a scan which showed something incredible.

“I couldn’t believe it when I was told I was almost 39 weeks pregnant and was six centimetres dilated,’ Hayleigh says. “As soon as I heard that I burst into tears. I was absolutely terrified. I had my whole life ahead of me and definitely wasn’t ready to become a mum. What was even more shocking was that I hadn’t noticed I was pregnant. I hadn’t put on any weight - I’d always been naturally slim and wore a size eight. I guess working in the local gym teaching exercise classes had kept me in shape and I was still wearing my much-loved leggings and cropped tops on nights out. I’d also been going out and drinking throughout the whole nine months, dyed my hair, carried my little sister around, taken ibuprofen, taken hardcore ab classes, spinning and boot camps, and I’d even been to Alton Towers, enjoying all the crazy rides there. Thinking back to everything I’d done during the pregnancy, I was worried that there would be something wrong with the baby. Thankfully she was okay.”

Hayleigh’s periods had never been regular so she hadn’t questioned the fact that she had hardly any during the last nine months.

Hayleigh’s boyfriend David* was in the army at the time and because she couldn’t speak for shock, her mum phoned him to tell him the news. After persuading his boss that his girlfriend really was in labour, he rushed to hospital and made it just in time to see his daughter being born. From finding out she was pregnant to meeting her baby had taken just four hours.

“During the labour, everything was a blur. Mum took my hand and David* took the other, then I started pushing.

I sucked on gas and air and was very sick. The pain was like nothing I’d ever felt before and I just wanted the baby out.”

“When my baby was born I didn’t want to hold her,’ Hayleigh says. “The midwife tried to put her on me but I told her to take her off. It freaked me out and I just couldn’t get my head around that the baby was mine.”

Eventually Hayleigh agreed to hold her 5lbs 3oz daughter, who she Layla, now two. Then the family rushed around buying baby clothes, a cot, nappies and all the other essentials that most mums have months to prepare for.

Since then, Hayleigh and David* have separated. Now Hayleigh is loving motherhood but it took a while to adjust to her new role.

“My family took the shocking news in their stride, but it was a different story with my friends. When they got wind of what had happened my phone wouldn’t stop buzzing! I was inundated with visits from them showering us with gifts. They just couldn’t believe how I had a baby inside me, and nor could I! People had lots of questions for me, but I was as clueless as they were.”

“I had to put my career in fitness on hold and, with Mum’s help, focused on Layla. Luckily, having experience looking after my little sister Molly gave me some experience.”

“Discovering I was pregnant and having Layla was such a crazy time in my life but it’s definitely worked out for the best, she is my world,” Hayleigh says. “My life has done a complete U-turn - my partying days are on hold but I’m not bothered.”

“No one can believe I went from discovering I was pregnant to meeting my baby in just a matter of hours. Whenever I tell people my story their jaws drop in shock. And I don’t think I’ll ever get over it either!”

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