Woman mistakes labor pains for food poisoning from Chinese food, gives birth to baby boy

Photo source: Crystal Amerson

A woman gives birth without knowing she was even pregnant. It sounds like something out of a movie, but for one Pensacola woman, it's real life!

After chowing down on some General Tso's chicken from Great China on Saturday, Crystal Amerson became violently ill.

"I was in excruciating pain," said Amerson. "I couldn't stand up."

It was the worst food poisoning she had ever experienced - or so she thought. As things progressed, Amerson realized something was very wrong and her fiance, Brian, called an ambulance.

"Before we could even get to the hospital, I had a baby boy," said Amerson. "So it was about 10 or 20 minutes after everything happened and the EMTs got here, that he was here. It was the quickest labor ever."

Weighing in a 5.2 pounds, Oliver James was born on Sunday.

I know you're wondering: how is it possible to not know you're pregnant? Amerson's doctor told her some women don't experience symptoms.

"She said it is uncommon but not unheard of," said Amerson. "So it does happen; it happened to us!"

Dr. Julie DeCeaser is an OB/GYN at Sacred Heart Hospital. She did not treat Amerson personally, but said in her 20-year career, she has seen three women who did not know they were pregnant, give birth.

"Some women have irregular menstrual cycles, so they might not notice that they've missed a couple," said DeCeaser. "Some women might just feel like they've gained a little bit of weight and some patients actually might be using a form of contraception. Nothing is fail proof, sometimes those methods fail."

The owner of Great China was not available to comment on the food baby turned real baby, but we did find James Elkins eating outside the restaurant. He told us he heard a similar story just a few weeks ago.

"Tom Thumb. There was a lady out there, that had one right in the parking lot and that was a miracle right there too," said Elkins.

To be safe, he's avoiding General Tso's chicken.

"I'm glad I didn't order that," said Elkins.

This is not something a fortune cookie could have predicted. Amerson is just happy she and Oliver are healthy. Now, the mother of two is fielding calls and messages from news outlets across the country.

"Maybe something good will come of it," said Amerson. "It will make more people aware that it's possible, it can happen to anybody, it doesn't seem like it. It's just so rare and unbelievable but it does happen."

Oliver is in the Sacred Heart Hospital's Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit for observation. Amerson said he is expected to be released from the hospital within the next few days.

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