She was the surprise of a lifetime.
When Covington resident Jeanne Hecker checked into St. Tammany Parish Hospital on Saturday night, she thought she was just having stomach pains. But within minutes, she was giving birth to a healthy baby girl.
“I went in; I thought there was something else going on, but they said, ‘No, you’re in labor,’ ” said Hecker, a 34-year-old cashier. “Five, 10 minutes later, there’s a baby!”
Kylah Grace was born “perfectly healthy” at 7:57 p.m., Hecker said. She weighed 6 pounds, 3 ounces, measured in at 18.5 inches and was born with a full head of dark brown hair.
For her mother, Kylah Grace is more than just a surprise — she’s a little bit of a miracle, too. Because of a medical condition, Hecker didn’t think she could get pregnant.
“This is crazy,” Hecker said by phone Sunday afternoon, less than a day after her life changed forever. “I went from thinking I couldn’t have kids to all of a sudden, I have a whole human to take care of.”
In hindsight, Hecker remembers feeling a little strange at times and feeling movement inside her. But because she had been told that she couldn’t get pregnant, she wrote it off as gas.
Now, she said, she has to rush to prepare for an event most mothers get many months to anticipate. Among other logistics, she’s busy figuring out how to get basic supplies, such as a crib and diapers.
Hecker said she was “in shock” but “happy.” And as she recovered in the hospital, surrounded by family and friends, she said she wouldn’t change Kylah Grace’s surprise appearance for anything.
“It’s been her the whole time,” she said about the strange movements she had been feeling. “And it was awesome. As soon as they propped her up on my chest, it was amazing.”