SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A young Barksdale couple didn't know they were pregnant until the wife went into labor.
Now the community is stepping in to help this couple transition into their new roles of Mom and Dad.
Two weeks ago, Bryson and Grace Mawn got the shock of their lives. After a dinner with friends, Grace started suffering from severe stomach pain which led them to the emergency room.
"I was like, O.K., you probably have kidney stones; you're going to be fine," said Bryson.
But Grace thought otherwise.
"I knew when I felt something down there and it wasn't a kidney stone," she said.
They certainly weren't expecting a baby. In the blink of an eye, the young couple became a family of three.
"They said, 'it's a girl', and she starts crying and the moment I heard that cry I was like 'How is she alive? What is going on?' So many questions, so many scenarios going through my head. What's going to happen,?" he recalled.
"I never felt her move during the pregnancy. I never had cravings. I never had morning sickness," explained Grace, "Looking back now I did put on a little bit of weight, but it wasn't noticeable weight, so I didn't ever think about it. I had my normal cycle. Some months were a little lighter, but I just thought it was a pill that I was on so I never thought anything about it."
Neither Bryson or Grace say they had any idea they were pregnant, and therefore had nothing prepared for their little girl.
"So I set up a GoFundMe for us because we've had maybe a couple of hundred dollars in our savings account. That's a scary feeling to know that we don't have a safety net."
The Shreveport-Bossier community has answered their call in a very big way. Gifts arrive at their one bedroom apartment daily, with everything you can imagine first-time parents would need. Their GoFundMe page is at nearly $4,000.
"We've seen nothing but love and support for our family," said a very thankful Bryson, "We're both really young adults. We were children last week and we were put into parenthood in a night."
So we asked Dr. Shabieh Manzar in our Department of Pediatrics who oversees the NICU at LSUS-Health, is it possible that a woman can go through pregnancy and not know she's pregnant?
"To be honest this is a question for my OB colleague and I'm a man. I don't know really how it feels like," he laughed, "but this is not the only case. We've seen it many times. Sometimes you ignore the symptoms and you think it's because of something and it could happen. But the good part is, good she was at the right place at the right time."
As the little one continues to progress in the NICU, hospital staff can't stress how lucky both mom and baby to have delivered in the hospital.
"The fact that she was in the hospital at that time especially with this gestational age. If this would've happened at a rural area or remote there would've been a lot of possibilities that this could go wrong," explained Dr. Manzar, "So I'm very happy that it happened in our controlled environment and they were able to bring her in in time and the delivery was done in the center which could take care of this type of premature babies."
They named their girl Micaela, which means gift from God.
"Whenever I look at her I'm just like, how the heck did that happen? But I'm super grateful and I love her to death. I'm happy," said new mom Grace.
Grace said she plans to get her nursing degree and work in the NICU to someday help other women in her situation. Meanwhile, Bryson is an Airman First Class in the USAF stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base.
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