A Missouri-based mom is feeling like the luckiest lady in the world after becoming pregnant and carrying a baby boy to term, all after she had both of her fallopian tubes surgically removed…nearly four years earlier!
Elizabeth Kough was living a full life in Virginia with her three kids when she decided it was time to lock it up in terms of baby-making. The then 35-year-old and single mother of three felt like her life was pretty full as it was and decided to have the procedure because she didn’t see any more newborn babies in her future, but she couldn’t have been more wrong.
Kough decided to go ahead and move forward with a procedure that is called a bilateral salpingectomy, a birth control method that works by surgically removing both of a woman’s fallopian tubes, as compared to the more common unilateral salpingectomy, where only one fallopian tube is removed.
The idea is that a woman’s egg travels from her ovaries down into her uterus by way of the fallopian tubes and that by removing both tubes Kough would be as close to “infertile” as possible. As an added plus, the procedure is thought to minimize the risk of developing ovarian cancer, a disease that has plagued members of her family in the past, so the idea of getting her tubes removed altogether seemed almost like a no-brainer for the mom.
“I also hit age 35 and they medically say at that age pregnancy becomes more high-risk. I was also divorced and single and had three children, which is quite a blessing for a family but I thought that was probably enough,” she discloses in an interview with Good Morning America.
While this particular type of birth control has had as close to a 100% effectiveness rating as possible in the past, Kough and her soon-to-be son were about to change all of that.
Kough had the surgery performed in the state of Virginia, where she and her three kids had been residing at that time in 2015. Everything went smoothly in the operating room and her procedure was considered to be a success.
After the surgery, Kough and her kids ended up moving to Missouri, where the adoring mom met her now-boyfriend. As their relationship bloomed, though, Kough felt something else blooming in her body as well and she could hardly believe what she was experiencing. It had been roughly 3 years since she had her fallopian tubes taken out, but the three-time mamma knew that something was up when she began to notice some of the unmistakable signs of pregnancy.
Could it be? Could she really be pregnant so many years out from her salpingectomy?! As it turns out, yes, she could…
While Kough seriously doubted that she had somehow managed to become pregnant without the existence of her fallopian tubes, she figured she had best go and get checked just to be sure. She had heard the nightmare stories of ectopic pregnancies before, where a fertilized egg can become attached to a body part outside of the uterus, and she knew how dangerous it could be. So, even though the chances of her being pregnant were slim, she wanted to know without a doubt.
“I had read that if I did become pregnant after this procedure there’s a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy, which can be dangerous. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to just take the test and I really didn’t think it would be positive,” she recalls.
After the home pregnancy test indicated that Kough was, in fact, pregnant, the disbelieving mother rushed to a nearby hospital with her boyfriend in tow to get the misunderstanding straightened out. To their absolute astonishment, though, the test had been accurate.
“I said to the doctor, ‘I need an ultrasound. I had a procedure and this is not supposed to happen. The doctor did an ultrasound and Benjamin was right where he was supposed to be,” she dotingly remembers.
Dr. Dawn Heizman works at Meritas Health in Kansas City where Kough had gone as a board-certified OB-GYN, and even she couldn’t believe what she was seeing.
“I’ve delivered and participated in thousands of deliveries in the course of my 10-year career and this is the first of a case like this that I’ve seen. None of us have encountered this before,” the Dr. exclaims.
“We know that eggs can travel in the abdominal cavity and get into the uterus. In Elizabeth’s case, it’s so rare because she has no tube to pick the egg up,” Heizman continues.
Regardless of the fact that doctors at Meritas Health confirmed both that Kough’s salpingectomy had been performed with perfect accuracy and that she had conceived the baby naturally, without the use of IVF, medical personnel was still shocked by the phenomena. This feeling was exacerbated by the fact that Kough was 35 at the time, an age that the medical community considers as “advanced maternal age”, meaning the pregnancy would be fraught with risk.
Even so, Kough knew that the fact she was pregnant against all odds made her one of the luckiest women in the world.
“After I first found out I was pregnant I bought so many lottery tickets because I thought, ‘I’m so lucky,'” she divulges.
To everyone’s amazement, Kough’s pregnancy, high-risk as it was, went better than anyone could have ever hoped for. On March 14th of this year, the loving mom gave birth to her fourth child by way of C-section to a beautiful 7 lb 6oz. baby boy named Benjamin.
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There is no doubt in Kough’s mind whatsoever that she is indeed one of the luckiest mothers to ever get to walk the planet, and she’s beyond thankful for the blessing that has been bestowed on her in her miracle baby.
“I don’t want to spoil him too much so I don’t call him a miracle, but my youngest calls him my ‘angel baby,’When I look at him I feel really blessed to have him because I know the chances of him being here are just so slim. I hug him even tighter, I have to admit,” the lucky mamma says of her fourth child.
Kough may not want to spoil her baby boy with special words, but it goes without question that baby Benjamin is most definitely a miracle, one that will plague the pages of medical history texts for decades to come!