When Ally Opfer started suffering from strange pains, she was convinced that she must have kidney stones. But the young woman was shocked when doctors at the hospital told her what was really going on. And within a matter of minutes, her world had changed forever.
Ally Opfer is a 23-year-old college student from Garrettsville, Ohio. She is a senior at Kent State University, where she is studying air traffic control. Opfer also works as a cheerleading coach for the NEO Allstars cheer program.
And on December 21, 2016, Opfer woke up feeling largely fine. What’s more, while she later experienced some “minor cramping,” the student didn’t think that the pains were anything to worry about. So, she carried on as normal – with no clue of what was about to happen.
As Opfer had had a busy day ahead, with several hours of cheer coaching, she therefore went to work as usual. She also continued to dismiss the discomfort she felt, even as it got stronger. And as Opfer was also “bleeding a little bit,” she assumed that she was simply on her period.
But during the night, the cramps only became more intense, leaving Opfer exhausted but in too much pain to sleep. Consequently, she ended up staying awake all night, and ibuprofen and heating pads did nothing to ease her symptoms, either. Yet while Opfer told her mother about the experience the next day, the young woman still didn’t believe that there was any real reason for concern.
So, Opfer kept ignoring the discomfort and helped her father move some furniture. But when her mom got back from work later that day, it was clear that this was more serious than anyone had realized. “I was crying in pain and knew something wasn’t quite right. These were way more than menstrual cramps,” Opfer shared with Love What Matters.
After that, Opfer took some more medication to no avail and was “crying and screaming” in agony. Thinking she might be pregnant, she did a test to make sure she wasn’t, and it came back negative. After hours of the cramps getting worse and happening more regularly, however, Opfer’s mom asked her if she needed to go to the hospital.
At first, Opfer denied that she required any assistance. Eventually, though, she agreed that she needed medical help – and fast. Subsequently, her mother rushed her to University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center. As she arrived, Opfer was screaming in the emergency room; she was quickly taken back to see a doctor.
At the center, Opfer had blood work done; she was also given morphine for the pain and magnesium sulfate to prevent seizures. Then, when her doctor and nurse got the results of the tests, they discovered that her white blood cell count was elevated, and they told Opfer that she most likely had kidney stones. After the doctor looked over her stomach, though, he discovered a hard mass.
Opfer’s doctor then explained if the mass turned out to be made up of kidney stones, she might turn out to need surgery straight away to remove them. However, it would take an ultrasound to verify if the doctor’s suspicions were correct. But when Opfer saw the look of astonishment on the technician’s face, she was convinced that it was terrible news.
After her ultrasound, Opfer’s hospital room was suddenly filled with people as she waited to discover her fate. “I was preparing myself for the worst news possible, that I was dying,” she subsequently explained. “There were so many doctors and nurses in my room – all with a sense of urgency – that I knew whatever was happening to me was very serious.”
And it turned out that the situation was critical, although not for the reason that the young woman expected. That’s because Opfer’s doctor revealed that she was 38 weeks pregnant and almost four inches dilated; the cramps had been contractions all along. “You are in full-blown labor and we need to get you upstairs to labor and delivery now!” he told her.
After hearing the shocking news, though, Opfer was worried for her baby’s health. She had spent nine months without any prenatal care; she later revealed to Love What Matters that she had also been “doing back handsprings” just a few days earlier. Fortunately, Opfer was told that her baby was in perfect condition – but the story was different for her.
Opfer’s blood pressure was dangerously high, and she was very close to having a stroke. “They told me if I had waited any longer to come to the ER, I would have died,” she explained to Love What Matters. “I was very sick. A lot sicker than I knew.” The baby was also breech, and Opfer had severe pre-eclampsia, which meant that she had to be rushed into surgery for a C-section.
Then, after 42 hours of labor, Opfer’s “miracle baby” was finally removed, and she welcomed a little boy at 3:31 a.m. on December 23, 2016. It had been just 30 minutes after she found out she was pregnant, and Opfer and her mother were desperate to hear the baby cry and know that he was fine. “He finally started crying, and so did we,” she later revealed.
Opfer decided to call the newborn Oliver David – the latter name chosen for her father. And, unsurprisingly, her friends and family couldn’t believe that she had just had a baby; neither could she. “I was shocked and didn’t really believe it,” she told Inside Edition in March 2018. “I didn’t realize how much I needed him until I had him.”
Indeed, although Opfer had had a short relationship nine months before her son was born, she had never suspected that she had been pregnant. She’d always had irregular periods, so she didn’t think that anything was wrong when she first missed a month of menstruation. The pregnancy tests she had taken hadn’t come up positive, either, nor did she ever look like she was expecting a child.
In the end, though, Opfer was released from the hospital three days after giving birth, with Oliver in tow. And she is hugely grateful for the help she has received from her family since becoming a mother – especially because she doesn’t have a relationship with Oliver’s father. “It’s an adjustment becoming a new mom and an even bigger adjustment when you aren’t expecting it,” Opfer explained to Love What Matters.
Since the birth, meanwhile, Opfer’s story has been shared thousands of times, and she has received a lot of support online. Furthermore, Oliver is now over a year old, and he and his mom couldn’t be happier together. “He is my very best friend,” she told Inside Edition. “Our connection is so strong.”