All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for October 2003

Mom with MS: I didn't know I was pregnant

October 8, 2003
The Cincinnati Post

Four-day-old Dwight Thomas Roth III is doing fine, but his mother is still in shock.

Amber Roth didn't know she was pregnant until she went to the bathroom of her Green Township home Saturday morning and gave birth -- in the toilet.

"Even though this is real, it's taking time for reality to sink in," said the 35-year-old woman, who has multiple sclerosis. "It's still somewhat of a shock to me."

The birth also stunned Amber's husband, Thomas, 40.

Mrs. Roth, who has little feeling in the lower half of her body and relies on a wheelchair to get around, fell onto the bathroom floor as she was trying to move from the toilet seat to her wheelchair shortly after 6 a.m. Saturday.

She hadn't realized she had given birth until her husband rushed in to help her.

"I was half-asleep, and I heard this gurgling sound and I thought maybe it was a loose toilet seat because my husband had just put in a new commode," she said.

Thomas Roth looked in the toilet and couldn't believe his eyes.

"Oh, my God, there's a baby," he said.

Roth pulled the baby, who was born 12 weeks premature and weighed 3½ pounds, from the toilet, dried it with a towel, cleaned the baby's eyes and nose with Q-Tips and called 911.

"She dropped a baby in our toilet," Roth told the 911 operator. "I pulled it out and it's alive."

"But you got the baby out of the toilet?" asked the surprised 911 dispatcher.

"Yeah, yeah," replied Roth. "Hear it?"

In 10 minutes, an ambulance arrived and took the baby and his mother to Mercy Franciscan Hospital in Mount Airy.

Sunday, the baby was transferred to Children's Hospital, where he is doing fine and is expected to stay about three months. His parents plan to call him "Tommy."

Mrs. Roth is back home, trying to sort out her mixed feelings.

"I have a lot of angry feelings toward my family doctor for not realizing I was pregnant," she said. "But I'm trying to focus positively on Tommy."

Because of the multiple sclerosis she was diagnosed with at age 19, Mrs. Roth goes to the doctor every three months.

She said she had been taking birth control pills since the birth of her daughter, Ashleigh, 12, but her doctor took her off the pills about a year ago because he thought she was entering menopause.

"Because I've had MS for so long, he figured there was no way I could get pregnant," she said.

However, in recent months, she became bloated.

"When the doctor pushed on my stomach there was pain, but he thought I was just holding water," she said. "Tests showed no bladder infection. They didn't do a pregnancy test."

But Mrs. Roth said she felt something was up.

"You know your own body," she said. "I knew something was different. But I assumed the doctor would let me know if there was something going on."

She has not yet talked with her family doctor.

"Things certainly could have been a little different the last six months," she said. "But I'm happy our baby is well. We feel blessed to have a son."

Copyright © 2003, The Cincinnati Post