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Jenkins couple welcomes unexpected daughter

Dan and Sarah Stiller of Jenkins were done having children. Their two daughters - Hannah, age 8, and Erica, 3 - were both born a few weeks early, and they thought it best to stop where they were. Sarah even had an intrauterine device implanted to...

Dan and Sarah Stiller - along with daughters Hannah, 8, and Erica, 3 - welcomed new and completely unexpected Mindy to the family on Feb. 17. Photo by Dan Determan
Dan and Sarah Stiller - along with daughters Hannah, 8, and Erica, 3 - welcomed new and completely unexpected Mindy to the family on Feb. 17. Photo by Dan Determan

Dan and Sarah Stiller of Jenkins were done having children. Their two daughters - Hannah, age 8, and Erica, 3 - were both born a few weeks early, and they thought it best to stop where they were. Sarah even had an intrauterine device implanted to prevent pregnancy.

However, on Tuesday, Feb. 17, Dan took Sarah to the Brainerd emergency room with severe lower abdominal pain. Doctors initially thought it was a problem with her gall bladder. After that was ruled out, they thought she may have kidney stones, but they soon came to a shocking realization.

"The doctor told me 'no, honey, you're in labor,'" Sarah said.

Roughly 20 minutes later,the Stillers welcomed 6-pound, 4-ounce Mindy into the world. The doctors told her they had heard of this happening before, but had never dealt with it personally.

"It was quite the shock," Sarah said. "We had gotten rid of everything, because we had planned on not having any more."

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In the estimated 37 weeks she was pregnant, Sarah was given no indication that she was pregnant. As a teenager, she was stricken with toxic shock syndrome which, couple with the intrauterine device, left her with an inconsistent menstrual cycle.

In that time, Sarah had only gained 10 pounds, not enough to be a serious red flag. The baby was also positioned in her abdomen higher than usual - positioned more inside her ribcage - meaning she never felt a kick or movement.

Because of this, she lived her life as normal. The family even went to Wisconsin Dells over the Christmas season, where she never thought twice about enjoying the pools and waterslides.

"If I would have known, I would never have done any of that," Sarah said. "I never felt anything."

Despite Mindy's birth being completely unexpected and her parents having no time to prepare for her arrival, the couple is pleased that the newest and "most snuggly" of their children is here and healthy.

"I am very happy," Sarah said. "She was meant to be. There is a reason why it happened... There is a reason she is here and she made it through."

People have told the Stillers that they should have their story told on TLC show "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant." They also suggest filing a lawsuit against the company behind the ineffective (in this instance) intrauterine device. However, they simply would like to enjoy their time with the newest addition to their family.

Since they got rid of all of their baby things, the Stillers have seen the community step up and help, donating a wide variety of goods - from clothes and diapers to baths and swings.

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"It has been so great that everyone has pulled together and helped us out," Sarah said. "I can't thank them enough for it."

Related Topics: JENKINS
Dan Determan has been a reporter for the Echo Journal since 2014, primarily covering sports at Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus
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