“I was gone. My mind was blank."
A student did not know she was pregnant until she went to the toilet and ended up giving birth.
Lalene Malik was about to flush the toilet when she saw a tiny arm in the bowl.
The 23-year-old master’s student suffered an excruciating “stomach ache” at her home in Ealing on March 26, 2022, and was subsequently rushed to A&E.
Lalene said she had been prescribed the contraceptive pill five months earlier and two pregnancy tests came back negative in February 2022.
Whilst waiting at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, Lalene went to the bathroom, believing she was severely constipated.
But her mother Sumra had an “intuition” that something was wrong when her daughter began crying in pain and sounded the alarm.
Lalene was about to flush the toilet when the baby’s arm was spotted, leaving her terrified.
She believes the baby may have been stuck for up to seven minutes before he was rescued by medics.
Lalene said: “I was gone. My mind was blank.
“I was put in another room because obviously I was crying and my mum was crying.
“It was a complete shock and a trauma for both of us and I felt that my life was in danger.
“[My mum] started crying and [said] to me: ‘Don’t you know you have a baby?’ From then on I was pale.”
The baby was initially not breathing, but resuscitation efforts were successful.
Dr Ewa Grocholski, who helped to save baby Mohammed Ibrahim by giving him chest compressions after getting him out of the bowl, said it was the “most amazing experience of (her) medical career”.
She said: “Luckily we caught it in time.
“I’ve never seen (a baby be born) in such circumstances.
“I’ve seen young ladies like Lalene before coming to A&E not knowing they’re pregnant and delivering in the A&E department, but it was always in a more safe place.
“It was on a bed or it was slower, so we would have noticed they were giving birth before it was happening.”
Dr Grocholski called Lalene a “hero” and said it was “incredible” that she had gone through labour despite having no prior knowledge of the pregnancy.
Mohammed was born full-term and is now healthy after he was given oxygen and monitored carefully by hospital staff.
Lalene described her son as a “miracle” but criticised her family doctor, Elm Trees surgery in Greenford, accusing them of failing to carry out tests properly which could have identified her pregnancy.
The Roehampton University student said: “If I had known I was pregnant, I would have cherished those moments going shopping, getting stuff ready for the baby.”
Her husband was abroad at the time and was in “complete shock” when he found out.
Lalene said she had not been planning on having a child and had taken the pill from October to January.
She said she returned to her GP a number of times after experiencing symptoms including weight gain and shortness of breath and had stopped taking the contraception.
Lalene was given a blood test at the surgery in March but was told it had been botched and the results were unavailable.
She told MyLondon: “I called back three days later and they said ‘oh, we can’t detect anything because the one who took the blood test didn’t shake (it) properly, so come back three to six months later’.
“It’s a blessing and I’m happy for the baby, but honestly the surgery should have said something because I told them I was married and I wanted to progress with my masters.”
Lalene stated that she is determined to finish her course but has had to defer until July to look after her baby.
In a statement, Elms Trees surgery said:
“We are very sorry to learn of Ms Malik’s experience, this falls below the standards of care we expect from our services.
“Please be assured that this matter will be fully investigated.”