Jackson-area woman gives birth to 10-pound baby same day she learns she is pregnant
JACKSON, MI – Linda Ackley went to Allegiance Health Friday morning thinking she had a hernia.
By Friday night, she gave birth to a 10-pound baby.
“Some people have nine months to prepare. I had (15) hours,” her husband, Mike, said on Monday, Feb. 11.
Unaware of her pregnancy until the day she delivered, Linda Ackley, 44, of Summit Township underwent an emergency C-section on Friday, Feb. 8.
Kimberly Kay Ackley, the couple’s first child, was born at 11:20 p.m. She is normal and healthy, and weighed 10 pounds, 1 ounce, Mike and Linda Ackley said.
The girl and her mother were discharged from the hospital Monday afternoon.
Linda Ackley’s sister, Rosie Konopka, 48, of Jackson, drove them, and stopped at the Jackson County Courthouse, where Mike Ackley, 45, works as a security guard.
A stream of employees came to catch a glimpse of the girl. They called her beautiful, admired her tiny features and cooed about her full head of dark hair. Mike Ackley proudly carried her about the hallways.
“She is our miracle baby,” said Linda Ackley, who never thought she could have children. Two years ago, she had an infection and significant abdominal surgery.
Her survival alone was a blessing.
When she first told Mike Ackley the news of their baby, her eyes were filled with tears, her husband said.
It is good he was sitting, she said.
“I wish someone would have taken a picture of my face,” Mike Ackley said.
Calling the development surprising seems inadequate, he said. “That doesn’t even come close.”
Last week, Linda Ackley went to the doctor because she had some bloating in her abdomen.
Believing she might have a hernia, the doctor sent her to an Allegiance Health facility for a computerized tomography or CT scan.
The scan revealed she was pregnant.
She would deliver in three to four weeks, medical professionals at first told the Ackleys.
After a second ultrasound, however, the couple learned Linda Ackley had carried the baby a full term, 40 or more weeks.
The hospital scheduled a C-section.
“I was happy and shocked at the same time, and scared,” Mike Ackley said.
He and his wife have been married for 24 years. They met at Jackson High School and became a couple when he was a junior and she was a sophomore.
They imagined children were impossible; they had not taken measures to protect against pregnancy and the babies never came.
In February 2011, Linda Ackley contracted necrotizing fasciitis, a bacterial infection that attacks soft tissue.
Mike Ackley thought she was having a stroke.
Her blood-sugar level was far above normal and her immune system was shutting down, Linda Ackley wrote under the heading “Survivors” on the National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation website.
She had diabetes, doctors determined, and she spent about a week in a coma and on a ventilator. Some of the muscles in her stomach had to be removed.
Doctors did not think she would live, Mike Ackley said.
“God wanted me here for something,” Linda Ackley said.
Looking back, she said she confused the baby’s movements for expanding and contracting muscles and twitching nerves caused by her surgery.
It never occurred to her she was pregnant, she said.
Her menstrual periods always have been irregular. She was not in pain and did not notice significant weight gain.
At the hospital, she and her husband made phone calls, informing family members of the pending birth of their first-born.
All were in disbelief. They called it a joke, Mike Ackley said. “Who can make this up?”
Konopka at first thought maybe Linda Ackley hid the pregnancy, but Linda Ackley is too honest to keep such a secret, to spin such a tale. Her excitement would have blown it, she said.
“They always wanted children,” said Konopka, who has two daughters, a son and four grandchildren.
The couple is good with them and others. “So, I am so glad they have one of their own,” she said.
Just last month, Konopka and Linda Ackley, two of four sisters, lost their mother, Sandra Linabury, to cancer, and Kimberly shares Linabury’s middle name.
Her birth brings joy at what has been a sad time, they said, sitting near the courthouse entrance.
As all the number of well-wishers dwindled, they prepared to go home for the first time.
The apartment is not prepared; for years it has been occupied by only the Ackleys and their pets, but plenty of people are offering help. They have been getting donations and gifts from family members and others.
Kimberly was bundled Monday in a car seat given to the Ackleys by a cousin.
Clothing Carousel, a consignment shop on Franklin Street, donated two bags of clothes.
There will be other adjustments too.
“I got to get used to saying mommy,” Linda Ackley said, and told her husband how odd it felt to recently make an appointment for “her daughter.”
Kimberly already has a “mommy’s little miracle” T-shirt.
Mike Ackley is feeling fortunate. There have been two extraordinary events in two years.
“First my wife came back to me, and now, I have a baby girl.”
Mike Ackley, a security guard at the Jackson County Courthouse holds his new daughter, Kimberly, on Tuesday afternoon at the courthouse.
Mike Ackley, left, watches as 12th District Court Traffic Department employees check out his new daughter on Monday afternoon.
Linda Ackley talks with well wishers at the Jackson County Courthouse on Monday.