When Carri Emmons woke up in the middle of the night last April, she thought she was coming down with something. Instead, moments later, she was in her bathtub, positioning herself to give birth to a baby that she had no idea she was carrying.
"I started getting really bad cramps and then it seemed to get a little bit stronger, more uncomfortable," said Emmons, 27, and already a mother of three. "I just felt a lot of pressure, like I had to go to the bathroom. ...and when I sat down ...it was a lot of fluid."
"I heard her just screaming, like blood curdling scream," said Carri's husband, Ryan Emmons, 32. "And I opened up the door and she was in the tub, holding her, propping herself up and screaming, 'I'm bleeding everywhere.'"
Ryan called 911 and told the dispatcher that his wife was having a baby. "I think she's in labor right now," he said, with Carri's screams audible in the background.
Before the 911 operator could even take down the Emmons' address, Ryan blurted out, "Oh, my god, I'm looking at a baby! ...I didn't know my wife was pregnant."
Surprise pregnancies and births have made headlines before. In December 2009, Chilean Olympic weightlifter Elizabeth Poblete gave birth while training, unaware she was pregnant. And TLC has dedicated an entire show, "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant," to the phenomenon.
Carri and Ryan Emmons could only get help over the phone, since the closest paramedics were stationed 20 miles away from their Michigan home. Dispatcher Angi Adams, 36, coached Ryan, telling him to get his wife to lie down and make her as comfortable as possible.
"Sh**, she's in the tub and it's full of blood and it's really gross," he said on the call.
The entire surprise birth was recorded on the 911 call.
"I just remember, you know, I was kneeling. You know, I wasn't laying down or anything. And he just kind of fell into my arms," Carri told "20/20." "I think I was in shock. ...I didn't know what was happening. I mean, the pain was like labor pain."
Following the dispatcher's lead, Ryan wiped off the baby's mouth and nose with a dry towel. The couple's three older children: Tyler, 10; Dylan, 8; Alexia, 6 -- who all awoke from the screaming and were in tears from the blood -- were quickly put to work, getting towels.
The baby boy was hardly moving. No loud cries -- just a few whimpers.
"The first thing I thought of is, 'We didn't know about this. It's stillborn,'" Ryan told "20/20." "I didn't know if he was alive. I didn't know if he was OK. I didn't know if she was OK."
Ryan was panicked, but the umbilical cord needed to be tied immediately, so the baby could try to survive on his own. Ryan sent 10-year-old Tyler to find a shoelace from his sneakers to tie off the cord and dispatcher Angi Adams took Ryan and Carri through the final steps before help arrived on the scene.
Ryan: "Oh, my god, this is so bizarre."
Dispatcher: "You all OK?"
Ryan: "Yeah, other than the fact that we're completely shocked...."