Some babies are happy surprises. The birth of Ohio State defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle belongs in a completely different category.
“We didn’t know she was pregnant,” Percy Hicks said of his wife, Tracie Sprinkle. “We went through nine months not knowing she was pregnant.”
On April 18, 1995, Hicks worked the late shift and returned home at 2:30 a.m.
“I’m getting into bed going to sleep,” he said. “She’s sitting at the end of the bed. She’s moaning and moaning and crying. I say, ‘Baby, what’s wrong?’ ”
Tracie told him that she had stomach pain but that it was nothing serious. So Hicks went to sleep but soon was awakened by her moaning and crying. Again, she reassured him and he fell back asleep.
Again, however, her crying woke him up. This time, he insisted that he take her to the hospital.
“I can’t get no sleep anyways,” Hicks told her, laughing as he told the story. “So we go to the hospital. I’m in the waiting room going to sleep. They’ve got her back there examining her.
“The doctor comes out and wakes me up: ‘Excuse me, Mr. Hicks.’ I say, ‘Yes, is she OK?’ She says, ‘Yes, she’s OK. Mr. Hicks, she’s pregnant.’
“I said, ‘What?!’ She said, ‘Yes, she’s pregnant.’ I said, ‘OK, I love kids. I’m cool.’
“Then she said, ‘And she’s about to deliver.’ I said, ‘She’s about to WHAT?!’ I asked that three times: ‘She’s about to WHAT?!’ Within an hour, we had a baby.”
How could a pregnancy go undetected, especially since they weren’t rookies at the parent thing? Tracy is the 11th of 12 children.
“My wife is kind of big-boned,” Hicks said. “She didn’t gain any more weight or lose any more weight. But he was in there.”
There was another reason Tracie and Percy never suspected.
“She had all her normal periods with him, all nine months,” Hicks said.
He said that when he called relatives to tell them about the new addition, well, you can imagine. “They thought I was lying,” Hicks said.
Choosing a name for the newborn was easy.
“My father said that when I came out, I looked so much like my mom,” Tracy said. “He already had a Percy Jr., so he figured he’d name me after my mom.”
Hicks doesn’t remember how big Tracy was, but he wasn’t small.
“I think he was either 8-pounds something or 9-pounds something,” he said.
“It is amazing,” he said of Tracy’s birth story. “What can you do? It was beautiful, though. People still trip out on the story. But it happened.”
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