Woman who didn’t know she was pregnant gave birth at Golden Corral (2024)

The Woodfork family had an adventure-filled day at an amusem*nt park when they sat down for a meal at a buffet restaurant. Little did they know, the day’s excitement had barely begun.

Tayvia Woodfork, 26, and 10 of her family members visited Magic Springs Theme and Water Park in Hot Springs, Ark., on May 4. They decided to cap off the day with an all-you-can-eat late lunch at Golden Corral in Little Rock.

When they arrived at the restaurant, Tayvia Woodfork felt sudden, sharp stomach cramps. She rushed to the bathroom.

As the rest of the family was enjoying their meal, Tayvia Woodfork’s mother, Tameka Woodfork, noticed her daughter had been gone for a while. She went to check on her and brought her some ibuprofen. She found her daughter in agonizing pain.

“She couldn’t get up, she couldn’t move her legs,” her mother said. “She was screaming.”


The family called an ambulance.

“It was scary and very painful,” said Tayvia Woodfork, noting that restaurant staff helped give her as much privacy as possible, and brought her towels.

A crew of firefighters arrived at the scene before an ambulance got there. They thought Tayvia Woodfork might be severely constipated, her mother said.

“Nobody knew what was going on,” said Tameka Woodfork.

Then, in a surprise to everyone, Tayvia Woodfork delivered a 6-pound 1-ounce baby boy into the toilet. She had no idea she was pregnant.

“Everybody was in complete shock,” said Tameka Woodfork. In hindsight, she said, her daughter noticed her pants were wet as they were leaving the amusem*nt park, but she assumed she sat in something. In actuality, her water broke.

“We thought it was nothing,” Tameka Woodfork said.


No one was as astonished as Tayvia Woodfork, who said she did not gain any weight, nor did she experience any pregnancy symptoms or fetal movement. The baby was born at 37 weeks.

“I didn’t know until he came,” she said.

Tayvia Woodfork experienced what is called a cryptic pregnancy, which is when a woman is pregnant but isn’t aware of her condition until late in the pregnancy, or when labor begins.

“People carry pregnancies differently,” said Christine Greves, an OB/GYN at Orlando Health Women’s Institute.

An irregular menstrual cycle, hormonal imbalances, false-negative pregnancy tests or positioning of the fetus could make a pregnancy harder to detect — among other factors, she said. Still, cryptic pregnancies are quite rare: According to the Cleveland Clinic, around 1 in 2,500 pregnancies go unnoticed until delivery, and about 1 in 475 pregnancies go unnoticed until 20 weeks gestation.

“Always listen to your body,” said Greves. “If you’re not feeling right, make sure you stay in touch with your doctor.”

Tayvia Woodfork, who has a 2-year-old son, was transported to a hospital with her newborn. Golden Corral staff and customers clapped and cheered as they were carried out of the restaurant bathroom on a stretcher — about an hour and a half after the family first arrived.

“Everybody’s so excited about him,” said Rosie Thomas, the general manager of Golden Corral’s Little Rock location.

The Woodforks live in Tunica, Miss., and traveled about three hours to Arkansas for a family outing. Tayvia Woodfork remained in the hospital until she was discharged on May 6. Despite the initial shock, both she and the baby were healthy after the birth.


“It was a happy surprise,” said Tameka Woodfork.

Although Tayvia Woodfork and her son’s father are not together, he is in the baby’s life, she said.

“We have the biggest support system,” said Tameka Woodfork, adding that her daughter and grandchildren live with her.

After Tayvia Woodfork was discharged, she and her family went by Golden Corral to thank staff for being so hospitable, and to introduce them to her son — whom she named after the restaurant. His full name is Tamaar Kylon Corral Woodfork.

“As far as we know, this has never happened at a Golden Corral,” said Brendyn Gronewoller, the franchise owner.

The family was treated to a free meal at the restaurant, and staff gave Tayvia Woodfork a gift bag with baby essentials. They also sent a note and gift card a few weeks later.

It’s been over a month since Tamaar’s surprise arrival, and Tayvia Woodfork said she loves watching him grow every day. Her older son, Taylon, is thrilled to be a big brother.

“He likes to sleep and eat, and he likes people to hold him,” Tayvia Woodfork said of her newborn.

The story was first covered by local station KTHV, and has received national attention.

“Every time someone comes in, they’re talking about it,” said Thomas. “One person came in the other day and said, ‘I didn’t know y’all deliver babies.’”

Tayvia Woodfork sends restaurant staff regular updates and photos of her son.

“He’s such a cutie,” said Thomas. “He’ll always be Golden Corral’s little baby.”

Woman who didn’t know she was pregnant gave birth at Golden Corral (2024)
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