Couple Who Faced Pregnancy Challenges Find Out They're Expecting Just Hours Before Baby Is Born

"We found out we were pregnant, and we had the child, the whole thing, in 10, eight hours. It's unreal," Kelsie Garlic tells PEOPLE

Kelsie Garlic
Photo: Courtesy Kelsie Garlic

After nearly a decade of trying to get pregnant, Nicci Garlic and her husband Kelsie welcomed their first child into the world earlier this month — but the happy moment came just hours after Nicci found out she was even pregnant.

Nicci gave birth to the couple's son, Charlie, shortly after midnight on the morning of Feb. 2 at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield, Illinois. It was the surprise of a lifetime, considering the two have faced pregnancy difficulties since they married in 2014 and had assumed the day would never come.

Though they didn't know it, Nicci, a teacher, was nearly nine months pregnant when she began complaining of stomach pains on Feb. 1. That prompted her to leave school early and visit a local urgent care.

A short time later that afternoon, while Kelsie watched over the couple's two foster children, ages 4 and 6, he received an urgent call from Nicci.

"I'm sitting there watching and she calls me," Kelsie — who recently opened a GoFundMe campaign to help them with the surprise miracle — tells PEOPLE. "And she's like, 'Hey, you're not going to believe this. I'm f—g pregnant. Not only am I pregnant, but I'm 34 weeks pregnant.'"

It was the life-changing moment they had been waiting to hear for years.

Kelsie, 33, and Nicci, 34, met when they were in high school, but didn't start dating until years later when Kelsie worked up the courage to message her over Facebook.

"We had Starbucks the next day," he remembers. "The day after that, we went to see a movie. And then before you know it, we never stopped seeing each other, which is unbelievable."

Shortly after marrying, the couple visited specialists and attempted in vitro fertilization treatments to help them in their pregnancy hopes. But after a three-year journey and no change in their luck, Kelsie and Nicci decided to become foster parents. They were soon matched up with two biological brothers, who joined their family nearly two years ago. (The couple hopes to become their long-term guardians.)

With their foster child a part of the family, Kelsie and Nicci put their pregnancy dreams aside. Considering Nicci's last period was two years ago, the couple figured it was never going to happen.

Then came the trip to urgent care.

"I've never, ever felt this way," Kelsie says of the moment Nicci told him she was pregnant. "And granted, it's my first newborn."

"We both wanted a family," he adds. "This was not a mistake. We've been wanting this since we got married. So for this to happen to us, oh man, it's just unbelievable. It's unbelievable."

But the happy moment was soon replaced with fear once Nicci arrived at the emergency room. There, doctors discovered she was experiencing preeclampsia and her blood pressure was high. Though they initially planned for a vaginal birth, doctors were going to have to perform a C-section because they were afraid Nicci might have a stroke and the baby could die.

"I was just crying and crying and crying and crying nonstop," Kelsie says. "The floor's wet, the chair's wet, because I don't know if she's going to live... I'm just like, 'Please God, let my wife live. I don't know what I would do without her.'"

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The operation was a success, and both Nicci and their newborn son, Charlie Keith Garlic, were healthy.

"A miracle baby that we didn't know existed," Kelsie says of Charlie, who was born 25 minutes after midnight on Feb. 2. "We found out we were pregnant, and we had the child, the whole thing, in 10, eight hours. It's unreal. It's unreal."

The couple started their GoFundMe page to help with their finances moving forward since Nicci does not have paid maternity leave and is still recovering from her operation. Kelsie says he is "terrified" of their financial future, considering the bills they will soon have to pay on top of their normal expenses.

But for the moment being, they are focusing on their new, and unlikely, addition to the family.

"Put positive energy out there, you help people every day, the good things will come back to you," Kelsie says of the couple's February shocker. "I do my best and I have a positive mindset, and I'm kind to everyone out there."

"You never know what someone's dealing with. You never know. And that's just what's got me here," he adds. "That's why I'm crying. Because this is how I feel. It's how I felt for such a long time. And this is the first time I feel that it's been paid back."

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