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Cryptic pregnancy: "I did not know I had a baby until I saw his head" Life and Style



Claw Dolan, then 22 years old, woke up at 4 o'clock on the day she had to start her new job, she thought the agonizing stomach cramps signaled her period was "back in revenge." She had taken the pill without rest for more than six months, but she had stopped about two weeks ago. The waves of pain left her pale and trembling, but she did not feel she could call the patient on her first day-so she took some paracetamol at the advice of her mother, and took the bus and tube from the house they shared in Crylick. in the northwest of London in the city.

Hours later, Dolan was in Hempstead's Royal Free Hospital, assigning a newborn baby: totally healthy and carried to a term. Dolan was born in the bathroom of his apartment after sending him to work sick with work; one of her neighbors had heard the screams of labor and called an ambulance. When Dolan rang her mother and told her to come to the maternity ward, the answer was, "But you were not pregnant this morning!"

Amelia, now three, was "a total surprise," says Dolan, to believe. How could she not know she was pregnant? But the more relevant question might be: why did she think she was?

Dollan broke up with his friend (Amelia's father) five months before her daughter was born and is accustomed to not getting periods. She had earned a little weight, but she said it until she was separated. With a mirror, she took a sentence that she was not seven and a half months pregnant. Nothing was showing. I did not feel it. I had no symptoms, no desire, no nausea ̵

1; nothing. I was out of my burden. "

In fact, the first time that the thought that she might be pregnant interrupted her thought while she was giving birth. So far, it has become clear that this is not a period. "My body just told me to hurt the pain. Then I saw the head go out. "What did she think?" – Honestly, I can not tell you. I was in absolute shock.

Last week around the world there were reports of the extreme case of a woman surprised by her own complete pregnancy: a woman from Bangladesh gave birth to a healthy and expected boy, only to learn almost a month later that she was wearing twins in a second uterus were also born healthy 26 days after their first child). The physical circumstances in this case and the fact that the woman knew she was pregnant with one child, but not three, clearly made her unusual. But the phenomenon of a woman who carries a baby to put it without knowing she is pregnant is more common than can be thought of; as Dolan finds after the birth of Amelia, this is known as a "mysterious pregnancy." A 2002 document published in the British Medical Journal shows that it occurs in around one in every 2,500 pregnancies, suggesting about 320 cases in the UK every year.

"This is not a particularly unusual phenomenon," says Professor Helen Shane. of obstetrics at the University of Stirling for nurses, midwives and health professionals in Glasgow. "It's a rarity – but that's not so rare." In midwifery, obstetric and gynecological circles, she says that if you have not encountered any mysterious pregnancy, it is not uncommon to know someone – or to know someone who knows someone –

At the beginning of Cheyne's career as a clinical midwife in 1982 or 1983, she remembers taking care of a woman in the post-natal ward of Princess Royal Hospital in Glasgow, who did not know she was pregnant until he goes into childbirth. She had given birth before – then her children were teenagers – and she has recorded irregular periods and gain weight until the age. Cheyne remembers that she and her husband are in full shock. "I've never forgotten that. It is quite credible. "Still, she adds, it's" very, very difficult to get your head off. " "The feeling that the baby is moving inside of you – if you have children, it is very difficult to imagine how you can not admit what it is. Having an 8-pound baby inside you … "She laughs. She also adds that this is not only possible for overweight women, as is usually supposed.

Although the study is rare – as one might expect, given the main element of surprise – Cheyne says that the mysterious pregnancy has been recorded worldwide. , dating back to centuries. In fact, this is more understandable when pregnancy diagnoses depend on indicators such as period loss and nausea. With very accurate modern tests, Cheney says: "It's very easy to diagnose pregnancy – if you expect to be pregnant."

  Dollan seven and a half months pregnant



Dollan seven and a half months pregnant: the only shot I have during my pregnancy
But this phenomenon can not be explained by the fact that women simply do not feel or notice the signs of pregnancy, even though they are variable. "Many people who do not expect to become pregnant, get pregnant and admit that they are," Cheney said, adding that this is true even for women in military zones, refugee camps and other challenging situations where they may not have access to tests. or health care. "If the symptoms of pregnancy are usually blurry and not easily detectable, [cryptic pregnancies] will happen all the time – so I think it should be something special about the symptoms seen by these women."

Cryptic pregnancy has been reported as "a psychological phenomenon," says Cheney, but he does not believe that this applies to all cases. "Pregnancy is obviously a physical thing, but becoming a mother is social and psychological – maybe pregnancy."

Of course, when the cases make headlines (a representative example: "The woman had no idea she was pregnant – while she had no idea, they were born in the toilet"), they are usually accepted with distrust, skepticism and cowardly interest, and low-priced documentary sequences. The "surprised baby" of Sonia's 15-year-old son of EastEnders in 2000 made a strong impression on a generation of young women, while the American television series "I did not know I was pregnant" competed for four seasons. (In 2015, it was reissued for special episodes for women who did not have one but two mysterious pregnancies entitled "I did not know yet that I was pregnant."

That a woman could experience such a transforming physiological experience like pregnancy without having Every awareness of this seems to cause deep disbelief, especially among those who have been pregnant Dolan says people have questioned her common sense, her connection to her own body and even the truth of her story. Detects that some mothers are "When I tell them I have no desire or morning sickness, I do not have too bad a job – I just went through pregnancy, if they will – they are like," How can not you know? "And almost: "How can you live with yourself without knowing?" She says, "There is a huge stigma not only as a pregnant woman but also a young woman who does not know she is pregnant."

Well, the reaction of men "I do not think they get it." Every man I've said was "yes, cool," and he seems to have forgotten. "contact with many women who have not talked about her own mysterious pregnancy with shame, and the evidence of her mysterious pregnancy is obvious to her." "Anything I can tell everyone who thinks I've hidden it is, why? Not only will I put my health at risk but also put my child's health at risk. "

The fact that Amelia is translated into a term and is born healthy without help is a" miracle, "says Dolan, given that she worked for 12 hours, 60 hours in her hospitable work for her entire pregnancy. "I did not live my life of a pregnant woman in the past eight months I was a bar manager for God I was carrying crates with alcohol on the stairs while I was eight months old

The risk is inherent in the mysterious pregnancy during pregnancy but the most acute at birth "Women can start giving birth without medical assistance, sometimes in dangerous situations or in their own right." The tragic cases in which the child was born dead or died shortly after birth led to the prosecution of the mother, Shine said, especially historically. "In a less comprehensible society, a woman can be accused of infanticide. People would say, "You must have known you were pregnant – otherwise how else would that happen?"

Even the relatively simple birth of a healthy baby can be very traumatic. "Most parents have nine months to prepare," says Dolan. "I had two seconds – maybe a minute. Immediately my life changed forever. "Unlike the cases of Dollan and Bangladeshi mothers, past trauma can be an influential factor in pregnancy that is not recognized," says Dr. Silvia Murphy Tighe, a professor of obstetrics and director of Nursing and Obstetrics at the University in Limerick, Ireland. For her doctoral degree, Tigue studies a hidden pregnancy: where women hide their babies from others and often, at some level, themselves. Considering the relationship, it avoids the term "mysterious pregnancy" in favor of a wider "forgotten pregnancy" that accepts the possibility of both deliberate and subconscious rejection (although it considers the first to be much more common) .

The 30 women she interviewed revealed "varying levels of awareness" about their pregnancy, says Tighe. Some told her years later that they "absolutely knew", even though they were then told they were not. Others have trusted a person, often a partner, a family member, or a health care professional, before giving it up to everyone else, sometimes in response to that reaction.

The main motivator she found is fear: these women are terrified. , often for their own survival. There is also a close link between hidden pregnancy and trauma, such as sexual abuse of children, sexual abuse and domestic violence, applicable to 11 of its 30 interviewees.

Others say they are more silent than the social stigma of an unplanned pregnancy, fearing retribution or loss of control over their lives. (Although not all of its studies were Irish, Tiege said that the country's cultural resilience to unplanned pregnancies is a factor.) Since this hidden pregnancy can be "externally and internally mediated", says Tigue, one answer is to deal with avoidance. "They could understand this" Can I be pregnant? "But they excluded it, because pregnancy, in their current circumstances, is a really big crisis."

Often the impact of this is revealed only in many cases of therapy. Her interviewees speculated, says Tigue: "Whether it was six years or 30 years after the event, they turn back and are ready to talk … It's like a process of reconciliation." May only feel horror. One case claims that she did not know she was pregnant until her third interview. "We can avoid thinking – we can push them out of our minds," says Tigue, especially if there are factors such as contraception or other medical explanations that can support this denial. A study, a nursing nurse from rural Ireland, recalled that "blocked the thought". "She said," If I thought I felt a movement, I said, maybe I have an ovarian cyst. "She did not want to go there to admit she was pregnant."

These desperate measures of women, says Tighe, are indicative of the need for responses to hidden pregnancy by healthcare professionals – especially those who take into account the lasting effects of trauma on maternal and maternal approaches. Sensational media reports have also not helped women feel they can move forward.

For women who have not suffered significant trauma but have hidden their pregnancy, Tigue says the child is simply not part of their "life plan."

Dollan says the baby with her ex-boyfriend, 22, was not part of her plan. But she's also unambiguous: she did not know she was pregnant until she was born. "I would not have to worry about telling my family if I did. Obviously, I would have been nervous to tell them – but there would have been a party, you know?

She was also radiant of the joy that Amelia had brought to her and her mother's life. "Funny is she is so alive," she says, "given that I do not feel she is moving around." In the United Kingdom, with the Samaritans you can contact 116 123 . In Australia Lifeline of the Crisis Support Service is 13 11 14 . In the US, suicide prevention is 1-800-273-8255, and the home hotline for violence is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other international phone lines can be found at www.befrienders.org


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