Pregnant and not know it?

  1. 0 I've seen a couple documentaries about women who have been pregnant but they didn't know it until they had the baby. Unfortunately I haven't been able to watch these documentaries in their entirety so I don't really understand what's going on with these women.

    Recently my step-cousin had a baby (at 18 years old, very religious family... you can see where this is going) and she claimed that she didn't know she was pregnant until she had the baby.

    My question is how? How can you NOT know you're pregnant? You can't feel the baby kicking? Is this just an excuse for some women, or is this a psychological phenomenon? Is there any kind of medical term or "disease" that explains this?

    Thanks for the input
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  3. Visit  ToxicShock} profile page

    About ToxicShock

    From 'Michigan'; 29 Years Old; Joined Mar '08; Posts: 527; Likes: 496.

    22 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  TheCommuter} profile page
    3
    I watched a documentary last night on the Discovery Health Channel regarding women who were unaware they were pregnant until they went into labor.

    A woman with a badly retroverted uterus is far less prone to "show" during the pregnancy, and is less likely to feel the baby's movement. Many women, especially the morbidly obese, have irregular menstrual cycles that occur only once in a blue moon. A perimenopausal woman is still able to get pregnant, but typically doesn't "feel" pregnant. In fact, many perimenopausal females mistake the pregnancy for menopause since they have not menstruated in 9 or 10 months.

    These are just a few of many issues that can mask a pregnancy.
    skittlebear, pagandeva2000, and tvccrn like this.
  5. Visit  Dottie78} profile page
    0
    I've heard a couple of similar stories, even one from my aunt. When she was pregnant with her first, she said she didn't know until she was 6 months along (until she felt the baby move)! Maybe it is true for some, because there are some women who still have periods and no symptoms, but like you, I honestly don't know how you CANNOT KNOW after so many months! I've been pregnant twice and for me there was no way of not knowing, even in the beginning. Maybe some women out there are just ignorant, and don't know the signs and symptoms of pregnancy and tend to ignore them? But how can a woman ignore the movement of the baby? How is that mistaken for something else? Feeling the baby kick and move is the one thing I miss about being pregnant! :heartbeat
  6. Visit  June55Baby} profile page
    1
    I saw the documentary on this topic on Discovery Health last night. Apparently, one gal was on BC pills and took an antibiotic which decreased the effectiveness of the pill and she became pregnant. She continued to have scanty, irregular "periods" the entire time which was not unusual for her. She had no nausea or cravings and the OB passed off her not feeling fetal movement as some babies just aren't very active?!!?? Anyway, when she went into labor and delivered, the 8# baby boy was a real surprise.

    The other lady I saw on the show was obese and had very irregular periods. She delivered twins at 30 weeks.

    At the end of the show there was a memorial for someone named Kyera with dates of January 2008 - March 2008. I think it might have been one of this lady's twins. Did anybody see that?

    I worked OB for 10 years and saw a couple of cases where the mom claims she didn't know she was pregnant.

    I say that denial is a strong emotion!
    tvccrn likes this.
  7. Visit  ToxicShock} profile page
    0
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I watched a documentary last night on the Discovery Health Channel regarding women who were unaware they were pregnant until they went into labor.

    A woman with a badly retroverted uterus is far less prone to "show" during the pregnancy, and is less likely to feel the baby's movement. Many women, especially the morbidly obese, have irregular menstrual cycles that occur only once in a blue moon. A perimenopausal woman is still able to get pregnant, but typically doesn't "feel" pregnant. In fact, many perimenopausal females mistake the pregnancy for menopause since they have not menstruated in 9 or 10 months.

    These are just a few of many issues that can mask a pregnancy.
    I hadn't thought of that, that makes a lot of sense. I just find it hard to believe that a perfectly healthy 18 year old wouldn't know she was pregnant
  8. Visit  Jolie} profile page
    0
    This is a hard phenomenon to wrap one's head around, especially for those of us who have experienced a term pregnancy.

    Working in OB, I've seen this a few times, and have to say that in my opinion, there seems to be a component of powerful denial.

    Unmarried teens are in a developmental stage where they don't believe that anything "bad" can happen to them. They often have irregular menses and are notoriously bad at keeping track of their cycles, so it is conceivable (no pun intended) that they may be several months along before they begin to suspect that they are pregnant. Then denial sets in. If I don't test, I don't have to acknowledge that I'm pregnant. Also, for obese or very physically fit women, the body changes that accompany pregnancy may not be terribly apparent. (I took care of a college student athlete who came in to deliver at full term comfortably wearing her size 5 jeans.)

    The women who I have a hard time believing are those who have had previous pregnancies. I cared for the very sick post-term infant of a 30-something nurse who was the mother of 3 other children, yet claimed not to know that she was pregnant. I can possibly understand a first-time mother failing to recognize the feeling of a baby moving, but I have a hard time believing it with a well-educated, experienced mother.
  9. Visit  Price 2002} profile page
    0
    One of my friends did not find out she was pregnant until 6 weeks before her due date. It was not abnormal for her to miss periods for months at a time and she wasn't gaining much weight. This was even her second child. Everyone thought she was crazy or hiding it but she is not that kind of person. She is in a stable marriage and they were really thrilled to have another baby. She said that she didn't feel any movements or anything. But she had a healthy, happy boy. He is almost 5 now and doing great. Just thought I would throw my in.
  10. Visit  APBT mom} profile page
    0
    When I worked at a OB/GYN we had a woman come in with and u/s and a due date for two days later. She was at least 6' 6" and was over 350 lbs (that was the max on the scale we had). We thought she was going to have a break down in the waiting room as she told us what happened.

    She said she always had irregular periods and she was very stressed out because her two of her family members lived on two little islands somewhere had separately within a week of each other gotten into car accidents that left the one a vent and the another getting bil AKA and going through rehab on two separate islands from where it happened. So for the last nine months she was flying back and forth taking care of them. She told us she had been having a "nervous stomach" since them. She only came back to the US for her annual at another MD and he told her that he was going to send her for an u/s due to not having a period. She originally didn't want to go because she said it was normal for her to be irregular sometimes with a year in between periods and wanted to get back to her family. The only reason she went was because she couldn't get a flight out until 8 pm that night. She said the tech was doing her u/s and asked her if she wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl. The woman told her that she wasn't pregnant and the tech turned the monitor and pointed to the babies head. She still didn't believe the tech. She was scared because she knew that you weren't suppose to fly in the third trimester and having no prenatal care.

    We ended up having to send her to a high risk OB because of her advanced maternal age and no prenatal care. We were told that she delivered an almost 10 lb baby the next day with no problems.

    Also wanted to add it was her first pregnancy.
  11. Visit  nicunana} profile page
    0
    About 15 years ago, I took care of a somewhat small for gestational age 32 week baby, whose Mom had no idea that she was pregnant until 10 days before she delivered him. In her case, it wasn't denial so much as careles assumptions on the part of her doctor. She was a 47 year old divorced teacher who lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with her 16 year old daughter. During the first trimester, she went to her family doctor with complaints of nausea and vomiting. He diagnosed it as a "stomach virus". Neither one of them was concerned that she had not had a period for several months, because of her age. A few months later, she was concerned about weight gain and swollen ankles, so once again she sought the advice of the good doctor. This time, he explained that menopause does that sometimes and put her on diuretics for the edema. Still later, she went to see him because she was having heavy duty "gas rumblings" in her tummy, so he sent her for a gall bladder film--after all, she was getting up there in age! Well, imagine everyone's surprise when the gallbladder film revealed a well developed, albeit somewhat small approximately 30 week baby!!! Ten days later, Mom went into premature labor and gave birth. Imagine having your whole life turned upside down in 10 short days. The 16 year old daughter was mortified that her Mom would do anything like "THAT". On top of everything else, they had to make new living arrangements to accommodate all of them and get all of the baby supplies that you usually have 9 months to prepare for. In this case, Mom was not in denial, she knew something wasn't quite right and went to her doctor to check it out. She was the kind of patient who would never question the doctor, cuz don't they walk on water every morning before breakfast? So, although she did actually know she was pregnent at the time of delivery, she certainly didn't know it for long!
  12. Visit  ToxicShock} profile page
    1
    Wow, after reading some of these stories... I can now understand the special circumstances behind a woman not knowing she is pregnant. Sounds like a bit of incompetency on the part of some of those doctors.

    I'm going to ask my Aunt about my cousin's predicament and see if I can get the deets. I'm curious about the legitimacy of her claim...

    And yes, nicunana, doctors DO walk on water before breakfast. They also don't have stinky poop. Who knew?
    Last edit by ToxicShock on Sep 24, '08 : Reason: Posted twice. Made different comment altogether lol
    Crux1024 likes this.
  13. Visit  NurseKatie08} profile page
    0
    Quote from TheCommuter
    I watched a documentary last night on the Discovery Health Channel regarding women who were unaware they were pregnant until they went into labor.

    A woman with a badly retroverted uterus is far less prone to "show" during the pregnancy, and is less likely to feel the baby's movement. Many women, especially the morbidly obese, have irregular menstrual cycles that occur only once in a blue moon. A perimenopausal woman is still able to get pregnant, but typically doesn't "feel" pregnant. In fact, many perimenopausal females mistake the pregnancy for menopause since they have not menstruated in 9 or 10 months.

    These are just a few of many issues that can mask a pregnancy.
    I saw the same documentary. They also mentioned if you have an anterior placenta, you'll likely not feel the baby's movement. I can see how it could happen, coupled with morbid obesity or one of the other situations you mentioned.
  14. Visit  nursejohio} profile page
    0
    Quote from Jolie
    This is a hard phenomenon to wrap one's head around, especially for those of us who have experienced a term pregnancy.

    Working in OB, I've seen this a few times, and have to say that in my opinion, there seems to be a component of powerful denial.

    Unmarried teens are in a developmental stage where they don't believe that anything "bad" can happen to them. They often have irregular menses and are notoriously bad at keeping track of their cycles, so it is conceivable (no pun intended) that they may be several months along before they begin to suspect that they are pregnant. Then denial sets in. If I don't test, I don't have to acknowledge that I'm pregnant. Also, for obese or very physically fit women, the body changes that accompany pregnancy may not be terribly apparent. (I took care of a college student athlete who came in to deliver at full term comfortably wearing her size 5 jeans.)
    I can do one better.We had a woman transferred to us from the ER, active labor, at term. She said she'd had an IAB at 12 weeks. Apparently she thought the continued weight gain and 'gas pain' was normal for the next 26 weeks? She was tall and thin, and I know they can hide it well, but she had a perfect basketball belly and the most visibly active kid I've ever seen!
  15. Visit  DanielleJ_RN} profile page
    0
    I would never have believed it until I witnessed it in person. Well, it was actually my best friend who witnessed it, but still just as valid. She adopted her daughter from a very nice couple. The birth mother was ill and taking bp meds. Due to other illnesses that she had, she has always had irregular periods. She was overweight, and her husband had had a vasectomy.

    She eventually headed to the ER with what they all thought was appendicitis. After doing the u/s they realized that she was having a baby, and upon further examination, they realized the baby was starting to crown. And the baby looks identical to it's birth father so there are no questions as to whether birth mom was fooling around outside of her marriage.

    They both wanted to keep the baby, but because they both had chronic health issues they decided to place her for adoption. So, yes, I've seen it. It still amazes me that there are people who just don't know, but now I believe that there are some legitimate ones out there.


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