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How can women not know they're pregnant?


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#1 Rov Judicata

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 03:28 PM

I've seen news stories about woman who feel pain, go to the bathroom, and end up with a baby they didn't know they were carrying.

How is this remotely possible? How can a woman go through nine months of pregnancy without any noticeable symptoms, such as weight gain or lack of periods?
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#2 ShotenStar

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 03:50 PM

My Mother was an Emergency Room Nurse, who occasionally came home with similar stories -- woman comes into the emergency room complaining of stomach pains and goes home with a baby.  Her take on these situations was that 1) these were women who had never received any basic sex education information and did not associate the cessation of periods with pregnancy, 2) these were women who did not have a good support system of friends / family / doctors who observed them enough to notice changes in their bodies, and/or 3) these were women with severe mental problems who were deep into denial about the condition they were in.

Whatever the cause, this has got to be a traumatic situation that is less an ideal for the baby.

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#3 Drew

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 04:00 PM

My brother also worked as an ER Paramedic, and had at least one incident where a woman came in complaining of severe stomach pains, and voila!--a baby entered the world soon after.

Now, my wife is over seven months along, and I think she's been showing for at least five months. My sister-in-law, however, just had a baby last weekend, and when I saw her the previous weekend, I didn't think she looked pregnant at all. But then, my sister-in-law is rather large, and she looked . . . well, as large as usual.

Different women carry differently. One of my wife's bridesmaids was seven months' pregnant on our wedding day, and no one noticed. And she's not a large woman by any means.

Also, I understand some women continue to have a monthly . . . indicator. (Trying to put that delicately.)
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#4 gaius claudius

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 04:13 PM

Quote

these were women who had never received any basic sex education information and did not associate the cessation of periods with pregnancy, 2) these were women who did not have a good support system of friends / family / doctors who observed them enough to notice changes in their bodies, and/or 3) these were women with severe mental problems who were deep into denial about the condition they were in

Or, they can be none of the above...true personal experience follows.....

Back in 1996 I was working in the Banquet Dept of a local upscale hotel, small staff so in general we partied together, hung out, dated each other etc....
A good friend of mine named Robin (female) worked the front desk, 25 yrs old (at the time) sophisticated, well educated, no mental problems, plenty of friends and family..

During that summer she got new boyfriend and they moved in together, I actually helped move in their furniture. just to preface ..Robin's about 5'7" and maybe 125lbs...

I saw her every day at work and probably hung out with her and her significent other every other weekend...during the next 7 and a half months the girl smoked like chimney, drank like a fish on the weekends, and never gained a ounce of bodyweight (as for her period, I've been told since by her that she's always been infrequent or irregular, so missing a month here or there was quite normal for her)

on a saturday night we're at a local club, she starts to get some pretty severe stomach pains, the flu has been going around and we've drinking all night so at first she doesn't think anything of it, eventually they get pretty bad so we take her hospital.... :(

4 hours late Robin and her boyfriend have a brand new 7lb!!! baby girl, no complications, no problems...and will never forget the look on her boyfriend's (now husband) face when the doctor first asked if he was ready to see mother and child :crazy:

sh*t happens


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#5 Consubstantial

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 05:18 PM

It is quite true that some women continue to have a monthly visitor while pregnant.  Some don't experience weight gain or nausea either.  If a woman didn't have any normal pregnancy symptoms, why would she suspect pregnacy?
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#6 Christopher

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 06:21 PM

In the recent case reported in the media, that awful case where the baby was delivered in a toilet and died a few days later, I read that the woman was nearly paralyzed from the waist down, and had little sensation there.

Historically and prehistorically, labor and delivery haven't always been a big production number like it's usually seen today.  Often women working in the fields or gathering foodstuffs would just, to overstate a bit but not too much, let the baby drop out, pick it up and carry on with their work.

Studies have shown that the degree of discomfort in childbirth is directly proportional to a woman's level of sexual shame.  In our rather prudish culture, it's not surprising that delivery would so often be traumatic and difficult.  But in other times, cultures with other values, it might have been relatively easy.  (Well, all else being equal.  My best friend spent over a day in very painful labor, because the baby was turned the wrong way and they were hoping the contractions would get it the right way around.  They didn't, and she ultimately needed a c-section.  I should amend my comments to say that delivery back then was often easy, but when it wasn't easy it was frequently fatal for one or both of the participants.)
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#7 shambalayogi

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 06:40 PM

There are women who have such irregular periods that they could go without for a month or two, maybe three, and not realize they were pregnant. But I can't imagine a woman going a whole term preganancy and not having a clue that she might be pregnant.

Others of us have such regular periods that we  would know immediately within the next month when it didn't come.

Edited by shambalayogi, 22 October 2003 - 06:41 PM.

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#8 MegL

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 07:31 PM

Here's the CNN article on this

http://www.cnn.com/2...reut/index.html

Interesting tidbit from this

Quote

Hounsell had tried unsuccessfully to conceive in the past.

Her husband Dennis Ross, 44, had been told he could not father children after a car accident two-and-a-half years earlier.

"He's [the baby] a good size. It makes you wonder where I could hide it. My boss was very surprised but not quite as surprised as I was," Hounsell was quoted as saying.


So maybe in this case it was a bit of a surprise  :eek2:.


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#9 sierraleone

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 08:10 PM

It isn't just weight gain or periods that make most people go  :eh: I'm not saying it can't happen, but its still kinda weird. What about their breasts, the kicking, the morning sickness. They might not have morning sickness, but it would be very odd if they got absolutely no symptoms. Of course they might think their pregnancy symptoms are something else....  :upside:
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#10 Norville

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 10:23 PM

There are also some women who are incredibly... large... and don't actually see much difference between pregnancy and their normal state, so didn't even notice. So I've heard alleged.

I've also heard some women claim, on the other side of the scale, that they knew the very second they conceived.

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#11 Christopher

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 06:33 AM

shambalayogi, on Oct 22 2003, 07:40 PM, said:

There are women who have such irregular periods that they could go without for a month or two, maybe three, and not realize they were pregnant. But I can't imagine a woman going a whole term preganancy and not having a clue that she might be pregnant.
Well, as ShotenStar pointed out, there are a lot of girls and women in our society who receive no sex education of any kind, who don't even know what the signs are.  (I once overheard two teenage girls talking on the bus, and at least one of them was convinced that she couldn't get pregnant unless she wanted to.)
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#12 Themis

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 03:44 PM

I had an acquaintance to had an unexpected baby.  Didn't get into the clinical details, but she was always overweight  (not humongous, but far from thin) and must have been lucky with the other indicators.  She was married and a college grad... I still found it hard to believe that somebody as bright as she was could carry a full-term baby and not know it... :eh:  :eh:

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#13 sierraleone

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Posted 23 October 2003 - 04:54 PM

Norville, on Oct 22 2003, 07:23 PM, said:

There are also some women who are incredibly... large... and don't actually see much difference between pregnancy and their normal state, so didn't even notice. So I've heard alleged.

I've also heard some women claim, on the other side of the scale, that they knew the very second they conceived.

Life is weird...
I know a man who said he knew the second his partner/his child(was) concieved  :blink: But then I consider him a nutcase (for other - many - reaons) and don't put much stock in anything he says ;) :D
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Rule#6: Remember the future.
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#14 ShotenStar

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Posted 25 October 2003 - 08:45 AM

Norville, on Oct 22 2003, 10:23 PM, said:

There are also some women who are incredibly... large... and don't actually see much difference between pregnancy and their normal state, so didn't even notice.
Dear old Mom had an Emergency Room story on this one, too (we had some great dinnertime comversations at our house....)

Seems a lady came in, known to be pregnant and in full labor, who was very, very, very well-fed.  Mom said they had a hard time pushing aside the rolls of fat in order to deliver the baby.

At age 12, this story made me wonder how she got pregnant in the first place ..... :eek2:
At age 24, it made me want to meet the guy  :devil:
At age 50, it makes me say 'good grief'.

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#15 sierraleone

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Posted 26 October 2003 - 03:05 AM

ShotenStar, on Oct 25 2003, 05:45 AM, said:

Norville, on Oct 22 2003, 10:23 PM, said:

There are also some women who are incredibly... large... and don't actually see much difference between pregnancy and their normal state, so didn't even notice.
Dear old Mom had an Emergency Room story on this one, too (we had some great dinnertime comversations at our house....)

Seems a lady came in, known to be pregnant and in full labor, who was very, very, very well-fed.  Mom said they had a hard time pushing aside the rolls of fat in order to deliver the baby.

At age 12, this story made me wonder how she got pregnant in the first place ..... :eek2:
At age 24, it made me want to meet the guy  :devil:
At age 50, it makes me say 'good grief'.

*star*
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Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.
- Masha Gessen
Source: http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html

#16 curiousa2z

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 12:11 PM

ROTFLOL@ShotenStar's post!!

ah, how perspectives change with time.....  :rolleyes:  :D
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#17 doxymom

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Posted 22 November 2003 - 07:15 PM

Well, even though I knew I was pregnant pretty quickly, I actually lost weight during pregnancy. I was pretty sick, though.

And, I've gone a year without menses, thanks to stress. I wasn't pregnant then, either. So, if I hadn't started having "baby dreams" I might not have known for a while either. I'm sure I'd have noticed well before the end, though.

#18 Orpheus

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 01:24 AM

Quote

I know a man who said he knew the second his partner/his child(was) concieved  But then I consider him a nutcase (for other - many - reaons) and don't put much stock in anything he says 

You're talking about me, right? [When did I ever tell you that story?]

Well, it wasn't seconds, it was a suspicion that grew over a period of 20-30 minutes (which felt like a lot less than it sounds like now; we were busy), and we both felt it.  By noon the next day we were both certain.

Of course she stubbornly insisted that  the child was a daughter, and wouldn't listen to any other possibility. It was in her, after all!  I wouldn't even argue the point (Trust me, never argue with a pregnant woman. In fact, never argue with a pregnat man, if you can avoid it - as, thus far, I have). I just gave her my maddening "Someday you'll understand how right I am" smirk, and said "whatever you say, dear". She hated that, and taunted me: Silly Dad, everyone knows X is for kids." (women being XX)

It was, of course, my son.

Silly Mom. Everyone knows it's the father who determines gender. Go ahead, give the kid an X, I'll give a Y. We'll see who wins.

#19 Lea

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:02 AM

Orpheus, on Nov 24 2003, 08:24 AM, said:

Go ahead, give the kid an X, I'll give a Y. We'll see who wins.
Not that I'm accepting your offer  :blush: but you would give both X and Y and the woman will choose which one to take.  :p
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#20 Orpheus

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Posted 24 November 2003 - 07:26 PM

Not me, Lea. I view reproduction as a competitive sport.


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