Wchicken Clara Dollan, then 22, woke up at 4 am on the day she was to start her new job, she thought that her painful stomach cramps signaled its period of being "with a vengeance". She was taking pills without a break for more than six months, but stopped about two weeks ago. Waves of pain left her pale and trembling, but she did not feel that she could call the patient on her first day – so she took some paracetamol for his mother's advice and took a bus and then the tube out of the house they shared in Cricklewood in northwest London in the city.
A few hours later, Dollan was in the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, in holding newborn girl: completely healthy and carried to term. Dollan bore herself in the bathroom of her apartment, after being sent home sick from work; a neighbor heard her screams work and called an ambulance. If Dollan called her mother and told her to come to the maternity ward, the answer was: "But you are not pregnant this morning!"
Amelia now three, was "a complete surprise", says Dollan, that many struggle to believe. How could she not know that she was pregnant? But more pertinent question might be: Why would she think she was?
Dollan broke up with her boyfriend (the father of Amelia) five months before the birth of her daughter, and it was used not to get periods. She got a little weight, but chalked that to decay. self mirror she took not change no trace of it to be seven and a half months pregnant. "There was nothing to show. I did not feel it. I had no symptoms, no affection, no nausea – nothing. I was out of the cycle of my pregnancy. "
In fact, the first time the thought she might be pregnant crossed her mind was how she gave birth. At this point, it was clear that this was not the time. "My body just tells me to push the pain. Then I saw his head go. "What was she thinking? "I can not tell you, honestly. I was in absolute shock. "
On a & # 39 message appears on the worldwide extreme case of women, surprised at her own full-term pregnancy last week: Bangladeshi woman gave birth to healthy and expecting a boy, only to find, almost a month later, she has twins in the second uterus (also born healthy , 26 days after his first child). Physical conditions in this case, and the fact that the woman knew she was pregnant with one child – but not three – obviously make it very unusual. But the phenomenon of a woman with a baby in her arms in time, not knowing that she is pregnant is more common than one would think; Dollan and found out after the birth of Amelia, this is known as "mysterious pregnancy." The document was published in 2002 in the British Medical Journal has estimated that it occurs in about one of every 2500 pregnancies, indicating that the 320 cases in the UK each year.
"This is not particularly unusual to & # 39 announcement," said Helen Cheyne, professor of obstetrics at the University of Stirling Nursing, Midwifery and Research Department of the Allied Health Professions in Glasgow. "It is rare – but it is not so rare." The midwife and obstetric and gynecological wheels, she says, if you do not come across a mysterious pregnancy itself, is not a & # 39 is unusual to see someone – you know someone who knows someone – who is.
At the beginning of car & # 39; EASURES Cheyne as a clinical midwife, in 1982 or 1983, she recalls how the care of women during the postpartum maternity princess department Royal in Glasgow, who did not know she was pregnant until she went into labor . She gave birth before – when her children were young people – and she chalked her irregular periods and weight gain by age. Cheyne says she and her husband, being in complete shock. "I'll never forget it. She was completely trustworthy. "
And yet, she adds, it is "very, very difficult to get around the head." "The feeling of the baby moving inside you – if you have children, it is very difficult to imagine how you can not accept that for what it is. Having 8lb baby inside you … "She laughs. She also adds that it is not only possible for women who are overweight significantly, as is commonly believed.
Although the study poorly – as one would expect, given the fundamental element of surprise – Cheyne says mysterious pregnancy have been reported around the world since centuries. In fact, it was more clear, if the pregnancy diagnoses depend on such factors as loss of periods, and nausea. With the high precision of modern tests, Cheyne says, "It is very easy to diagnose pregnancy – if you expect that she is pregnant."
But with this & # 39; reality can not be explained simply as a woman does not feel there to notice signs of pregnancy, variables, though they are. "A lot of people who do not plan to get pregnant get pregnant do, and recognize that they are," says Cheyne, adding that this is true even of women in war zones, refugee camps, and other complex situations where there may not be access to tests or health . "If the symptoms of pregnancy are usually dull and not so easy to find, [cryptic pregnancies] It happens all the time – so I think it should be something more specific to the symptoms experienced by these particular women. "
Cryptic pregnancy was reported as a "psychological phenomenon", Cheyne says, but she does not believe it applies to all cases. "Pregnancy is obviously a physical thing, but to become the mother of a socio-psychological, as well as -., May also pregnancy"
It is quite clear that if things do headers (representative example: "The woman had no idea that she was pregnant – until she gave birth in the toilet"), they tend to be obtained from the distrust, skepticism and sinister interest as material soap operas and low rent documentary series. Fifteen-year-old Sony "surprise baby" on EastEnders in 2000, made a vivid impression on a generation of young women, while the US TV series, I did not know I was pregnant run for four seasons. (In 2015 it was performed for the special episodes of women who did not have one, but two mysterious pregnancy, under the name I did not know I was pregnant.)
The fact that a woman can be so transformative physiological experience pregnancy without having knowledge of it, seems to evoke deep-seated mistrust, especially among those who have experienced a pregnancy. Dollan says that people are questioning her common sense, her relationship with her own body, and even the veracity of her story. She found some mothers to be intentional in particular.
"When I tell them that I had no traction or morning sickness, that I did not have too bad of labor – what I just went through the pregnancy, if you will – they are like," How could you not know "And almost: "How could you live with yourself, not knowing," she says. "There's a huge stigma of not only the future of the young woman, who is pregnant, but the young woman, not knowing that she is pregnant."
What about the reaction from men? "I do not think they grasp it at all. Every person I told was like, "Yeah, cool", and seemed to have forgotten instantly. "
After she went public about her story, this morning four and a half months after birth, Dollan says that it involves a lot of women who do not speak about their own mysterious pregnancy with embarrassment. For a proof of its mysterious pregnancy is obvious. "All I can say to those who think that I hid it: why should I? Not only that, I would put your health at risk, I would put my child's health at risk. "
This Amelia was carried out on time and was born healthy, without any help, "a miracle," says Dollan, given that it operates 12 hours a day, 60 hours a week in her hotel job for her entire pregnancy. "I have not lived the life of a pregnant woman, in the past eight months. I was the manager of the bar, for Christ's sake. I was carrying alcohol boxes up the stairs until I was eight months pregnant. "
The risk inherent in a hidden pregnancy, during pregnancy, but is particularly acute in the act of giving birth. Women can go to work without medical care, sometimes in dangerous situations or alone. The tragic cases when the child was born dead or died shortly after birth, the mother led to persecution, Cheyne says, especially historically. "In less than an understanding of the society, a woman can be pre & # 39; revealed by the charge of infanticide. People say, "You must know that you are pregnant – how else is there?"
Even a relatively simple delivery of a healthy baby can be very painful. "Most parents have nine months to prepare," says Dollan. "I had two seconds – maybe a minute. Instantly, my life changed forever. "
Unlike Dollan cases and Bangladeshi mother in the past trauma can be an influential factor in the pregnancy there is no evidence, says Dr. Sylvia Murphy Tighe, obstetrics lecturer and course director at the Department of Nursing and Midwifery at the University of Limerick, Ireland. For her doctoral thesis, he studied Tighe hide the pregnancy where women hide their child from others and often, on some level itself. Given the connection, she shuns the term "mysterious pregnancy" in favor of a broader catchy all "denied pregnancy", which is possible as the conscious and subconscious rejection (although she believes that the former is much more common from the & # 39; true).
In the 30 women she interviewed showed "fluctuations in the level of awareness" about her pregnancy, said Tighe. Some told her, years after the fact, "they absolutely knew," in spite of what they said at the time that they had not. Other confided in one person – often a partner, family member & # 39; and or a health worker – to deny it to all others, sometimes in response to this reaction.
The main motivator, she found fear: these women were frightened, often for their own survival. There was also a strong connection between the hidden pregnancy and injuries, such as sexual assault, sexual assault and domestic violence & # 39; and 11 applied to its 30 respondents.
The rest reported feeling more social stigma silenced unplanned pregnancy, fear of retaliation, or loss of control over their lives. (Although not all of its case studies were Irish, Tighe said the country's cultural resistance to unplanned pregnancy & # 39 is a factor.) Thus concealed pregnancy can be "internally and externally mediated," says Tighe, one response has been to cope avoidance. "They could get this understanding," Could I be pregnant? "But they closed it because pregnancy, in their current life circumstances, it really suras & # 39; serious crisis."
Often the effect of this was only fully revealed in due course, and in many cases the therapy. Its sides were reflected, says Tighe: «Or & # 39 is this was six years old or 30 years after the event, they look back and they were ready to talk … It's like joining process to the term" At that time, however, they may feel only fear. One example stated that she did not know that she was pregnant with her third interview & # 39; S.
"We can avoid the thought – we can push them out of our minds," said Tighe, especially if there are factors such as contraception or other medical explanations that can support this rejection. One example, a nurse from rural Ireland, resembles a "blocking thoughts". "She said," If I thought that I could feel the movement, I said to myself, maybe I had ovarian cysts She did not want to go in terms of recognizing that she was pregnant.. "
These desperate measures for women, says Tighe, indicate the need for a sensitive reaction to a hidden pregnancy by health professionals in particular – one that takes into account the long-term effects of trauma on the individual approach to motherhood. Sensational media reports, does not help women to feel that they can come forward.
For those women who have not had a significant injury, but hidden pregnancy, Tighe said, referring to the child simply is not a & # 39 is part of their "life plan".
Dollan says that a child with her ex-boyfriend, aged 22, was not part of her plan. But it is also clear: she did not know she was pregnant until she was unable to work. "I would not have had any doubts about my telling something & # 39; nd when I'm done. Obviously, I would be nervous to tell them – but there would be a party, you know "
It also illuminated the joy that Amelia was brought to her life, and her mother. "I wonder what she is so alive," she says, "given that I do not feel it in motion."
• In the UK, the Samaritans can be contacted on 116123In Australia, the Lifeline Crisis Support Service 13 November 14, U.S. survival preventing suicide 1-800-273-8255 and domestic violence hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Other international hotlines can be found at www.befrienders.org