The other day I was reading the newspaper and came across a story that made my blood run cold. It’s the kind of thing that you like to believe doesn’t really happen.
On New Year’s Eve Juanita Stead of Port de Grave, Newfoundland went into the hospital because she was having abdominal pains. She thought it was kidney stones. Actually, though, it was labour. Shortly thereafter baby Nicholas was born, breech no less, weighing a healthy 7lbs, 12oz. Juanita hadn’t even realized that she was pregnant. You can read all the details yourself here and here.
It’s hard to get your head around this. How can you not know you’re pregnant? I realize that the mom in this story is a larger woman, and didn’t gain any weight with the pregnancy, but this wasn’t even her first baby. Having two kids of my own, I seem to remember that being kicked constantly from the inside was rather noticeable. Even if you missed the various other symptoms, surely that would trigger some alarm, right? I want to believe that it would, because being pregnant and not knowing it is my secret irrational fear.
I know several moms who have gone some time without realizing they were pregnant. Like 5 or 6 months, but eventually, and well in advance of labour, something twigged and they realized what was what. In those cases they were breastfeeding older babies, and managed to conceive without getting their regular cycles back. I can see how that would happen. How you would go in for a dating ultrasound after you find out you’re pregnant and discover you’re actually 24 weeks along. But full-term?
All that I can say is God Bless you, Juanita Stead. And I hope you will understand if your story gives me nightmares.