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Monday, July 27, 2009

"I Didn't Know I was Pregnant!"

Sadly, one of the harsh realities we faced during our recent family vacation to beautiful Wrightsville Beach was living without our TiVo.

It was during the down time, taking a break from the sun-n-surf, that we experienced life as we once knew it. Gone was our limitless supply of “Mythbusters” and “Seinfeld” reruns. Instead, we were forced to watch regularly scheduled programming -- at its regularly scheduled time. We watched the All-Star Game live, without fast-forwarding or back-8-ing anything. (At one point Amelia asked Dave who Albert “Poo-holes” was.) Did you know a baseball game can last FOUR HOURS?

However, there are other things that absolutely should NOT last four hours, according to the Cialis ads we were forced to watch between every inning.

We learned that people are tuning in with enough regularity to keep shows like “18 and Counting” (about a woman who, in my opinion, could stand to give her vagina a break for a while) on the air.

But it was the show “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” that really grabbed our attention.

In IDKIWP, women spend half an hour recounting the time they thought they had gas, only to fart out a 7-pound, 7-ounce surprise.

Having given birth four times myself, I could not imagine nine months of expanding waistline, swollen ankles, and an unquenchable craving for Mexican food without questioning the cause. And passing a baby is NOTHING like passing---

“I wonder if my patient will be on,” Dave casually tossed out from behind his iPhone in the living room of our condo-by-the-beach, breaking my train of thought.

Ah yes, that poor woman…

Within the last 15 years, in one of the four places he has trained and/or practiced medicine, a woman came into Dave’s office complaining of gas pain, weight gain, and constipation. She feared a tumor.

Obviously, he asked if she might be pregnant.

“No, absolutely not,” she told him. “I’ve taken three tests in the last couple of months, and they all came back negative. And my periods are pretty regular,” she added.

To be fair to her, she was a bit overweight and would not have noticed a protruding belly as much as Nicole Richie probably did. To be fair to Dave, she was a bit overweight and had just assured him she was not pregnant.

Dr. Dave asked her lie down for her exam. He listened to her abdomen through his stethoscope and heard some rather odd sounds. He pressed around her large intestine and did, indeed, feel a mass he felt should be x-rayed.

While she sat in the exam room waiting for the results of her x-ray, nervous about her potential tumor, Dave stood outside her door, looking at the x-ray film that clearly showed a growth, but not the kind he was expecting. This one looked to be about 6-7 pounds, something she had likely had for 8-8 ½ months, with legs and arms, and a head engaged in her pelvis.

Yep, the tumor was a baby.

“How did you tell her?” I recall asking Dave that night at dinner.

“I told her that the good news was she did not have a tumor,” he said, “and that the condition was temporary.”

He had explained to her that the x-ray showed she was pregnant, pretty far along, and that she was welcome to sit in the exam room to collect herself for as long as she needed.

“Is she still sitting there?” I had asked as we cleared the dinner table.

“No, we got her an appointment with an OB. She should deliver within a few weeks. Maybe two.”

And now this story, and countless others that cannot possibly vary a whole lot, are available for viewing on Discovery Health.

Which gives me hope that one day, someone will pick up my idea for a reality show involving regular women in a room with a hot pan of brownies, a selection of designer swimsuits, Megan Fox, and duct tape.

20 comments:

JenJen said...

Jules....
I've been looking for your post!!

People who say they didn't know they were/are pregant at 8mos are idiots...

BR..K. .LL.N said...

A friend of mine was an actress who played on IDKIWP recently- she's now upset she went on the show- cause I guess she didn't look that great.

JennyMac said...

Great story...if only I just couldn't believe this type of thing happens. Our son's teacher had this surprise toot whoopsie theres a baby in there? We thought...goodbye..you should NOT be teaching our son one minute more.

Chris@Maugeritaville said...

I'm looking forward to the follow up, "I Didn't Know I Was Stupid".

Diane J. said...

It's not that they didn't know they were pregnant, it's that they were in denial.

How nice to be oblivious.

Glad you posted this. I, too, am shocked what gets on t.v. and that there are enough people watching that the show continues, YIKES.

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

One of my husband's friends (notice I said husband's, I don't want to admit to knowing someone this dense) found out she was pregnant about a month before she was due. The clincher is she's been pregnant before....don't you think you'd have a vague memory of how that went the first go around or was it so bad you blocked it out.

In all fairness to her, she is overweight. On the pill. And claimed to be getting regular periods. At one point when she suspected she was pregant, she took a test and twice it came back negative.

la_vie_en_shoes said...

Yep, that's more embarrassing than "I didn't know my skirt was tucked into my pantyhose."

Sassy Britches said...

I'm still laughing at the Cialis joke! :)

Elizabeth said...

I read your blog on a regular basis and thoroughly enjoy your light hearted humour.

I am a little disappointed with the vast majority of comments that have been published with regards to this weeks blog. Whilst some people may find it incredulous that these women don't know they're pregnant, we must be mindful that there could be a few reasons for this..
1) Some people don't have the intellectual capacity to understand what is transpiring within their body.
2) Some poor women are morbidly obese and hence don't notice.
3) Some women have irregular periods to begin with and bleed throughout their pregnancy. Although it's not a true period they mistake it as one.
4) If they have an anterior placenta this can interfere with a woman feeling fetal movement.
and of course, there is Diane J's non judgemental theory....

"some are in denial"

Elizabeth said...

I omitted to add that like you Sassy Britches, I too am laughing at the Cialis ads.

I am embarrassed to say I didn't even know what "Cialis" and had to refer that one onto Mr Google! Before you slate me... I'm an Australian and Rx drug advertising is illegal here.

Jules said...

Elizabeth, no drug ads on tv in Australia?? Yet another reason why I would love to live there. Imagine, the entire Superbowl without having to hear about middle-aged sex!!
As for how someone could not know, I think denial must rank #1. I can't imagine missing every single symptom and the gut instinct that is so strong.
Dave was stunned for some time by that patient's visit.
My mom's doctor failed to diagnose a baby in her too. This was 1978, she was pregnant and knew it, but did not know there were twins in there until the first one was born and the attending nurse felt a second baby!
That was a fun phone call for her to make to her friends, though, at 5'3", she still can't believe she didn't notice a second 7-pound baby in there!

Theresa said...

That is amazing. How could any woman not know she was pregnant. And after looking at that picture you have of those really heavy woman in the red suits, I think the question that begs to be answered is...WHO would get those women pregnant?

Jules said...

Theresa, I am cracking up! The ladies in the picture are actually wearing inflatable sumo ballerina outfits (I'm the one in front, the blonde on the right is the pregnant one, and our third amiga is behind me to the left). They are nylon material with battery-operated clip-on fans that keep them inflated. I'm glad to see they look authentic!!

Winna said...

“Is she still sitting there?” I had asked as we cleared the dinner table.

I love that! I know I would still be sitting there. I do know someone who was 6 mths before she knew. Having never been pregnant I can't have an opinion, but I can't imagine you could get by without feeling it move or something?? Not everyone has cravings or missed cycles. Some don't gain alot of weight or are big to begin with but don't all babies move around in there??

Elizabeth said...

I'm pleased to hear the "no drug advertising" was the catalyst for your impending move to Australia. Personally, I don't feel as if we're missing out by not having it!

With regards to your Mum's surprise 2nd baby I guess we can be thankful that medical technology has improved somewhat since then. I'm sure they dined out on that story for some time and 7 pound is no lightweight either! That is a cute story!

My Mum, who is extremely petite, had babies ranging in weight from 11 pound down to 9 pound! At her heaviest during pregnancy she got up to 114 pound! Her last baby came as a complete surprise when she turned 40, and my brother who was 18 years old at the time, was mortified that his parents were still sexually active! As he approaches 40 himself we constantly remind him of this!

Chrissy said...

Ain't life without TIVO a bitch? I go to my parents and I point the remote at the TV thinking it will pause it. Really, FOUR hours for a baseball game??

BTW, my parent's fat neighbor didn't know she was pregnany until she went into labor. F'd up.

Chrissy said...

BTW, I have something for you to pimp your blog. C'mon over and get it!

f8hasit said...

I wish I were that ignorant, I mean unaware that I wouldn't know that I was with child.

I didn't have a difficult pregnancy (compared to many stories I've heard) but by God, I KNEW what was going on!
As did my ankles, my hands, and my feet as they swelled up the last month or so...

:-)

Thanks for the post! Fun stuff!

Collette said...

I always wondered about those who never knew they were pregnant. I just chalk it up to sheer stupidity-or drugs!
I love your blog! Found it through Chrissy @ I'd rather be a stripper.

kk said...

Totally saw this, and was totally horrified.

Similarly, one Sunday morning I fell prey to "16 and Pregnant" on MTV. It was like a train wreck. I knew I shouldn't be watching, but I didn't know how to turn away (or the channel). Eventually Mr. KK got hooked in, and we watched a FULL HOUR of a white trash teenager and her mother give birth within 3 weeks of each other.

(PS: thanks for the award! I'm hoping to post it soon!)