Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gout?!

There's a fun little story in the UK newspaper The Sun right now. I swear I found the link on Twitter, but when I went back to find it I couldn't. Regardless, the story is... well. It's special. It's about a woman in Britain who didn't know she was pregnant until three hours before she gave birth.

Now, I don't watch that show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, so maybe that's why I find this so shocking. But it's not so much HER that I'm shocked about. I mean, I think it's pretty clear that she's not a Mensa candidate, and if I missed my period for nine months in a row I'm guessing it would occur to me to take a pregnancy test.

But, she's overweight. Her period may never have been regular. And there's no requirement that ordinary people be smart.

But there IS a requirement that doctors be smart, or at least REASONABLE. And this woman WENT TO THE DOCTOR when she got pregnant. She has been there REGULARLY over the past nine months with stomach ailments that were diagnosed as IBS and gout. GOUT. And it never once occurred to any of her doctors to see if she were pregnant.

But the worst part? When they DID figure out that she was pregnant, they told her she was THREE MONTHS ALONG and sent her home. Three hours before the baby was born! And it wasn't a preemie... it weighed almost nine pounds. Nine pounds! Did it not occur to them to do an ultrasound when they realized she was pregnant? Because it's my understanding that ultrasounds can tell you how much a baby weighs and when they're due. They might not be right to the ounce and to the day, but I'm pretty sure that if you do an ultrasound of a nine-months-pregnant woman with a nine-pound baby in her uterus, you're not going to think that she's only three months along.

I mean, what did they do? Glance at her stomach and say, "Eh, looks like you're about three months along. Run along home now and we'll see you in another six months"?

Seriously, this story is UNBELIEVABLE. I cannot get over it. What a crappy standard of care!

But I do have to say I think this quote from the mother is hilarious: "We hardly had time to think about it; no one believed us when we told them we suddenly had a child."

I mean, imagine giving birth one day, just like that! And calling up your parents and telling them they've suddenly become grandparents. And having to call up work and say oh by the way I'll need to go on maternity leave... starting now. And the father has to run out while you stay in the hospital with the baby to buy a car seat so that you can bring the baby home from the hospital. And once you get home from the hospital if you want to put the baby down you are pretty much stuck with the old dresser drawer trick.

Am I the only one whose mind is BLOWN by this? Or are you guys shocked too?

22 comments:

  1. I had a friend who this happened to, she had been irregular and changed medications (the pill) and went in for her regular appt. She found out she was 6 months along. She had no signs...and she is very tiny.

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  2. I am fascinated by these kinds of stories. I have watched that show and most of the time, the women are overweight, but also experience some bleeding throughout the pregnancy. The doctor probably made his/her diagnosis based on the height of her uterus and whatever information she provided verbally. Still... it's amazing that such a thing could be missed by everyone involved.

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  3. My first thought is -- are you sure it's a true story? Having been pregnant, wouldn't the person wonder about the funky flutters/baby kicks?? :)

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  4. These stories blow my mind, too. I'm much more inclined to believe her that she didn't know, since she went to the doctor. The ones I don't believe are the ones who claim they didn't even WONDER why something inside them is MOVING AROUND VIGOROUSLY.

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  5. This is one of those things that just does not compute. This baby kicks me so hard it hurts. A lot. If I didn't know I was pregnant, I would have already scheduled surgery to remove the alien from inside me, or an exorcism or SOMETHING. I realize that everyone's pregnancies are different, but the fact that there are a plethora of these stories blows my mind.

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  6. These stories also just blow my mind! I've never been pregnant but good god, whatever happened to paying attention to your body?! And the doctors! Unbelievable!

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  7. If you find this incredible, then you MUST watch that show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant. I am riveted! Amazingly enough, there was one gal on there who was really, really thin before, during and after and had a 7 lb. baby The stories are incredible--I mean, I've had 3 kids so I can't imagine NOT knowing I was pregnant. But then I watch these stories and I kind of understand how it might happen to someone.
    CRAZY!

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  8. I've never heard of the show I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant, but...ick? Anyway...

    I actually know of a well-educated, healthy, athletic, and thin woman in her mid-20's (but admitedly known for being an extreme scatter-brain - think absent-minded professor to the max) who didn't realize she was pregnant until she went into labor in her cabin in Alaska, where she ended up having the baby alone about 5 minutes before her boyfriend got home from work. No lie, this is first-hand information. I went to summer camp with this girl. I know her siblings and her parents, and I've seen pictures of the parents with their first grandchild.

    She continued to get her period, which had always been very light because of how athletic she is, and even though she gained 15lbs during the pregnancy, she never had a baby bump - there's a picture of her at a halloween party wearing a hula costume, complete with bare belly and grass skirt, at which point she was about 6 months pregnant, and her stomach is flat and looks fit and muscular - in fact, she looks better than I ever will in a bikini.

    Once her boyfriend got home after she had the baby, they did eventually go to the hospital once she birthed the placenta (which apparently was very scary for them because they didn't know it was coming), but as far as I know everyone is now healthy. But can you imagine your boyfriend coming home and being like, hey! We have a baby! Or imagine getting what feels like some crazy cramps, and then BOOM, a baby pops out?? Yeah. Or even calling up your parents, who live on the other side of the country, and saying Guess what? You're grandparents! No, not "you're going to be grandparents" - you're actually grandparents right now!

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  9. I used to shrug over these stories, but now having been pregnant I CANNOT believe ANY of these women. Maybe the ones who were only a few months along, but not the 9-month women.

    It's the baby's movement that gets me. I mean, once the baby is that big it's a CIRCUS in there. Rolling, kicking, punching, hiccups. There is NOTHING that feels like that and I have a hard time believing that some women write it off as "gas." ESPECIALLY the women who have been pregnant before!

    However, I love these stories just for the shock factor, and the scenarios you mentioned: "I was pregnant! Want to come see the baby?"

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  10. Still waiting to see how this story turns out
    http://independent.com/news/2010/mar/08/woman-jailed-throwing-away-newborn-released/

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  11. Seems a little crazy, but considering all the worrying I've been doing this pregnancy (first miscarriage, and now prematurity), maybe going to the hospital in july for an "appendectomy" and coming home with a baby would be preferable.

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  12. I really never believed it was possible--thought the women who claimed they didn't know must be in denial--until I watched the show. There are always extenuating circumstances that make you think, okay...this could happen.

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  13. Kristen; not everyone will feel the baby kicking (anterior placenta), and if they do it could be attributed to gas or indigestion.

    And yes, I watch Didn't Know, so this doesn't shock me. I find it fascinating though.

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  14. We all carry weight differently. Maybe with her body type and given she didn't have any clue up until that point, there was no reason for the doctors to think otherwise. Or, even more likely, maybe the doctors told her to schedule an ultrasound and that small (but important) detail was left out of the article. I think there are so many factors that go into this story, including the media's need to sensationalize everything, that I'm less inclined to be blown away by this story.

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  15. It's pretty sad that I actually am not that shocked by the story. Health care providers are often overworked, under-resourced or just plain dense.

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  16. I soent a long Saturday watching Didn't Know, and what amazed me the most was that the stories often ended with "And despite no prenatal care, the baby was perfectly healthy." While I realize that is a possibility and all, it seems a little irresponsible of the show to end every single story with that sentence. People worldwide have babies all the time without Western medicine, but it doesn't make lack of prenatal care the ideal.

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  17. These stories always blow my mind but GOUT? My dh has gout and it can IN NO WAY be confused as pregnancy. Good grief.

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  18. I was a doula for a woman who fainted at a bar (she wasn't drinking and wasn't really much of a drinker ever in her life, lucky for her) and when the ambulance came they asked "Any chance you're pregnant?" and she was all "NO! In fact on Monday I'm having a consultation for a tubal!"... and then she spent the weekend pondering the "any chance?" question, went in for her consultation, mentioned her worries, and she WAS pregnant. That was the end of February. Baby was born mid April!

    She also was slightly overweight, had many "woman problems" that led to irregularity, gas, bloating, discomfort, etc. And they'd adopted a child, but she'd never had a biological one before, so she had nothing to compare it to.

    It ALWAYS blows me away when this happens. But then again, I carried twins for 5 1/2 months, seeing the doctor on many occasions during that time, and none of us had any idea, so. Still, SHOCKING!

    Also, making it 6 or so months w/o knowing? Way more understandable that making it FULL TERM w/o knowing. Those last 2 months are so unbearable! How could someone NOT KNOW?

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  19. Holy crap GOUT instead of figuring out that she was pregnant!! Were her doctors smoking crack when they checked her out? How do you not notice the baby kicking? Crazy!!!!

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  20. When I lived in VA, one of my friends was an L&D nurse. This used to happen pretty frequently. The majority of the women were very overweight, had never been regular, were used to cramps and 'indigestion'.

    One patient actually woke up from a dream in which she was having a baby...to find out that she was having a baby. Had NO idea she was pregnant. She'd had several kids prior, said that she never felt pg with the one she had while she was sleeping.

    All I can say is what a nightmare to be an instant mom. Wonder how many give the kid up for adoption?

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  21. ahahaha! I DO watch that show and it is completely baffling to me. I never had symptomless pregnancies and some kicks were so hard I winced/teared up. I just can't imagine...

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