Today in Mom News: Not Realizing You’re Preggo

One of my favorite guilty pleasures on TLC is I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. For those of you not familiar with the show, it’s pretty self-explanatory–it’s a reality show about ladies who did not realize they were preggo until they’re giving birth in the toilet at work or whatever. The New York Times’ Lisa Belkin points us to the latest “surprised mom,” Kentucky native Kelly Bottom. We want to hear your own urban legends: Do you know any “surprised moms” personally or were you one yourself? Are you also a fan of crazybananas reality shows? We want to hear from you in the comments!

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    • 1.  Stacy

      I knew a coworker who didn’t know she was pregnant until she was SIX months along!

      Granted, she had thyroid problems so was used to weird things happening to her body, but she had already had children. I don’t get it!

      March 10, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    • 2.  Anne

      I’ve watched that show and just couldn’t look away; it’s more powerful if you’re a woman of child-bearing age, I think. The stories seem incredible, but after seeing so many some have to be true, right? I can believe the college-aged party girl who blames the weight gain on the freshmen 15, the irregular periods on stress, etc. I think some people underestimate the mind’s ability to be in denial and the differences in individual experiences.

      The closest I know is a very intelligent recent new mom who didn’t realize she was pregnant for the first few months because she wasn’t expecting to be pregnant and didn’t have any of the classic symptoms (no morning sickness, no fatigue). She would have figured it out by month five, when she started showing, however. Not as impressive as the TLC stories, I know!

      March 11, 2010 at 10:29 am

    • 3.  MindyK

      I gave birth to my daughter on Thanksgiving day in 1978. In the recovery room across from me was a very stunned lady. She had been cooking the turkey for all her guests when she got terrible pains and her family rushed her to the hospital. She gave birth to a son minutes later and claimed she had no idea she was even pregnant. Her look of shock was nothing compared to her poor husband and her three adult children as they came into the room. She thought she had hit menopause!

      March 11, 2010 at 10:54 am

    • 4.  amy

      My sister has 3 kids. 5.5, 4.5, and 2 She was selling and buyying a home and under a little stress. Not to mention she was also on Seasonique. She went to the doc for her annual exam and the doc told her she was at least 5 months along. They thought they were done after 1 and 2 and gave away all their baby stuff. then #3 was a surprise and they had to get it all over again. this past summer we sold all er baby stuff from #3 in my garage sale, now she has to buy it all over again. She went for her ultrasound and got another surprise FRATERNAL TWIN BOYS! while on SEASONIQUE! Because of the BC she didn’t notice when she didn’t get her period! now she is due in May!

      March 11, 2010 at 12:21 pm

      • 4.1  Leah

        Moral of this story: Do not go on Seasonique! This is also one of my reoccurring fears. That despite being on hormonal BC, I will get knocked up and not know it.

        March 11, 2010 at 2:46 pm

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      • 4.2  Beth

        Seasonique is great, but like any hormonal birth control if you don’t take it correctly YOU WILL GET PREGNANT! Your sister likely missed pills or was on antibiotics and got pregnant that way–that is usually what happens when people who are on the pill get pregnant! Leah, take your pills every day at the same time and you will not get pregnant! Better yet, go on Seasonique or another equivalent (I take Lo-Ovral continuously, much cheaper) and you will be so happy not to deal with a monthly period!

        March 19, 2010 at 6:32 pm

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      • 4.3  Julie

        Holy hell. My doc told me that I could skip my reminder pills and just have a period every four months or so but I never skip more than two in a row because I am so paranoid about something like this happening. I don’t think it really has anything to do with the brand, you could do this with any pill if you were using it to skip your periods.

        March 22, 2010 at 10:17 am

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    • 5.  Meg

      I work with a girl who was 7.5 months along before she realized she was pregnant. she thought it was early menopause. she’s also pretty heavy so she didn’t realize that her weight gain was localized.

      March 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm

    • 6.  Juno

      The thing I can’t understand is how they can overlook the baby’s movements, kicking, etc. How do you not notice THAT, or mistake it for something else? I’ve never been pregnant, but it seems to me you couldn’t mistake that for, say, indigestion.

      March 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    • 7.  Molly

      AHHHHHHH! Most terrifying show EVER!! I cannot watch it! I am now constantly afraid I’m about to give birth… oi…

      March 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm

      • 7.1  TonsMel

        Haha!
        Oh my gosh!
        I’ve had that paranoia too!

        I sit there and roll my eyes at how silly it is…Now I feel like I’m going to be one of those ladies…Just for doubting. :P

        March 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm

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    • 8.  JHR

      Juno, I’ve had two children (and knew within five weeks I was pregnant), but post-baby have had the occasional gas pain that felt JUST like a baby kicking. So, I can possibly see if you’re a bit overweight, nearing menopause, or whatever, missing it until about six months…but getting to the whole nine months is crazy. Babies MOVE, and I can’t see how you’d miss that. At the very least you’d think there was something seriously wrong with you and go get things checked out!

      March 11, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    • 9.  Paula

      I have two kids and honestly feel like it is one huge “being in denial” issue for these women. Seriously…call me Mrs. Skeptical. I think in 99% of all these cases they were in total denial and I am willing to give the 1% the benefit of the doubt.

      March 11, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    • 10.  STJoana

      This one is pretty sad.
      I have a very good friend who got pregnant without knowing it until the day before Christmas when she had a miscarriage (to her complete surprise).

      Her period was never very strong and she still had it a little, she gained some weight, but her weight was never really stable, she had a lot of stress at her job and so she didn’t realise she was pregnant until she miscarried.

      Until this day, she suffers from it even though it has been a couple of years and wishes to have known about her pregnancy so maybe she could have had the child.

      March 12, 2010 at 4:54 am

    • 11.  LadyBelle

      I think part depends on your weight and how you carry. For an overweight woman the baby would have to kick through layers of fat to be felt outside of the body. If it is being carried far forward and facing wrong, the woman might not feel much more then flutters that feel like gas. Even some women who knew they were pregnant didn’t feel the baby move much but her partner would feel it through her tummy because of how the baby was facing and the direction the baby was kicking. If your busy and stressed, your tummy is prob messed up anyway and you work on ignoring the stomach cramps and flutters.

      March 13, 2010 at 10:26 am

    • 12.  Stacey

      LadyBelle— I’m not sure I agree with you. I’m currently pregnant with my first child and weigh about 300 pounds. Although it took a while for my husband to be able to feel the kicks from the outside, I definately felt my baby quite early, as there is no fat inside your uterus.

      I agree with the posters that it might be denial, shame or something else, because now that I am pregnant, I have no idea how you can miss the movement. I’ve never had gas that felt like kicks to the bladder before.

      March 13, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    • 13.  Danielle

      One of my good friends gave birth to a little boy the day before Thanksgiving last year. They were in West Virginia, and she woke up with really bad cramps. Her mom ended up taking her to the hospital, and the doctors told her she was in labor. I spent time with her throughout her pregnancy, and I can tell you right now, I couldn’t tell that she was pregnant. He’s a very healthy little boy, and they’re both doing well.

      March 13, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    • 14.  Adrian

      Years ago, my next door neighbor’s daughter had a delayed wedding reception (she eloped in Winter, but wanted a summer BBQ gathering). She compained of back pain during the party, but said that she had been painting her new home and running up and down a ladder. The next morning, her mother came over to announce that “M” went to the ER in the middle of the night because the back pain was so terrible, and ended up giving birth an hour later. She had a beautiful healthy little girl, who is a lovely teenager today. No one knew she was pregnant, including her and her husband. She’s a tall lady, but not really big. Go figure.

      March 15, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    • 15.  erica

      I didn’t know I was pregnant with my second child until nearly four months along. I was still breastfeeding my first who was 8 months at the time I got knocked up and so all the signs, like not getting my period and feeling tired were just part of having an infant. I never got nauseous in either case. I always had a narrative of being in touch with my body; doing yoga etc. I’m due next week and the time has certainly gone quickly having only had 5 months to prepare.

      March 18, 2010 at 10:35 pm

      • 15.1  jess

        Congrats, Erica!!

        March 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm

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    • 16.  Vanessa

      Hi all,
      about not feeling the baby….
      I knew I was pregnant, and my son was 10.4 at birth, but I felt very little from him b/c of the placenta. It was attached the front of my uterus, and acted like a cushion absorbing all his movements. The difference between my two pregnancies was quite remarkable. The second son’s placenta was attached at the back of my uterus which meant I could feel everything.
      That could certainly play a role in not being aware of a pregnancy.

      March 22, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    • 17.  Juno

      Wow! Thanks to all the moms who posted their experiences. I’ve learned a few things.

      March 23, 2010 at 10:30 am

    • 18.  Heather

      I was 5 months along when I felt my son kick for the first time. I had thought I was pregnant 4 months earlier but had a negative test at home AND at the Dr (urine test). I also had 2 months of a very light period (which wasn’t unusual) I gained weight but didn’t fit in maternity clothes until 7.5 months. I agree with the person who said denial can be very strong. I had 2 negative tests and 2 months of a light period so there was no way I could be pregnant, right?

      As for getting pregnant while on the pill, I took my pill every single day at the same time and I was not on any other medication when I got pregnant. I got pregnant with child #2 within 30 days of going off the Depo shot. There is a family history of being very fertile. My OBGYN wouldn’t promise I couldn’t get pregnant again unless my husband or I had something permanent done. We did after baby #3.

      March 26, 2010 at 1:10 am

    • 19.  nocturnesthesia

      I’m not really sure how you could carry a baby to term and not know it, but I guess it is definitely possible.

      I had a miscarriage when I was 16, and no, I didn’t know I was pregnant. I had always been careful with BC but I was on antibiotics at the time. I get a lot of kidney infections. Anyone who has had one of those knows that the stomach ache and back pain kind of throb. I thought I was getting a stone or something, and after some horrible bleeding I went to ER…

      Turned out I had miscarried a tubal pregnancy at 8 weeks.

      July 5, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    • 20.  beabee

      There was a girl in college who was absent for a few days and when the professors asked us where she was, her best friend said she was recovering from having a baby! The rest of us who saw her everyday had no idea she was even pregnant!!! I’ve never seen anything like it.

      July 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm

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      en …do not say what

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