It was 22-year old Klara Dolan‘s first day on her new job as a sales executive. She wanted to make a good impression at her new company. Early morning that day, she was already experiencing cramps. She just shrugged it off as a painful period. So she tolerated the pain during her 40-minute commute from her residence in Cricklewood, north-west London, to her new office in Waterloo. But after her 2-hour meeting with the boss, she couldn’t endure the pain anymore, it was making her weak, so she decided to leave.
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But she wasn’t able to get inside her flat immediately as she left the keys somewhere. She had to wait for the locksmith for two hours to arrive. While waiting, the pain would stop and then back again, she couldn’t stay still.
“I had to keep walking around, going up and down the stairs of my building,” she said.
After she finally got into her flat, she “spent the next hour and a half walking back and forth from the bathroom to my room. The only place I felt comfortable was sitting on the toilet.”
When the pain intensified, she screamed, prompting her neighbor to come to her place, and at that time, she was already bleeding profusely.
“My neighbor came in and I asked her to call an ambulance. Then I had this extremely painful urge to push: that’s when the head came out.”
A baby! both Klara and her neighbor screamed.
Klara immediately wrapped the baby in a towel and cradled her daughter. She was shocked. How did it happen? She didn’t experience morning sickness and she had no baby bump. Though her period wasn’t regular, she dismissed it as normal since she was on the pill continuously.
When she phoned her mother about the news, there was silence. Her mother was dumbfounded, “How is that possible? I saw you this morning and you weren’t pregnant.”
Klara was 6 ft tall and weighs 10.5 st. Throughout her pregnancy, she only gained 28 lbs and used one size jeans.
At the hospital, both mother and newborn daughter were declared healthy.
Five months prior her delivery, she and her boyfriend of two and a half years Kris had separated. That’s around the time she gained weight she thought was due to comfort eating. She had no idea about her pregnancy because most women in their trimesters are huge while she wasn’t.
“The only thing I would say is I noticed the top half of my stomach was very hard when I touched it, about a month before the birth,” she said.
What happened to Klara is not strange at all. It happened to a lot of women before, but most are overweight. According to the stat, 1 in 450 women in UK have no idea that they are going to have a baby until week 20 of their gestation and 1 in 2,500 women are clueless of their pregnancy until they go into labor. It’s called cryptic pregnancy.
According to Dr. Helen Stokes-Lampard, a clinical senior lecturer and spokesperson for the Royal College of General Practitioners, she had encountered half a dozen of this case in her 20 years as GP. She says, “These are often women who are very busy, leading crazy lives, and so they often miss the signs that they are expecting.”
Cryptic pregnancy usually happens to younger women in their first pregnancy or women who thought they’re already in menopause stage and opt to not use contraception.
Women with irregular menstrual cycles are also prone to overlook the signs that they’re carrying a child. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and with hormonal imbalance often have erratic or non-existent periods. But there are also women that even when they’re pregnant, they continue to have their monthly period. The only way to confirm is through a scan.