Hidden Pregnancy: 'It Made No Sense, It Was Like a Supernatural Event'

When 29-year-old Tawana fainted one day while out, she had no idea what had happened. Tests revealed she would have a baby in just four weeks.

Publication: 22.06.2024 - 11:51
Hidden Pregnancy: 'It Made No Sense, It Was Like a Supernatural Event'
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Having a baby at 21 was not part of Tawana's plans.

She was partying, having fun, and living what she called a "crazy life."

That was until the day she fainted and was taken to the hospital.

She had no idea what was wrong.

Tests showed that she would have a baby in four weeks.

Speaking on the BBC's Reliable Sauce podcast, Tawana said she had a "panic attack" upon hearing the news.

The news blew her mind:

"Imagine someone saying, 'Yes, you have four weeks to get your life together,'" she explained, describing her anxiety.

After being taken to the hospital, doctors advised Tawana to take a pregnancy test before undergoing an MRI.

But the young woman found this suggestion ridiculous and ignored it.

She had a birth control implant and had shown no signs of pregnancy.

When the test came back negative, Tawana felt even more confident.

However, a nurse, convinced of the strong possibility of pregnancy, persuaded her doctor to conduct an ultrasound.

Emmanuel, the father of her child, said he couldn’t believe the news when he heard it.

"It made no sense. It was like a supernatural event," he said.

Having a baby without any obvious signs such as vomiting and a swollen belly is known as a hidden pregnancy.

This is a rare condition, but doctors told Tawana that hidden pregnancies are more common among Black women:

"I was told it could be due to our hip and bone structure. The baby grows inward, not outward. We also experience breech births more frequently.

“So, when it was time for delivery, my biggest concern was whether the baby would be in a breech position."

Although data on hidden pregnancies is not yet available, Alison Leary from London’s South Bank University indicates that ethnic minorities are more likely to experience variations in their pregnancies.

Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, Leary said studies show that Black women, in particular, are more likely to face problems during pregnancy and childbirth.

Leary also stressed the need for more research specifically on hidden pregnancies:

“Even though it affects a small number of people, it is very important because if you do not have access to good care during pregnancy and near birth, you are more likely to encounter bad outcomes during childbirth."

Exactly four weeks and four days after being informed of her pregnancy, Tawana gave birth to her daughter, River.

The young mother says she struggled with postpartum depression and turned to TikTok for advice on becoming a mother in such a short time.

However, she found no one except a woman in the U.S. who had experienced a similar situation.

"I really fell into a deep depression because it felt like no one had any advice for me.

“No one was talking about it. Then I saw a video with about 100 views of a woman discussing this issue. She was literally the only person who gave me any advice."

Tawana later decided to share this unique experience in a video on social media.

Since then, the post has received nearly 400,000 likes.

She also started a podcast where she talks to other mothers.

Tawana hopes that sharing her story will support young mothers who find out they are pregnant at the last minute.

In her case, she was able to get financial help from her mother, but she knows that others may not be as lucky.

Her wish is to establish a charity to help women in this situation.

What Is Hidden Pregnancy?

A hidden pregnancy is when a woman has no idea she is pregnant. Some women may not know they are pregnant until labor.

Approximately one in 2,500 births is classified as a "hidden pregnancy."

In the UK, about 300 births per year occur this way.

In some cases, the reason for not showing pregnancy symptoms can be stress.

Even women with irregular or absent menstrual cycles exhibit pregnancy symptoms.

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