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Unaware

“Stat!” the Emergency Room doctor screamed at the technician. “Do you have some kind of a learning disability?”

The ultrasound assistant quickly came to my side and liberally applied slippery gel to my throbbing thighs and pelvis. I screamed out as another wave of excruciating torment encompassed me. Yesterday’s belly cramps were now terrifyingly serious and I realised that I was most likely dying. Blood was pooling at the base of the stretcher and I lost consciousness.

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I had never felt such happiness, such joy, such adoration. Then, James broke my heart six months ago. “It’s not you, it’s me,” he had told me. I could not believe he was using that antiquated break-up quote. Through my tears and involuntary sobbing, I was quite sure that my life would never be the same. I was convinced that I would never love again.

Moving out of our apartment, I choose to live with my parents once again. Was I a failure? Was I a loser? Would my ensuing years be without a mate?

I spent most of the following months curled up on the sofa. I ate sweets and carbohydrates and drank far too much wine. The television was my company as my mum and dad worked and went on with their lives. They seemed to accept that I was devastated and only on occasion did either scold me for this unusual behaviour. “Enough is enough,” my mother had chided. “There are other men out there. You are a wonderful young lady. Why don’t you stop eating all that junk and get your butt up and move forward?”

A large part of me wanted to lie here forever. At times I ate so much that I was nauseous and making poor choices in my eating habits left me with heartburn and an ever expanding stomach. My ankles were swollen from lack of activity and I had a chronic case of the hiccoughs. I slept often and I rarely showered. Having experienced boughts of melancholia as a teen, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was simply, unequivocally, depressed.

“Mum!” I cried out in the middle of the night. “Help me. I must have eaten something that was spoiled. I’m in incredible pain and need to go to the hospital! Mum, help me!”

The ambulance sped down empty, dark streets as the paramedic took my blood pressure, adjusted my oxygen intake and soothingly told me that we would be at Saint Andrew’s Emergency Clinic soon.

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“It’s more likely among people who are very overweight to begin with, and teenagers in denial about being pregnant”, said Dr. Patricia Devine, director of labor and delivery at Columbia University Medical Center’s department of obstetrics and gynecology.

“This is an extreme situation and a very rare one, because it is pretty hard to miss all of the signs of pregnancy,” Devine said. Personally, she has seen it happen about five times since 1994. “Sometimes you doubt that they were completely unaware. Other times, it’s completely plausible.”

[A Work of Fiction]

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