XP: SIL's pregnancy situation- LONG, disturbing and VERY bizarre — The Bump
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XP: SIL's pregnancy situation- LONG, disturbing and VERY bizarre

I also posted this on 2nd tri, but maybe you ladies might have some info or insight for me:

I don't even know where to begin. SIL was due Nov. 17th. She went to the dr in the beginning of her pregnancy and up to about 23 weeks, when she found out she was having a boy.  The she avoided the dr for whatever reason for months (just put it off, she not all that 'together"). My MIL and I have been worried and started encouraging her to get checked 3 or so weeks ago, when she was about 6 weeks away from her due date.  She switched drs, and this new dr did an ultrasound and said the baby looked fine, and was in the right position for giving birth, and that SIL should have an easy birth.  They never had any ultrasound photos, but the new OB said she "saw an arm".  We were all very relieved. She also ordered a follow-up ultrasound.

Fast forward to yesterday, when SIL went for another ultrasound.  The tech said, I'm so sorry, but there's no heartbeat, and on top of that, THERE'S NO BABY IN THERE!  Mind you, SIL is huge, has all the pregnancy symptoms, leaking milk, etc. From there they went to the ER to see if they could find out what the F was going on.  They were there for about 5 hours.  There was in fact, was no baby in her huge uterus.  Apparantly it had been "absorbed" at some point after 23 weeks when she didn't see the dr for several months.  Her body still thought it was pregnant, as well as her mind, and her body continued to grow and exhibit all the signs of a progressing pregnancy.

Here's where it gets completely bizarre: While doing the ultrasound, they found a 6 WEEK OLD EMBRYO with a heartbeat in there.  All the doctors are beyond confused, making calls to all the drs she's seen before.  They have never seen anything like this.  Somehow, after the first baby was "absorbed", my SIL ovulated again (she never had a period) and got pregnant again.  She even took a pregnancy test yesterday that came back positive. 

They talked to the OB that told her everything was fine, and she said she didn't want to mention anything to them at the time, since it was a "sensitive situation".  WTF?!?  She then tells SIL's BF that SIL made up the whole pregnancy, this thing called pseudocyesis, where your mind makes your body behave as if it is pregnant when it's not.  However, this is not true, as SIL was for sure 5 months along at one point, confirmed by another OB. This is a whole other can of worms, we are most definitely going to file a formal complaint with the AMA against this OB for doing the unimaginable act of telling them everything was fine and the baby (which was not there) was in a good birthing position, etc. Unbelievable.

We are all in a state of shock- devastated that her baby that was supposed to be here in 2 weeks has basically vanished.  We had a huge shower on Oct. 3rd for her, her nursery is all set up, clothes washed and put away. 

Now they are going back on Tuesday to see if this new embryo is growing.  If it's not, she will have a D&C.  I just cannot wrap my head around all this, neither can SIL or my MIL. SIL's poor BF is beyond confused, freaking out, mourning the loss of his son.  I have heard of a twin being absorbed, but never a singleton baby, with the mom continuing on as if she was still pregnant.  I just don't understand what is in SIL's huge belly.

I know this sounds unbelievable, but I swear, this is what's going on right now.  Has anyone ever heard of such thing? Ever?  We just don't know how to comprehend all this.  Of course, I am overly emotional and hormonal and so so sad for her that there's not the baby she was expecting coming in a few weeks.  Do we even hope this 6 week old embryo continues to grow?  That would mean she would be "pregnant" from this past February until next June- and can her body handle such a thing?

Sorry this is so long, but I just have no idea what to think about all this.  Any information anyone might have on any similar situations would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: XP: SIL's pregnancy situation- LONG, disturbing and VERY bizarre

  • image mizzezP:

    I also posted this on 2nd tri, but maybe you ladies might have some info or insight for me:

    I don't even know where to begin. SIL was due Nov. 17th. She went to the dr in the beginning of her pregnancy and up to about 23 weeks, when she found out she was having a boy.  The she avoided the dr for whatever reason for months (just put it off, she not all that 'together"). My MIL and I have been worried and started encouraging her to get checked 3 or so weeks ago, when she was about 6 weeks away from her due date.  She switched drs, and this new dr did an ultrasound and said the baby looked fine, and was in the right position for giving birth, and that SIL should have an easy birth.  They never had any ultrasound photos, but the new OB said she "saw an arm".  We were all very relieved. She also ordered a follow-up ultrasound.

    Fast forward to yesterday, when SIL went for another ultrasound.  The tech said, I'm so sorry, but there's no heartbeat, and on top of that, THERE'S NO BABY IN THERE!  Mind you, SIL is huge, has all the pregnancy symptoms, leaking milk, etc. From there they went to the ER to see if they could find out what the F was going on.  They were there for about 5 hours.  There was in fact, was no baby in her huge uterus.  Apparantly it had been "absorbed" at some point after 23 weeks when she didn't see the dr for several months.  Her body still thought it was pregnant, as well as her mind, and her body continued to grow and exhibit all the signs of a progressing pregnancy.

    Here's where it gets completely bizarre: While doing the ultrasound, they found a 6 WEEK OLD EMBRYO with a heartbeat in there.  All the doctors are beyond confused, making calls to all the drs she's seen before.  They have never seen anything like this.  Somehow, after the first baby was "absorbed", my SIL ovulated again (she never had a period) and got pregnant again.  She even took a pregnancy test yesterday that came back positive. 

    They talked to the OB that told her everything was fine, and she said she didn't want to mention anything to them at the time, since it was a "sensitive situation".  WTF?!?  She then tells SIL's BF that SIL made up the whole pregnancy, this thing called pseudocyesis, where your mind makes your body behave as if it is pregnant when it's not.  However, this is not true, as SIL was for sure 5 months along at one point, confirmed by another OB. This is a whole other can of worms, we are most definitely going to file a formal complaint with the AMA against this OB for doing the unimaginable act of telling them everything was fine and the baby (which was not there) was in a good birthing position, etc. Unbelievable.

    We are all in a state of shock- devastated that her baby that was supposed to be here in 2 weeks has basically vanished.  We had a huge shower on Oct. 3rd for her, her nursery is all set up, clothes washed and put away. 

    Now they are going back on Tuesday to see if this new embryo is growing.  If it's not, she will have a D&C.  I just cannot wrap my head around all this, neither can SIL or my MIL. SIL's poor BF is beyond confused, freaking out, mourning the loss of his son.  I have heard of a twin being absorbed, but never a singleton baby, with the mom continuing on as if she was still pregnant.  I just don't understand what is in SIL's huge belly.

    I know this sounds unbelievable, but I swear, this is what's going on right now.  Has anyone ever heard of such thing? Ever?  We just don't know how to comprehend all this.  Of course, I am overly emotional and hormonal and so so sad for her that there's not the baby she was expecting coming in a few weeks.  Do we even hope this 6 week old embryo continues to grow?  That would mean she would be "pregnant" from this past February until next June- and can her body handle such a thing?

    Sorry this is so long, but I just have no idea what to think about all this.  Any information anyone might have on any similar situations would be greatly appreciated.

    The bolded part -- did anyone go to the doctor with your SIL and hear those words come out of the OB's mouth? If not, then I'd actually believe the pseudocyesis idea. Someone who makes up a pregnancy will also make up doctors appointments, diagnoses, etc. Something doesn't add up here. A 23 week gestation baby does not just get "absorbed." It doesn't happen.

    Sorry your family is dealing with it.
     

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  • Who was with your SIL at the ER when all this was going on?  Did they actually hear the doctors say there had been a confirmed pregnancy previously and now a 6 week embryo? Because unless your MIL or some other 3rd party overheard all of this themselves and not through word of mouth from SIL or BF, I wouldn't believe a word of it.

    The fact that she didn't go to a doctor for months and when she finally did, she switched doctors seems fishy.  That combined with a doctor who told her everything was fine when it wasn't and a 23 week old fetus (which would have bones and organs at that point) being absorbed is just too much for me to believe without further verification of her story.  Not saying it can't be true, but it would take more than someone (even my family) just telling me all this to believe it.

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  • I think she was pregnant, probably up until about 23 weeks when she stopped seeing the doctor.  She might have suddenly stopped seeing the doctor when she lost the baby.  She just didn't want to tell everyone.  If you lose a baby at 23 weeks you'll still leak milk, which is why she would have been able to share that information with you.  Since she was still acting as if she was pregnant she probably made her body think that she was pregnant, whereas the doctor's diagnosis of the pseudopregnancy would be correct. 

     

    Then, she kept trying to become pregnant without anyone knowing she had lost the first baby.  The reason she went to the doctor's the second time was because she knew she was pregnant again.  She had to make up a lie to her BF because he never knew that she lost the first baby, which would be the reason that he's hysterical and she seems "lost".  It just sounds like she never had the heart to tell everyone that she lost the first baby. 

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  • I agree with PP's. There is something very wrong with this whole situation. I think the family should have someone go to her next appontment with her to see what the hell is going on. If she refuses to allow it, I'd consult a psychatrist or something. I can't believe for a second that a fetus that could, in theroy, survive outside the womb, was absorbed comletely absorbed by the mother. Doesn't add up.
  • image Jelliebean1982:

    I think she was pregnant, probably up until about 23 weeks when she stopped seeing the doctor.  She might have suddenly stopped seeing the doctor when she lost the baby.  She just didn't want to tell everyone.  If you lose a baby at 23 weeks you'll still leak milk, which is why she would have been able to share that information with you.  Since she was still acting as if she was pregnant she probably made her body think that she was pregnant, whereas the doctor's diagnosis of the pseudopregnancy would be correct. 

     

    Then, she kept trying to become pregnant without anyone knowing she had lost the first baby.  The reason she went to the doctor's the second time was because she knew she was pregnant again.  She had to make up a lie to her BF because he never knew that she lost the first baby, which would be the reason that he's hysterical and she seems "lost".  It just sounds like she never had the heart to tell everyone that she lost the first baby. 

    This couldn't have happened, because if you lose a baby that late in pregnancy, you have to deliver it. It doesn't just go away.

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  • I think you should call up mystery diagnosis.
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  • image TexasSmith:
    image Jelliebean1982:

    I think she was pregnant, probably up until about 23 weeks when she stopped seeing the doctor.  She might have suddenly stopped seeing the doctor when she lost the baby.  She just didn't want to tell everyone.  If you lose a baby at 23 weeks you'll still leak milk, which is why she would have been able to share that information with you.  Since she was still acting as if she was pregnant she probably made her body think that she was pregnant, whereas the doctor's diagnosis of the pseudopregnancy would be correct. 

     

    Then, she kept trying to become pregnant without anyone knowing she had lost the first baby.  The reason she went to the doctor's the second time was because she knew she was pregnant again.  She had to make up a lie to her BF because he never knew that she lost the first baby, which would be the reason that he's hysterical and she seems "lost".  It just sounds like she never had the heart to tell everyone that she lost the first baby. 

    This couldn't have happened, because if you lose a baby that late in pregnancy, you have to deliver it. It doesn't just go away.

    It does actually happen in very rare cases- I just saw a television show about it last week.    The baby does not get absorbed, but becomes calcified/ a "stone baby"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithopedion 

    In the show I saw the women was "pregnant" for 46 years before having the stone baby removed.  

    OP- The situation is very odd.  I am sorry for your SIL and your family.  I am sure that everything will be figured out over time, but it is still a loss nonetheless.

     


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  • image TexasSmith:
    image Jelliebean1982:

    I think she was pregnant, probably up until about 23 weeks when she stopped seeing the doctor.  She might have suddenly stopped seeing the doctor when she lost the baby.  She just didn't want to tell everyone.  If you lose a baby at 23 weeks you'll still leak milk, which is why she would have been able to share that information with you.  Since she was still acting as if she was pregnant she probably made her body think that she was pregnant, whereas the doctor's diagnosis of the pseudopregnancy would be correct. 

     

    Then, she kept trying to become pregnant without anyone knowing she had lost the first baby.  The reason she went to the doctor's the second time was because she knew she was pregnant again.  She had to make up a lie to her BF because he never knew that she lost the first baby, which would be the reason that he's hysterical and she seems "lost".  It just sounds like she never had the heart to tell everyone that she lost the first baby. 

    This couldn't have happened, because if you lose a baby that late in pregnancy, you have to deliver it. It doesn't just go away.

    I think she did deliver it but didn't let anyone else know.
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  • image Jelliebean1982:
    image TexasSmith:
    image Jelliebean1982:

    I think she was pregnant, probably up until about 23 weeks when she stopped seeing the doctor.  She might have suddenly stopped seeing the doctor when she lost the baby.  She just didn't want to tell everyone.  If you lose a baby at 23 weeks you'll still leak milk, which is why she would have been able to share that information with you.  Since she was still acting as if she was pregnant she probably made her body think that she was pregnant, whereas the doctor's diagnosis of the pseudopregnancy would be correct. 

     

    Then, she kept trying to become pregnant without anyone knowing she had lost the first baby.  The reason she went to the doctor's the second time was because she knew she was pregnant again.  She had to make up a lie to her BF because he never knew that she lost the first baby, which would be the reason that he's hysterical and she seems "lost".  It just sounds like she never had the heart to tell everyone that she lost the first baby. 

    This couldn't have happened, because if you lose a baby that late in pregnancy, you have to deliver it. It doesn't just go away.

    I think she did deliver it but didn't let anyone else know.

    That is sure a big medical event for no one in her family to know about it. Had to have stayed in the hospital, etc. I'm not saying it's 100% not possible, but something about this situation is super fishy.

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  • image TexasSmith:
    image Jelliebean1982:
    image TexasSmith:
    image Jelliebean1982:

    I think she was pregnant, probably up until about 23 weeks when she stopped seeing the doctor.  She might have suddenly stopped seeing the doctor when she lost the baby.  She just didn't want to tell everyone.  If you lose a baby at 23 weeks you'll still leak milk, which is why she would have been able to share that information with you.  Since she was still acting as if she was pregnant she probably made her body think that she was pregnant, whereas the doctor's diagnosis of the pseudopregnancy would be correct. 

     

    Then, she kept trying to become pregnant without anyone knowing she had lost the first baby.  The reason she went to the doctor's the second time was because she knew she was pregnant again.  She had to make up a lie to her BF because he never knew that she lost the first baby, which would be the reason that he's hysterical and she seems "lost".  It just sounds like she never had the heart to tell everyone that she lost the first baby. 

    This couldn't have happened, because if you lose a baby that late in pregnancy, you have to deliver it. It doesn't just go away.

    I think she did deliver it but didn't let anyone else know.

    That is sure a big medical event for no one in her family to know about it. Had to have stayed in the hospital, etc. I'm not saying it's 100% not possible, but something about this situation is super fishy.

     You hear about people all the time who have babies at home.  She may have just thought she was crampy and then went to the bathroom and discovered that she had lost the baby.  There is a great possibility that she didn't go to the hospital and that's why she was afraid to go to her doctor. 

     The situation IS super fishy.  That's why I'm saying that SIL had to have known she lost the baby all along and was just pretending that her pregnancy had continued until she found out she was expecting again.  

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  • image pinksweetpea2:
    image TexasSmith:
    image Jelliebean1982:

    I think she was pregnant, probably up until about 23 weeks when she stopped seeing the doctor.  She might have suddenly stopped seeing the doctor when she lost the baby.  She just didn't want to tell everyone.  If you lose a baby at 23 weeks you'll still leak milk, which is why she would have been able to share that information with you.  Since she was still acting as if she was pregnant she probably made her body think that she was pregnant, whereas the doctor's diagnosis of the pseudopregnancy would be correct. 

     

    Then, she kept trying to become pregnant without anyone knowing she had lost the first baby.  The reason she went to the doctor's the second time was because she knew she was pregnant again.  She had to make up a lie to her BF because he never knew that she lost the first baby, which would be the reason that he's hysterical and she seems "lost".  It just sounds like she never had the heart to tell everyone that she lost the first baby. 

    This couldn't have happened, because if you lose a baby that late in pregnancy, you have to deliver it. It doesn't just go away.

    It does actually happen in very rare cases- I just saw a television show about it last week.    The baby does not get absorbed, but becomes calcified/ a "stone baby"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithopedion 

    In the show I saw the women was "pregnant" for 46 years before having the stone baby removed.  

    OP- The situation is very odd.  I am sorry for your SIL and your family.  I am sure that everything will be figured out over time, but it is still a loss nonetheless.

     

    I think I've seen that too but that woman was from a 3rd world country and had never had an u/s or anything.  It wasn't until she received treatment for something at a modern hospital that it was discovered....at least the story I saw.

    This girl has had an u/s, so wouldn't a calcified baby still show up in the uterus?  She's claiming it's vanished.  I would think even if it's possible to reasorb that late, it would take more than the 13-14 weeks since she claims it's been she saw a healthy baby.  SOMETHING would show up on an u/s.

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  • image Ciconrad:

    I think I've seen that too but that woman was from a 3rd world country and had never had an u/s or anything.  It wasn't until she received treatment for something at a modern hospital that it was discovered....at least the story I saw.

    This girl has had an u/s, so wouldn't a calcified baby still show up in the uterus?  She's claiming it's vanished.  I would think even if it's possible to reasorb that late, it would take more than the 13-14 weeks since she claims it's been she saw a healthy baby.  SOMETHING would show up on an u/s.

    Same here. As for the SIL, I would not believe one SINGLE WORD she's saying, unless I heard it from the docs or saw the medical records myself. It seems fairly clear from what OP wrote, that the SIL is very disturbed in at least some way, and likely needs a lot of psychiatric help.

     

  • Wow. This is some seriously wacky stuff. Definitely get SIL and her BF into counseling. (Grief counseling for the loss of a child.) You may not ever know the truth. If you do try to sue any doctors, make sure you get ALL the medical records for any prenatal care she received beforehand.
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  • A normal mother would have been concerned about the lack of movement.

    There is definitely something untruthful about the whole thing. No doctor at 34 weeks would say they saw a viable fetus with an arm if there wasn't one. You lose your job, your license. There is NO reason to lie to a mother in that situation if the baby was already a fetal demise. They deal with it all the time and they just would have told her "I'm so sorry".

    I can almost promise you this is not a medical mystery and there is nobody to sue. Do not accept any information from your SIL or brother. Request a meeting at the hospital with a social worker to go over all this "emotional" information together so that everyone hears the truth (or as close as you can get to it) all at once. I've worked in the ER for 4 years and heard some pretty crazy stories and after a few phone calls, almost none of them have been true. And I've had to stop patients from lying to their family about multiple medical situations. I can't tell the family what IS going on but I can damn sure tell them "No, she does not have appendicitis". A patient was trying to get sympathy from her family and plan for her time off work for SURGERY when she had a rather small ovarian cyst and was being discharged home.

    And uh, yeah, FWIW, if there is a 6 week embryo and it's growing - It's still a baby and I would think y'all would still want it in the family despite the circumstances right?

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  • The story doesn't add up. And yes, at 23 weeks she would have had to deliver the baby. I lost my triplets at 20 weeks, went into labor and delivered them. The features are there at that point. We had the girls buried. I wouldn't think it would just vanish. If she did lose the baby, I don't know why she wouldn't tell anyone. It was a pretty traumatic experience for me.

    But besides that point, the fact that she switched doctors, and the doctor said it was in good birthing position, etc, seems odd. 

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  • The whole thing does seem very strange.

    I don't think it's fair to characterize pseudo cyesis (if that's even what happened) as her "making it up." Pseudocyesis isn't just someone wanting to be pregnant and therefore lying about it. It's someone's mind and body wholeheartedly believing that they're pregnant when in fact they're not. In a sense it's a kin to an amputee feeling pain in a limb that isn't there any more - it's a really complex set of neurological, physiological, and psychological circumstances.

    Whatever is actually going on it seems clear that one way or another this woman lost her baby at 23+ weeks and that's a truly, truly terrible thing. Grief counseling and emotional support for her and her family seem by far and away the most important thing to focus on.  Her son just died. All the medical X-file stuff, while odd and possibly shady, can wait until the emotional triage is over.

    OP - I am so, so sorry for your and your family's loss. Whatever happened or ends up happening I hope your SIL, your family, and possible-future-baby-to-be heal and thrive.

  • image goodtobethelarkster:
    I don't think it's fair to characterize pseudo cyesis (if that's even what happened) as her "making it up." Pseudocyesis isn't just someone wanting to be pregnant and therefore lying about it. It's someone's mind and body wholeheartedly believing that they're pregnant when in fact they're not. In a sense it's a kin to an amputee feeling pain in a limb that it's there any more - it's a really complex set of neurological, physiological, and psychological set of circumstances.

    I agree. There is a world of difference between that diagnosis and a willful intent to decieve by faking a pregnancy.

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  • Thanks for your thoughts everyone. I am very disturbed by all this and still don't know what to think.  SIL and her BF are going in again Tuesday to see if they can get more answers and if the new fetus is growing. I will keep you all posted. 
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  • One of my closest friends gave birth to a 23 1/2 wk baby (she made it too albeit severely disabled).  I'm sorry but I think your SIL is lying.  No way in heck can a baby that old be absorbed.  Weight doesn't have anything to do with a women's uterus size just like weight doesn't make one's kidney's bigger.  If it was a "stone baby" there would be a trace of the stone!  Also think about it, every single doc visit they do a doppler (even on an U/S visit they count the heart beat during the u/s and you hear that "whoosh whoosh whoosh" sound).  Why would she stop going to the doctor for no reason?  Why would she not ask to see the screen during the supposed good U/S?  Also the odds of her still lactating and ovulating are very low.  Nothing in this story rings a bit of truth.  It makes no sense.

    I hope she gets some help.  It sounds like she needs it. I would sit and talk w/your brother (maybe even find an OB to explain this to him and his family).  I think this women is seriously manipulating and delusional.  It just worries me b/c if she doesn't get help, these are the type of situations you see on Dateline when the crazy lady steals a newborn baby.  You said it yourself, she isn't all there...

    I'm sorry if I'm not the sensitive voice you were looking for but this is creepy and not in the medical mystery way but in the crazy person department way. 

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  • image Angel037:

    The story doesn't add up. And yes, at 23 weeks she would have had to deliver the baby. I lost my triplets at 20 weeks, went into labor and delivered them. The features are there at that point. We had the girls buried. I wouldn't think it would just vanish. If she did lose the baby, I don't know why she wouldn't tell anyone. It was a pretty traumatic experience for me.

    But besides that point, the fact that she switched doctors, and the doctor said it was in good birthing position, etc, seems odd. 

    Your're right. It wouldn't just vanish. In fact, it would still show up on the ultrasound! JD was a twin. We lost his sister when I was 21.5 weeks but I continued to carry her for the next 4 months while JD continued to grow. Yes, she did become partially reabsorbed and compressed but I could still see her on the ultrasound until the very end and she was born still when JD was delivered. She weighed just a couple of ounces (whereas she weighed 10 ounces when she was 19 weeks) and was teeny tiny but did resemble a baby. The doctors should have been able to find that baby on an ultrasound, heartbeat or not!

    Angel037 - I am truly sorry for your loss. I know how devastated I was when we lost Ashlyn. I couldn't imagine tripling that pain!

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  • Ok 23 weeks along? Sounds fishy to me! If you would have said 15 weeks I would have questioned it. I do however know someone who lost a twins in the the 2nd tri and the baby reaborbsed

     

    One reason it is very fishy to me is she didn't really seek medical care, I mean why would someone not want to see an OB or midwife regularly to ensure their baby is ok? Also how old is she? Just curious if she is really young

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  • image mizzezP:
    SIL and her BF are going in again Tuesday to see if they can get more answers and if the new fetus is growing. I will keep you all posted. 

    This is the problem though, someone else needs to go with them. She is going to play dumb even though she knows what happens (she either had a m/c at some point, an abortion.... something). The poor BF is totally lost in this whole thing. He is probably so confused he won't even know what to ask and doesn't want to probe too much at that appt because he doesn't want to seem like he doesn't believe your SIL (assuming he doesn't to some degree). I agree with all the PPs who said a 3rd party needs to go, just to listen objectively and take mental notes.   

  • image Jelliebean1982:

    I think she was pregnant, probably up until about 23 weeks when she stopped seeing the doctor.  She might have suddenly stopped seeing the doctor when she lost the baby.  She just didn't want to tell everyone.  If you lose a baby at 23 weeks you'll still leak milk, which is why she would have been able to share that information with you.  Since she was still acting as if she was pregnant she probably made her body think that she was pregnant, whereas the doctor's diagnosis of the pseudopregnancy would be correct. 

     

    Then, she kept trying to become pregnant without anyone knowing she had lost the first baby.  The reason she went to the doctor's the second time was because she knew she was pregnant again.  She had to make up a lie to her BF because he never knew that she lost the first baby, which would be the reason that he's hysterical and she seems "lost".  It just sounds like she never had the heart to tell everyone that she lost the first baby. 

    This, to me, sounds most likely.

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