25 June 2007

Clueless Doc?

Joseph and his wife, Sarah, had only nine hours to prepare for the arrival of their daughter, born May 22 at Memorial Hospital North.

They got the shocking news Sarah was pregnant around noon that day. They were excited, thinking Sarah was maybe a couple of months along. But by that afternoon, they were checking into the hospital, and their surprise full-term baby was delivered by Caesarean section at 9:22 p.m. . . .

“All the usual questions are, ‘well didn’t you miss a period?’ Well, yes, I missed several, but I’m used to that. I had no cravings. No morning sickness.”

She also didn’t have the obvious pooched-out belly, and she’s not a particularly large person who might disguise a pregnancy. She was really tired, but she attributed that to the rigors of caring for 3-year-old Adrianna, who was adopted. . . .

The Terrys believed they couldn’t have children. Sarah Terry has polycystic ovarian disease, which can cause infertility. Sufferers often have irregular or absent menstrual cycles and typically carry extra weight in the belly and hips.

Not only did friends and family not notice Sarah Terry was pregnant, the fact even escaped a doctor. Sarah Terry had an annual exam in March, and the possibility of pregnancy wasn’t mentioned, she said. She also had a mammogram in April.

From The Colorado Springs Gazette via Out in Left Field.

1 comment:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

The Economist suggests an explanation:

The mere presence of a boy in the same womb as his sister causes her to develop bigger teeth than she otherwise would. Girls with twin brothers perform better on spatial-ability tests. They have better ball skills than most females; squarer, more masculine jaws and are more likely to be short-sighted. Now it seems that sharing the womb also has a deleterious effect on the sexual reproduction of women with a twin brother.

Virpi Lummaa of the University of Sheffield, in Britain, and her colleagues made the claim after studying detailed data from several generations of church records from many parishes in Finland. . . . The researchers reported their findings in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. As with the teeth and the jaw lines, the purported cause of atypical female biology is early exposure to testosterone. This hormone is made by a male fetus's developing testes from about seven weeks after conception and is thought to diffuse through the amniotic fluid, influencing his sister's growth. . . . [P]hysiology could also play a part. Some cancers of the reproductive system, and a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome, which reduces fertility, are more common in women with relatively high early exposure to male hormones.

Hence, abnormal pregnancy symptoms and the woman's polycystic ovary system could share a common cause, early exposure to testosterone from one source or another, which often produces a variety of less "feminine" traits in women.