Post 38 An unwelcome revelation

Annie Arnell had known that she was pregnant for at least three months before she plucked up courage to attend the Antenatal Clinic.   She knew she should have gone sooner but had a morbid fear of hospitals. She'd had her appendix out as a child and now, even the smell of antiseptic was enough to induce a panic attack.  As a result she'd suffered her troublesome early morning nausea and sickness in silence.   She hadn't even consulted her own doctor despite her husband’s entreaties.


Sue, the midwife welcomed her new patient to the Clinic, introduced herself and then, and after initial pleasantries, got down to the business of assessing Annie’s condition.    She discovered that, by dates, Annie was already 20 weeks pregnant. Sue gently chided her for not coming sooner.

However there was nothing in the history or examination to suggest anything was amiss and in due course an ultrasound scan was performed.    This suggested that Annie’s baby was a girl but also that she was at least 24 weeks pregnant.

‘Do you and your husband want to know the sex of your baby,’ she was asked.

‘Yes please.’

‘Absolutely.  It will be so much easier if we know.’ came the reply.

‘Well, it looks very much as if you’re going to have a girl, but she seems more advanced than 20 weeks. Are you sure of your dates?’

Yes, absolutely sure.’

‘Well, we’ll scan you again in about four weeks.   We'll be certain of your baby’s sex by then and will also have a better idea when we can expect the baby to arrive.

A month later, another scan was performed. It was confirmed that
the baby was a girl, but equally there was no doubt that the pregnancy was at least four weeks more advanced than Annie had thought.

When told, Annie became pale and looked shocked.

“Oh my God,’ she said. ‘I’ve gone and married the wrong man!”


Quotation of the week

If men had to have babies, they would only ever have one each.

Diana, Princess of Wales  1961- 1997


You can follow Peter on Twitter @medical_stories

Extract from a doctor’s letter to a colleague;     Between you and me, we ought to be able to get this lady pregnant.


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