I dont know where to post this but I will try here.
My friend told me in October that she thought she was pregnant. She was not TTC. She had taken a HPT three weeks after her theoretical conception date and the test was negative. Her nursling was about 1 yo at the time and she had not started AF since his birth. I did not think she was pregnant. She didnt take another test, saying that her body knew better. At 12 weeks she went to see the midwife, who could not find a heartbeat and said her uterus was quite low. She wanted to do a blood test but my friend would not. Since then she has continued on as if pregnant without seeing the midwife again or any other caregiver. At about 20 weeks I gently told her I was really worried about her since she was insisting she was pregnant and had no signs at all, although she says has been feeling the baby move for several weeks. She is very thin and I kept hoping, waiting for a bump of some kind to appear, but none did. She is very tiny and has three young kids. With her last one I think she looked pregnant very early, at about 12-14 weeks.
This past weekend she called to tell me was spotting and thought she was miscarrying. She would have been about 23 weeks by then. I hadnt seen her for three weeks and I asked if she had developed a bump. I was wondering if maybe she was getting her period finally. Of course she was furious and hung up the phone. She would not answer my calls or emails after that. Her partner was out of town. I have spoken to several people since the weekend who know her and she has told everyone she lost her baby.
I am so horrified I can hardly think straight. In my heart I knew this charade would have to end but I didnt really think it would end like this. I have had a miscarriage, I know what that entails, and for her to pretend to lose a baby at 22 weeks....that is a full-on baby. It would have been a stillbirth. I should say that she has shown no other signs of being mentally unwell at all. I feel so torn. On the one hand I feel like she must be very sad to do something like this and I should just continue being supportive. On the other hand, I am disgusted that she would manipulate the emotions of myself, her partner and her other caring friends, some of whom have had pregnancy losses and other terrible losses to grieve. The whole ordeal is very surreal and I am feeling really messed-with. She has been a good friend to me and I know her very well, probably better than anyone else does, including her partner with whom she has a less-than-ideal relationship with. What an awful position to be in.
Sigh. I just cant believe she would do this. Is there any chance that I was wrong? She actually went to the hospital and a mutual friend told me that it sounded as though the hospital staff did not believe her and did not do an ultrasound. So now I am worried that she is going to have CPS knocking on her door. Either way the whole situation is just awful.
That sounds like a very sad situation for all involved. I wonder if she had PPD?
The hospital staff would not do an ultrasound at 20 weeks when she was having spotting? That sounds a bit weird too.
Anyways, no advice, just some hugs to you and her and her family.
I was thinking the same thing as Chloe'sMama... PPD. I don't think your friend is mentally ill, nor do I think she was purposely trying to manipulate others. I think she truly deluded herself into thinking she was pregnant. It's surprisingly easy for otherwise "normal" people to delude themselves. I don't see why CPS would get involved unless her children are somehow in danger or neglected. She's been a good friend and now needs a good friend. There's no point in arguing with her about whether the pregnancy was real, because to her, it was real. If she brings it up simply say, "as you know, I've had a miscarriage, so this is too painful for me to talk about." Then, change the subject. This way, you can avoid the conversation altogether without seeming to pass judgement and hopefully help her move past this.
If she seems depressed, you may want to tactfully bring up seeing a therapist. But again, not by saying "because you pretended to be pregnant" but because, "you seem sad, maybe you need to talk to someone." Again, no judgement. Good luck with your friend. Remember, we all have crazy moments without necessarily being crazy. If she otherwise seems okay and she's taking care of her kids and otherwise functioning, she probably just needs some extra TLC/support.
I totally think you could be wrong. You know your friend but all of the things you mentioned in terms of her not showing sings of pregnancy sound well w/in the realm of normal. It's also possible that she had a really unusual reaction to AF returning and maybe believes she miscarried even if she didn't.
If there's nothing more to it, I'd say that maybe it's best to just move on. Even if she was lying, I may chalk that up to some odd way of processing not having a baby again and forgive and let her move past this.
At this point you have the choice about what sort of friend you want to be in whatever situation this really is. If the worst thing you are is a friend who believed an untruth, forgave the friend and supported her while she got well, you're in a good spot. If you're wrong and your friend just suffered a still-birth and you not only don't believe her but you are talking to other friends behind her back, that is a VERY bad place to be. That is not something I would risk under any circumstance (well, unless I thought this was the beginning of a dangerous mental illness).
I guess I'm saying, if you think this is a sign that she may be suffering and in need of intervention, seek professional help for her. Otherwise, I'd say the safest thing to do is just to continue being her friend and support her through this as if you believe her.
Moved to "Personal Growth" because this is OT for the "Fertility" forum.
I agree with the other posters here. I did want to add also that I had a friend that came up pregnant right after I did with one of mine. She carried on for weeks about her pregnancy and people started to not believe her because of the lack of symptoms and her not showing... especially being such a tiny girl and supposedly months into a pregnancy. It was probably around 6 months before she seemed to pop out a big baby belly overnight almost. She was indeed pregnant and delivered her baby just 4 weeks after mine was born.... yet no one had believed her for months. I'm not saying its likely to have been that way for your friend but its not impossible. I'd be a friend and hope that she gets to feeling better.