by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action
A friend once told me about a teenage girl she met at the doctor’s office. The girl talked about the fact that she thought she was pregnant and was looking forward to having her baby. After the girl left the office, the nurse told my friend in confidence that she felt sorry for the teenager who’d come in right before.
Apparently, the young girl wasn’t pregnant at all, but just wanted to be. In fact, she wanted a baby so bad that her body had taken on many of the characteristics of a pregnant woman: Her menstruations had stopped, her stomach started to protrude, she got morning sickness, and she even started to lactate. Because her desire to have a child was so deeply ingrained her psyche, her body convinced itself that she was indeed going to be someone’s mother.