Malaysian Mystery Memoirs: Phantom Pregnancy

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I was the outcast girl at the orphanage. While that doesn’t fully justify what I did in attempt to mollify my loneliness and sorrow, I do believe that being left to my own devices plays a major role in my story.

Although never clinically diagnosed, I strongly believe that I had fallen into a deep depression over the years. At my wit’s end, and with no one to rely on, I chose to journey on the path of spiritual healing.

It was lovely. For once in my life, I felt connected to something other than my computer screen.

I learned grounding; placing my feet on the bare earth, reminding myself of my roots. We also had group therapy, where our individual backgrounds and superficial matters were not even discussed.

I befriended a man in his 30s, Azman Saifuddin, who became my roommate when I moved out of the orphanage to a hostel in Setia Alam. He was the one who introduced me to the concept of lucid dreaming, but my addiction lingered far longer than his.

The ‘visions’ got clearer over time. I began to feel the cold air on my skin and learned to navigate my subconscious step by step, like a toddler. I was about 6 months in when I figured out how to communicate and interact with other people as I did in my waking life.

This may sound crass or shameful, but I met someone. A handsome stranger called Mikhail. Somewhere between his upturned nose and my bashful personality, we grew to care for one another – and it wasn’t long before our bond turned physical.

At first, I did fear that my actions may have been somehow unorthodox or that I was breaking some kind of unspoken rule. I did not have a dream land handbook, so all I could do was convince myself that I was in the clear so long as my intentions were pure.

A major plus point was that I had regained the motivation to rebuild my life and pursue my career in culinary arts. I was actually doing pretty well for myself considering the lack of family support, and told no one about my secret beau.

The unbreakable joy I felt began to mesh with fear and uncertainty when I suddenly fell pregnant. Of course, I overlooked the missed period, body aches and strange cravings until the subtle nausea came along and I could not stand the smell of my own cooking.

Curious, I took the pregnancy test just to ease my suspicions, and was proven right instead. Even then, I wasn’t full convinced. The reality of the situation only dawned on me when I had an ultrasound done at 6 weeks, and a tiny mass stared back at me.

Not a tumour, not a growth, not a cyst- but the product of myself and the only man I had ever been with, fully awake or otherwise.

I chose to keep him, and once the gender was confirmed, even found myself glancing at blue bibs and mittens at the shopping mall.

To my surprise, the pregnancy was going smoothly. I started to believe that my life was finally coming together. At that moment, all I needed was my tiny bubble consisting of myself, my baby, and my man who so eagerly awaited the birth.

Therein lay the problem – the birth.

In the hospital gown that washed me out, I sat there with the happiest expression on my face. Nothing mattered to me more than hearing my son cry and falling into a deep slumber later on where his father would embrace him.

I was blacked out for the rest of it, but based on what I was told, I carried my child to term only to ultimately give birth to nothing. Absolutely nothing, thin air.

Dilated at 8cm, and then to 10cm, the doctor tried everything. Sticking his hands in me, labour inducing medicines. He was desperate enough to shine a flashlight to see if he could spot the baby, but found nothing but tons of placenta. Not even blood was shed.

At a loss, I underwent another ultrasound, which confirmed that there was no longer anything inside my belly, though I swore I felt like I had just given birth.

Weeping on the same hospital bed where I once envisioned a fruitful future, with empty arms and burdened shoulders, I wondered how I was going to tell Mikhail.

* All illustrations are edited versions of  free stock images available on the public domain.

Malaysian Mystery Memoirs is a series of fictional horror tales by JUICE, for entertainment purposes only. Any similarities to actual persons or situations are purely coincidental.