Soon, Elizabeth was meticulously and repetitively cleaning all her food, as well as every piece of cutlery and crockery. A meal could take up to four hours to prepare. She also spent hours on the Internet researching toxoplasmosis.
Elizabeth mentioned her seemingly disproportionate concern to her midwife and dropped hints about the changes in her behaviour. But she was told not to worry too much, as most women bring up similar issues at some point during their pregnancy. And, by Elizabeth’s own admission, her attempts to ask for help were thwarted by her tendency to play down the issue, not wanting to make a fuss or be perceived as an attention-seeker.
“I simply struggled on and my husband could do nothing but watch my conduct and confidence deteriorate,” she says. “As the months went by I stopped working, going out and accepting visitors to our house – all out of fear of contamination.”