Weird, Whacky, Wondrous, Wombs and Woes
Recently Yahoo ran an article about a woman, Zahra Aboutalib , who discovered she’d been pregnant for 46 years and was carrying a calcified or stone baby. I heard about that one years ago and I pitied her. Can you imagine carrying a large stone infant for 46 years? And I complained about 9 months. What happened to was that she had an ectopic pregnancy, meaning the fertilized egg didn’t travel to her womb. Instead it remained inside a fallopian tube. The dead foetus was too large to be re-absorbed by the mother’s body and it becomes a foreign body to the mother’s immune system. To protect itself from possible infection the mother’s body will encase the foetus in a calciferous substance as the tissues die and dehydrate. As the calciferous wall builds up, the foetus is gradually mummified becoming a lithopedion or stone baby. A stone baby is also known as a litheopideon baby. in 1955 in a small village just outside Casablanca, 26 year old Zahra Aboutalib is pregnant with her first child. She was looking forward to giving birth, but after 48 hours of painful labour, she was rushed to the local hospital. Doctors informed her that she would need a caesarean section. On the ward Zahra saw a woman in terrible pain die in child-birth. She fled the hospital fearing she would meet the same fate if she remained. In the days that followed, Zahra continued to suffer excruciating labour pains but the baby remained resolutely in her womb. After a few more days the pains ceased and the baby stopped moving.
Not to be outdone, Huang Yijun, age 92, (left) was found to be pregnant for 60 years since 1948! Her baby had also calcified after it died in her womb. Normally a baby that died in the womb would decay but this one, like , formed a protective calcium barrier around itself and, although dead, remained intact for 6 decades. Huang knew that she was pregnant in 1948 with a dead infant, and when doctors demanded £100 to remove it, she walked away. She said: “It was a huge sum at the time – more than the whole family earned in several years so I did nothing and ignored it.” But the secret emerged when Huang hurt her stomach and went to hospital for a scan recently. Doctors are running tests to see if the elderly woman requires surgery to remove the infant. I’m not sure what the alternative would be; perhaps a medication that could slowly dissolve it, induced labour (not smart for a 92-year-old woman) or simple leave it. I doubt the latter will happen since Huang only went to doctors since her stomach finally hurt her. Indonesian surgeons delivered a 27-year-old baby from a middle-aged housewife who had carried the dead body inside her because she was too poor to have it removed. A team of 15 doctors operated for three hours to retrieve the 1,6kg petrified baby from the 54-year-old woman, identified as Taminah, at the Sutomo general hospital in the Java island city of Surabaya. “This may be a world record. The woman has carried the dead but fully developed baby inside her for 27 years,” said Dr Urip Murtejo. Clearly he hasn’t heard about Huang. He said the woman was otherwise healthy but had been referred to the hospital from her home of Bojenegoro, west of Surabaya, after complaining of occasional pains in her stomach. Taminah’s baby perished before birth in 1978 after it developed outside the womb. At the time, she could not afford the surgery to extract it, Murtejo said. The woman was recovering at the hospital and was said to be in good health after the operation. The body was taken for forensic study. They meant the baby. Not the mother.
A similar situation happened to a 7-year-old Indian boy. Doctors thought they were removing an extremely large cyst from the child but soon discovered the “cyst” was actually the boy’s twin. It was difficult to remove since it was covered in veins. All of these veins connected to Alamjan’s arteries. The mass didn’t look like a foetus. It was deformed and misshapen. One doctor moved the hair around and found a face beneath it. He was too frightened to examine the face further. The doctors still weren’t sure what they’d found inside the boy. The mother was very shocked and doctors scolded her that she should prevent further incidents. A very sensible thing to do since clearly this was her fault. Alamjan’s mother observed the foetus but his father refused. She was horrified and burst into tears. Alamjan recovered and looks like a handsome, healthy boy. His mother, however, has been ostracized for having infected her son with this “thing.” That will teacher her not to have anymore twins.
Another poor little child in an unusual medical situation is that of a 10-year-old girl who became pregnant. The little Mexican girl began menstruating very early, although younger girls have been discovered to be pregnant.The girl gave birth to a 6-pound baby and is healthy. A 5-year-old girl, Lina Marina, in Peru became pregnant in the 1930s . The child was removed by C-section. Her parents then raised the child as her sibling! Okay theres weird and there’s these people. The child of Lina’s father was 42. The small village insisted that they deal with him according to their culture. He was forced to leave the village and never return. Sounds pretty lenient to me. The 10-year-old Mexican girl and Lina Marina, had precocious puberty, meaning puberty that begins at a very early age. Less than 10% of girls have precocious pregnancy. I rather think of it as a precocious pregnancy. The child is involved in a statutory rape case. The age of consent in her state is a mere 12 years old, The age of the father wasn’t revealed. At first I thought it must be an adult. “castrate him,” I said to myself. It is possible however that the father is as young as 11! Even still, it is very worrisome to think that an 11-year-old boy (or perhaps it was the girl) was driven to pursue sex at such an early age. Clearly, one or both of these children are living in highly dysfunctional homes, That’s what happens when parents allow television to raise their children for them.
A 34-year-old woman had a 300 pound tumour removed from her body in surgery. The procedure took 6 hours. She had to lie on her side since lying on her back the tumour would crush her. The poor woman holds the world record for the largest tumour inside a human body. Doctors initially thought the tumour would have to be removed in pieces, however it remained intact and was easily removed from her body in one piece. When she was wheeled out of surgery, she was on one stretcher and the tumour was on another. She was given her life back that day. I don’t know how she carried on in her life with this growth. Happily the tumour was benign. This is a Guinness record although I have the feeling the woman would rather not have achieved that stat. God bless her.
Abigail and Brittany Hensel – Two Heads are Better than One The Hensel twins are an extremely rare form of conjoined twins. They possess what appears to be one body, but have two different heads From the navel down, they share one body with one set of internal organs. From the navel up, they have separate organs and of course, heads.. This condition is known as dicephalic parapagus twins. I should think this must be one of the most challenging form of conjoined twins from a social perspective. Although all conjoined twins would cause people to look twice, the Hensel girls would garner more attention than that, being a two-headed person. There must be a lot of advantages to this condition. Consider;
- taking academic tests – if one twin is good at math and the other isn’t, guess who will write the exam?
- driving a car – no need to turn your head to look left and right
- you can always look over your shoulder whatever position you’re in
- two pairs of eyes are great for editing and proofreading
- you’ll never walk alone
did you know there are many types of conjoined twins? Some of these are:
- Thoraco-omphalopagus (28% of cases):[Two bodies fused from the upper chest to the lower chest. These twins usually share a heart, and may also share the liver or part of the digestive system
- Thoracopagus (18.5%): Two bodies fused from the upper thorax to lower belly. The heart is always involved in these cases.
- Syncephalus: One head with a single face but four ears, and two bodies.
- Pygopagus (Iliopagus): Two bodies joined at the pelvis.
Thankfully, these conditions are all extremely rare. Life with such deformities would never be any enjoyable experience. Mind you, this is a world made for couples and in these cases, most of the conjoined twins don’t need dates. They also get discounts for a 2 for 1 movie ticket or some such thing.
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