Bizarre case of a woman who carried a stone baby in her womb for 46 years
Biological Evolution in normal circumstances produces a proportionate physiology with well coordinated organs working with each for healthy life. But once in a way nature takes a wrong course and results in a bizarre genetic mutation and physical malformation. Such incidents appear as strange cases such as the condition of the Moroccan stone baby born to a Moroccan woman in 1955.
When Zahra Aboutalib was just about to deliver her first child through caesarian section in her local hospital near Casablanca, she did the unthinkable. She fled the place after watching another woman die in childbirth. That set off a strange turn of events for the 26 year old Moroccan woman.
1 Although she felt labor pains, she did not have a miscarriage
For days after the incident Zahra felt labor pains but she did not have a miscarriage. The pains ultimately stopped and as superstitious as she was, she attributed her condition to the Moroccan myth of the sleeping child. She lived a normal life and even adopted three children.
But!!! Sometimes, myths can be based upon scientific fact that is yet to be rationally comprehended by people such as Zahra who lived all her life in a village. 46 years later, Zahra was to suffer the consequences of her delayed pregnancy. There was something growing inside her.
2 The myth of the sleeping child
If you’re wondering what the sleeping child myth is, it is a Maghrebian folk tale in Morocco that attributes a dormant fetus to magic. The myth says that the fetus can awake and be born several years after its proposed birth date. As fantastic as this seems. Even Moroccan law states that a child born after a year of separation will be regarded as the child of the ex husband.
Zahra’s beliefs took her through life thinking she had a sleeping child within her. She even became a grandmother but did not give birth.
3 A rude and terrifying shock after 46 years
After 46 years, Zahra was suddenly struck with abdominal pains that resembled labor pains. An ultrasound suggested by doctors revealed a shocking unidentified mass. An MRI scan revealed it to be her unborn BABY!!!
Zahra was 75 years old. Her condition terrified her and the family. Her son consulted Professor Taibio Ouazzani whose suggestions of an MRI revealed the unthinkable. The fetus had become a calcified lump of stone. She was now a host to another piece of incredible scientific news as the Moroccan stone baby.
4 A stone baby is no myth, it is a potential condition known to science
Not only was the fetus calcified inside her, it was also an ectopic pregnancy where the fetus had emerged out of the Fallopian tubes and developed in her abdominal cavity. Over the years a calciferous shell had grown over the fetus making it a stone mummy.
Doctors contemplated the possibilities and dangers of surgery as the stone fetus had even attached itself to some of her abdominal organs through the placenta.
5 The stone baby was removed after four hours of surgery
However, surgery was decided upon as the only possible means to remove the calcified lump. When surgeons removed the fetus, they found it was hard as stone. It had also fused with Zahras abdominal wall. It took surgeons four hours to successfully remove the calcified fetus that weighed 7 pounds and measured 42 cm in length.
In the case of an ectopic pregnancy the dead fetus will not be reabsorbed into the mothers system and the body then treats it as foreign material triggering several adverse reactions. In Zahra’s case, she was extremely lucky to have lived up-to 75 years with the calcified lump growing inside her.
It is the calcified shell around the stone fetus that protected Zahra from subsequent infection and it is that condition that led to the Moroccan stone baby which in scientific terms is known as a Lithopedion who’s first known records date back to Texas in 1100 BC.