Tuesday, July 26, 2011

See Woman Delivers ‘Stone Baby’ After 60 Year Pregnancy,Pics

92-year-old woman delivering a 60-year-old baby may sound like a bizarre plot twist from the movie "Benjamin Button," it's true. Huang Yijun, 92, of southern China, recently delivered a child which she'd been carrying for well over half a century.

The baby wasn't alive, however. The woman was carrying a lithopedion or stone baby. It's a rare phenomenon that occurs when a pregnancy fails and the fetus calcifies while still in the mother's body.

According to Dr. Natalie Burger, endocrinologist and fertility specialist at Texas Fertility Center, lithopedions start off as ectopic pregnancies, a condition where the fertilized egg gets stuck on its way to the womb, implants and develops outside the uterus.

Burger says, doctors will recommend the pregnancy be terminated due to the extreme risk to the mother. Or the fetus will simply die on its own due to a lack of blood supply.

"The vast majority never get anywhere close to multiple months of pregnancy," she says. "They die, the tissue breaks down and they're gone."

In certain cases, however, the implanted fetus gets to an advanced stage before it dies. Too large to be absorbed by the body, the remains of the child or its surrounding amniotic sac slowly calcify, turning to stone as a way to protect the woman's body from infection from the decomposing tissue.

If no complications occur, believe it or not, the mother can basically just go on with her life.

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