Have you ever heard about a woman who was pregnant for 46 years? It sounds crazy and impossible, doesn’t it? However, it is possible and has happened. This phenomenon happens due to a condition known as lithopedion, or stone baby. It is very rare and occurs when a foetus dies during pregnancy but it is too big to be absorbed by the body. As a result, it gets calcified on the outside, protecting the mother from infection and further health issues.
Lithopedion can be found after years or even decades, and is often diagnosed when the patient is checked for other conditions.
This was what happened in the case of Zahra Aboutalib, who was admitted to hospital in advanced pregnancy back in 1955. She hadn’t given birth after 48 hours in labour so doctors decided she needed to have a caesarean section, but Zahra fled the hospital in fear. As her pain subsided, she put the pregnancy out of her mind, believing that the baby would be born at a later date as told in a local myth. However, 46 years later, when Zehra was 75 years old, she was admitted to hospital in pain once again and after numerous tests and analyses, it was discovered she had a calcified foetus in her womb.