Those of you who’ve had a baby might argue that any pregnancy is strange, but these in particular raise the bar for weirdness.
10) 500-Pound Mother (2008)
Coventry, England: We’ve all heard about big babies, but what about big mothers? Meet Leanne Salt, 24. She weighed in at a whopping 560 pounds when she gave birth, requiring an army of medical professionals to aid in the delivery. (To complicate matters, she had triplets.) The tally: four surgeons, five midwives, four anesthesiologists, two oncologists, 12 nurses and neonatal consultants, plus a specially built reinforced operating table and a hoist to position her properly. The cost: about $320,000. Lucky for her, she doesn’t live in the US, or the hospital might have repossessed her kids.
9) Five-Year-Old Gives Birth (1939)
Lima, Peru: Early in 1939, the parents of five-year-old Peruvian Lina Medina took her to a local hospital with an engorged abdomen that was originally thought to be a large tumor, but the doctors’ diagnosis was even more incredible: she was seven months pregnant. On May 14, she gave birth to a healthy six-pound boy, delivered via caesarean section due to her small pelvic size. It was discovered that Lina had hit puberty at an incredibly early age, having fully developed breasts and sex organs and having had a menstrual cycle from the time she was two years old. Medina’s father was arrested on rape and incest charges, but due to lack of evidence, he was never convicted. Until he was 10 years old, her son was raised to believe that his 15-year-old mother was his sister.
8) Pregnant With Your Twin (2008)
Saudi Arabia: Not to be outdone, a one-year-old infant in Saudi Arabia was discovered to be “pregnant” — though certainly not in the conventional sense. The condition is known as “fetus in fetu,” in which one twin is absorbed into the other when they are in the early stages of development — often before the mother even realizes she’s having twins. The absorbed fetus is an undeveloped mass of cells that acts like a parasite, feeding off the other twin’s blood supply. As was the case with the Saudi child, the parasitic twin typically isn’t discovered until after the “host” is born, at which point it is removed like any other growth.
7) Baby Born Twice (2008)
Houston, Texas: About six months into her pregnancy, Keri McCartney was told at a routine ultrasound that her baby had a grapefruit-sized tumor — as big as the fetus itself — and that a very risky surgery was needed to save the child’s life. Keri’s entire uterus was lifted out of her body and cut open, allowing doctors to remove the baby — technically, about 80% of her body was exposed to the air — so they could extract the tumor. The child had less than a 10% chance of survival — due to risks like exposure to the air and difficulty sealing up the uterus to keep in the amniotic fluid — but two and a half months later, she was born (again) with the appropriate name of Macie Hope.
6) Woman Gets Pregnant While Pregnant (2009)
Fort Smith, Arkansas: Pregnant, 33-year-old Julia Grovenburg went in for a routine ultrasound and came out with shocking news: she was pregnant…again. In a rare case of conception while pregnant (termed “superfetation”), it seems that two weeks after conceiving their daughter, Julia and her husband — desperate for a child — also conceived a son. The two babies ended up being born on the same day in December 2010, though they’re not considered twins.
5) Black Parents Give Birth to White Baby (2010)
4) Twins with Different Fathers (2009)
Dallas, Texas: It sounds like an episode of Maury: Mia Washington cheated on her boyfriend James with another man and became pregnant. The twist is that around the same time, she also became pregnant with James’ baby. Both sons were born on the same date and are fraternal twins — meaning two eggs were fertilized at the same time by two different sperm — but each has a different father. The truth came to light months after their birth when Mia (read: James) realized how little they look alike, and a paternity test was taken. James graciously forgave her and agreed to raise both children as his own, without Maury’s help.
3) Woman with Two Uteruses, Both Pregnant (1981)
Unknown: A 1981 case study details an unnamed woman with a rare condition called “uterus didelphys” — meaning she has two uteruses — who became pregnant with fetuses in both uteruses. The right uterus actually had two babies inside it, both of which were delivered at the 27-week mark in the pregnancy, while the left uterus had another child that wasn’t born for another 72 days.
2) Pregnant Man (2008)
Bend, Oregon: Thomas Beatie, 34, made headlines worldwide (and on Oprah) in 2008 when he announced that he was pregnant. A transgender male, Beatie had sexual reassignment surgery in 2002 but opted to keep his female reproductive organs in anticipation of one day having children. Utilizing a sperm donor, Beatie gave birth in June 2008 and didn’t waste time moving on to a second (born June 2009) and third baby (born July 2010). By all accounts, hijinks ensued:
1) Pregnant By Oral Sex (1988)
Mafeteng, Lesotho: A 15-year-old girl suffering from a condition known as Mullerian agenesis or Mayer-Rokitansky-Küster-Hauser syndrome — basically, she has no vagina — was understandably surprised to find that, despite never having had vaginal intercourse, she was nine months pregnant. Doing some investigation and some quick math, doctors realized that 278 days earlier, the girl had been admitted to the hospital with a knife wound to the stomach. She had been injured during a lovers’ spat triggered when her ex found her performing fellatio on her new boyfriend. It seems that the sperm in her stomach managed to escape the punctured abdomen into her reproductive organs, where one of them managed to fertilize an egg. Soon after discovering she was pregnant, the girl had the baby…via caesarean section.