The Woman Who Was Pregnant for More Than 50 Years

“With the birth of each child you lose two novels.” —Candia McWilliam

In A Nutshell

Huang Tijun, 92, of China, was given some awful news by medical professionals in 1948: The child she was pregnant with had died in her womb. Unable to afford the procedure necessary to remove the baby, she went on to carry it inside of her for more than half a century.

The Whole Bushel

Doctors say it’s a rare thing that 92-year-old Huang Tijun could be so healthy—and it’s not on account of her age that they’re so astounded. It’s because she carried a dead fetus in her womb for more than 50 years. When medics informed Huang in 1948 that her baby had died inside of her, she could do virtually nothing about it. The hospital wanted $150 to perform the removal surgery—money she didn’t have.

“It was a huge sum at the time—more than the whole family earned in several years—so I did nothing and ignored it,” she said.

Over 50 years later, she was receiving a scan subsequent to a stomach injury, when doctors noticed the fetus inside her, and diagnosed her with Lithopedion. The rare condition occurs “when pregnancy fails, and the fetus calcifies while still in the mother’s body.” Huang went on to deliver the calcified “stone baby” with the help of doctors, though it had already been deceased for many years.

It is believed that the decaying fetus turns to a stone-like state “as a way to protect the woman’s body from infection [due to] the decomposing tissue.”

Lithopedion occurs most frequently in areas where proper OB-GYN care isn’t easily accessible, as well as in cases like Huang’s, where medical expenses are an issue. And according to a 1996 report in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, there have only been 290 cases of the condition documented throughout the history of medical literature. The rare condition has been known to cause intestinal blockage, pelvic abscess, and problems with future pregnancies.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I discovered she had a baby in her belly,” said Dr. Liu Anbin, the physician who diagnosed Huang’s condition. “I’ve been a doctor for more than 40 years and it’s the first time I have seen something like this.”

Show Me The Proof

NBC News: The curious case of the stone baby
The Herald: 92-yr-old woman Miraculously delivers ‘stone baby’ after 60 yrs pregnancy (Photos)

  • Jason

    Holy crap…that’s, well…it’s disturbing. Great Nut, by the way!

    • Mikey Godsey

      I tried, but I can’t leave alone the fact that you just said “Great Nut”. Sorry, I’m done.

  • UN

    sounds like a plot of some b grade horror movie…..

  • Hadeskabir

    It’s a crime when someone doesn’t receive medical treatment because they don’t have money. More horrifying is the fact that she was pregnant and still they asked her for money to perform the procedure. Barbaric!

    • Maylilyx

      So how about you go give her the money if you care so much. Because you realize they lose money when they give out free operations right?

      • Michael Jeffrey

        Kill yourself swiftly, cunt.

      • Guest

        I find it astounding thay out of 500 million sperm that you where the the one that got through.

      • Nick Mulgrave

        I find it astounding that out of 500 million sperm, you where the one that got through.

    • Tom Johnson

      Then become a doctor and give free medical care to every person who claims they’re broke, idiot.

      • Hadeskabir

        It’s each country’s government responsibility to provide medical care to their citizens who can’t afford it. The idiot here is you, who thinks money is more important than a person’s health.

    • SickDaddy

      You should write a paper on the laws and legalities of China in 1948.

  • Jen

    Wow, it must have been traumatic to “give birth” to a dead fetus that should have been an adult man