In the 1950s, when a pregnant Moroccan woman was sent to the hospital after more than 24 hours of labor, she took flight after seeing a woman die during childbirth, as she was afraid she’d also suffer the same fate. Nearly 50 years later, she gave birth to a “stone baby.”
Zahra Aboutalib, then 26 years old in 1955, was pregnant with her first child, but she still wasn’t able to give birth after being in labor for 48 hours. When she was sent to the hospital, she was told that she’d require a cesarean section. But, when she saw another woman die during childbirth, she was overcome by fear and fled the hospital.
According to Extraordinary People, after Aboutalib fled the hospital, she continued to feel excruciating labor pains for days before it stopped. But, she never gave birth.
Aboutalib recalled a Moroccan belief, that a child can sleep inside the womb and protect the mother’s honor. So, she stopped thinking about the pregnancy any further, and went on to adopt three children.
After 46 years, when Aboutalib was 75, the pain came back and she was taken to a specialist for a medical checkup. The specialist, Professor Taibi Ouazzani, thought that Aboutalib had an ovarian tumor due to her protruding belly, and sent her for an ultrasound scan.
After an MRI scan, it was revealed that it was no tumor, but her baby, which she had carried with her since 1955.
It turns out that Aboutalib had an ectopic pregnancy, where the fetus had burst the fallopian tube and developed in the abdominal cavity. It later became a foreign body to the mother’s immune system and a calciferous shell was formed around it.
Aboutalib later underwent a four-hour-long operation to remove the stone baby, which was calcified, being hard and solid.