Zahra Aboutalib lives in Morocco in a small village. She is the mother of three adopted children, who have since given her grandchildren and live a simple and happy life. But Zahra’s life has had its turbulent hurdles, which almost cost her life.
When they wanted to deliver her child by caesarian section, she became scared. Shortly before her appointment, another pregnant woman bled to death on the operating table. In her panic, the traumatized Zahra fled from the hospital. In Morocco there is the legend of the “sleeping baby”: from magical influences, a child may be born later than normally expected. At the time, the legend was created so that men wouldn’t worry when the time came for procreation. As a result, infidelities could also easily be covered up. Zahra was so convinced that her baby would arrive that she simply waited. She had no complaints, never visited a doctor and continued on with her life. Eventually she had completely repressed the thought of her unborn child. 46 years later, when she was 75 years old, she suddenly suffered from severe stomach pains, which the doctors believed to be a tumor weighing down her body.
But as they cut open her stomach, they discovered something unbelievable:
A fossilized baby! Since 1955 it had been housed in Zahra’s womb and was petrified from the absorption of calcium.
The calcification actually saved Zahra’s life, because it protected her from being poisoned by the dead baby. Now the calcified layers had become too hard, resulting in pain. The baby would have never survived due to the required ectopic pregnancy.
In this case the embryo doesn’t nest in the womb, but in the abdominal cavity. Here, it doesn’t have enough room to develop. Of course, the mother is then also in great danger because the abdominal cavity is not intended for incubation. Therefore, it’s quite common today that such pregnancies are terminated for the sake of the mother.
In this video you can have another look at Zahra’s story:
Zahra’s child was removed from her after 46 years. Scientists call this phenomenon “Stone Child” (lithopedion) and so far there are only about 300 cases known worldwide.