Clearly, your pregnancy is special and unique to you, but there are historically accurate and astonishing stories of birth and babies.
Image by Tobias Lindman via Flickr
Most expectant mums will reveal: suddenly, it seems as if everyone is pregnant. Once a woman is happily pregnant, she notices when others are. She estimates how many months ahead or behind the other mum is, wonders if this stranger, who she suddenly feels bonded to, knows if she’s having a boy or girl.
Most expectant mums are going to turn an eye to fashion. Is that “other” preggie dressed better or worse than she is? Now is the time to search for inexpensive maternity clothing for sale. Declare your pregnancy and be a fashionista whilst you’re at it.
The much hyped “pregnancy brain” can turn to the notion of the uniqueness of your pregnancy…until you find out that other people are nauseous, gassy, have heartburn, and occasional incontinence. There have, however, been some genuinely unusual pregnancies, information that holds continual fascination.
The average pregnancy is 280 days. We’ve all heard about “late” babies but the stories rarely go beyond two weeks. In 1945, Time magazine reported Beulah Hunter, 25, was pregnant for 375 days before giving birth to 3146.85 g Penny Diana. The previous record was 317 days. Cynics hypothesize Hunter actually had a miscarriage (10% of pregnancies end this way), and became pregnant again almost immediately.
Nigeria has the highest incidence of twins; at 4.5% (speculation claims the populace’s heavy consumption of yams is the cause).
The biggest baby ever — 10,432.8 g — was born in 1879 (although, sadly, he died 11 hours later) to celebrity giantess Canadian Anna Bates (not to be confused with the beloved “Downton Abbey” character). The largest surviving baby is up for debate. Some cite Sumatran Akbar, born in October 2009, at 8,709.12 g. Other sources claim Italian Carelina Fedele gave birth to a 10,342.08 g boy in Aversa in September 1955.
The littlest surviving baby, twin Rumaisa Shaik, was born in September 2004 and weighed an unbelievable 390 g. and only 25.40cm long. Only 71.12cm tall, Kentuckian Stacey Herald was the smallest mum to give birth – she has two daughters and a son.
It’s likely you’ve heard about the highest number of surviving children from a single birth, because the mum was eccentric, media-seeking Nadya Suleman who delivered octuplets (8) in January of 2010. No known nonuplets (nine babies) are known to have survived.
When you meet twins, it’s likely one will proclaim being the “older” or “younger” by minutes. But one set of twins were born 87 days apart (Crazy right!).
Mrs. Feodor Vassilyev, a Russian woman from Shuya, is reported to have given birth to 69 children in 27 pregnancies (16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four quadruplets); 67 survived infancy. Mr. Vassilyev reportedly had an additional 18 children from eight births, with a second wife.
In 2002, a California mother, Verek Muy, gave birth to identical quadruplets, genetically identical, originating from a single egg, fertilized by a single sperm, a one in 11 million chance.
The shortest interval between babies born in separate pregnancies was 208 days.
Forget teen mums as “too young.” In 1939, five-year-old Peruvian Lina Medina gave birth to a 2.7 kg. baby boy via C-Section. The story is a sad one – Lina began menstruating at either eight months or at three; her father was arrested for incest, but not charged. Named for the doctor who delivered him, Gerardo was raised to believe Lina was his sister. Lina eventually married and had another son in 1972, but sadly, Gerardo died in 1979 of bone-marrow disease.
In a bid to finally have a son, a 70-year-old Indian grandmother, Omkari Panwar, gave birth to IVF-generated twins (and yes, she had son – and another daughter). Her husband, 75, mortgaged his land, sold his buffalo, depleted their life savings and took out a loan to pay for the treatment.
The longest interval between the births of two children is 41 years 1985 days – Elizabeth Ann Buttle first delivered Belinda on 19 May 1956 and Joesph on 20 November 1997.
But don’t worry — your pregnancy, no matter how many you have, or if it is your only, will be wholly unique to you and your baby.