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44-year-old fetus discovered in 84-year-old woman's womb

 Bryttany Ferko,19, who is nine months pregnant, holds her belly before having an ultrasound examination at the Birthing Center of South Florida October 12, 2006 in Florida City
Bryttany Ferko,19, who is nine months pregnant, holds her belly before having an ultrasound examination at the Birthing Center of South Florida October 12, 2006 in Florida City
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

An elderly woman learned she was carrying a 44-year-old fetus for decades. Doctors in Brazil found the remains of a calcified fetus in an 84-year-old woman's womb after she complained of abdominal pain. It turns out that the rare discovery, referred to as lithopedion or "stone baby," took place after the woman thought the pregnancy was terminated, citing a Feb. 13 USA Today news report.

The 44-year-old fetus discovered by doctors had only been seen about 300 other times in recorded history. This strange ordeal began when the woman went to a hospital in Tocantins state to discover the source of her stomach pain.

A battery of tests were conducted, one of which included X-rays. Shockingly, doctors found evidence of a fetus that was covered with calcium deposits.

Citing a case study by the Sao Paulo Medical Journal ( SCIELO), "most cases remain asymptomatic for years, pelvic pain, weight sensation in the abdomen and compressive symptoms can occur, affecting especially the urinary bladder and rectum.

Stone babies result when a pregnant woman's fertilized egg implants on the outside of the uterus or in the Fallopian tubes ( ectopic pregnancy). If the egg or fetus is not reabsorbed, the body begins to form calcium around it in order to protect the mother from infection.

The 44-year-old fetus was not found for decades because the woman didn't associate her pains with the mummified remains. Back when she was 40, the woman went to a local healer for her pains. When there was no evidence of a baby's movement and she showed no outward signs of pregnancy, the woman thought she was, well...healed.

Her stomach didn't grow any more, the baby stopped moving and she thought it had been aborted," Porto Nacional hospital gynecologist Gesneria Saraiva Kratka told media sources.

As mentioned above, cases of stone babies are rare, despite the several hundred that have been reported worldwide. Nevertheless, it's peculiar that a woman in advanced age did not become aware of the calcified 44-year-old fetus for over four decades.

Ironically, the woman has elected not to remove the remains of her baby.

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