A woman’s “phantom” quintuplets – five babies – were set to be delivered earlier this month at a Canadian hospital. However, when the couple went in, doctors revealed that the 37-year-old “mother” had gone from baby-bump to bust, leaving her boyfriend, an excited soon-to-be-dad, emotionally devastated.
According to ABC News on Tuesday, Barbara Bienvenue “convinced her boyfriend, her town” and possibly even her own body that she was pregnant with quintuplets for 34 weeks.
When news of the rare pregnancy spread, donations poured in from friends, family, even strangers, to help the growing family with their upcoming challenges. All were kept in the dark about this ruse, until Bienvenue and her boyfriend, Paul Servat, were told by doctors that she was not pregnant.
“I lost everything, it was my whole life,” Servat said.
Ecanadanow.com picks up this bizarre story:
Both Servat and his parents were thrilled over the idea of having so much progeny. Servat met Bienvenue online and that led to a tryst turned pregnancy. She didn’t tell him she was carrying quintuplets at first. She told him she was pregnant and he stepped up to do the right thing. Then she increased it to two, three, and so forth. In retrospect, it is clear there was something amiss.
The elaborate hoax lasted up to the day she was set to deliver the children. Servat took her to the labor and delivery ward and only upon receiving a blood test proving she never was pregnant did she finally confess. Her ex-boyfriend intends to return the gifts they had received and be done with her.
Servat said Barbara initially told him she was having twins, then triplets, then quadruplets, and finally said she was having quintuplets. He said she showed all the signs of a classic pregnancy – she missed periods, her belly grew, she experienced morning sickness and her body even started producing milk.
Local police spokesman Sgt. Luc Tougas said Servat is doing the right thing and returning all of the money and gifts. He said it does not appear that the couple purposely attempted to fraudulently bilk people with a fake pregnancy story.
“The spouse, who was also jilted with this whole story, has been reimbursing some of the associations,” Tougas said. “He was also very stunned. Right now, this woman is at the hospital undergoing psychiatric treatment. We suspect some mental issues.”
In a phantom or false pregnancy, medically termed pseudocyesis, a woman’s conviction is so strong that she is pregnant that an appearance of signs and symptoms associated with pregnancy can actually occur.
Investigators also said that Bienvenue once before said she was pregnant, and also was convinced at one time that she had cancer. She is being evaluated in a psychiatric hospital.