The curious case of the stone baby

My latest story for MSNBC.com’s Body Odd blog came out this week. It’s on lithopedions, otherwise known as “stone babies,” a topic that seems to have creeped out thousands of readers (so I guess my job is done). 

Very rare, lithopedions start off as ectopic pregnancies, a condition where the fertilized egg implants and develops outside the uterus.  While an ectopic fetus will usually die early on, in certain cases it gets to an advanced stage, dies, and then slowly starts to calcify. Some mothers, particularly in countries where there’s not much in the way of  health care, will unknowingly carry stone babies around for years, even decades. A few months back, a 92-year-old woman in China “delivered” her stone baby, which she’d been carrying for 60 years.

The story pulled in nearly 100,000 views and more than 200 comments. While some people thought Stone Baby would be a great name for a band and others were chomping at the bit to see pictures, I had to agree with the reader who summed it up as follows:  “That is totally creepy and really sad.”

1 Response to “The curious case of the stone baby”


  1. 1 Deborah Compton November 18, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    I thought the article on “the stone baby” was fascinating. It amazes me the bodys ability to carry a child for years, and for it to be able to do so. All i can say is WOW!


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What’s my story?

I'm a former freelance writer, now gainfully employed at Fred Hutch (views and f-bombs all my own).

I write about health and health care; cancer research and the cancer experience; dating, lifestyle and singles issues and lots of other stuff including humor and fiction and a few songs here and there.

Book info below.

Looking for my breast cancer blog? Go to doublewhammied

Where are my books?

How to Date in a Post-Dating World A dating manual for the modern, mangled single.

Single State of the Union
Single women speak out on life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

Fifty Shades of Brains
Sex. Zombies. Really annoying present tense narration.

Follow me on Twitter!

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