Friday, July 01, 2005

Body Amazing: Boy "Gives Birth"

Uterine imbalances combined with a lack of space during pregnancy to prompt one of a set of twin embryos to relocate itself inside the developing body of the other. The host embryo continued to develop and was born a healthy baby boy. Though periodic examinations indicated a growth in the surviving boy’s abdomen, doctors believed it to be a cyst or mass best removed “when the boy grows up.”


On June 25 at 1:00 p.m. a seven-member panel of doctors at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University delivered a living child from the body of a sixteen-year-old boy. ““Medical science says it is possible but this is the first such case in my professional life,” said the former head of the surgery department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.” The fetus was found with developed hair, legs, teeth, hands, and genitals though cranial development was significantly lacking.

When the amazement and novelty surrounding the case subsides, there remains for me the complications of considering the life and health of the boy, the life of the unborn child, and the politics of the body, particularly as they appear differently when the gaze is cast on a male body “with child.” What presumptions seemed natural for you in this situation that would have moved other(wise) had the body of the host child been female?


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7 comments:

Veda said...

Hi, Michele sent me.

I'm curious, how old was the host embryo on the day the other was imbedded?

millennium hippies said...

um...is this for real? i tried to click on the link, but it didn't work for me. how can this be real? how can a baby be alive inside a body for 16 years? i don't see how that is physically possible....????

millennium hippies said...

btw, michele sent me!

millennium hippies said...

oh, and to answer your question, it did not make a difference to me whether the host was a boy or girl. to me it was no more shocking that it was a boy, that didn't even occur to me. the fact that a child was born "with child" and carried it for 16 years is the shocking thing. i don't think it matters if it was a boy, because of the way it was carried, it's not like the boy conceived and was pregnant.

Mary Godwin said...

Sorry ... I hadn't realized that the link was broken. It's fixed now.


Answers to questions: As I understand it, one of the "twin" fetuses embedded itself inside the developing body of the other fetus in utero. The article (link now working) gives some information about the elapsing 16 years. Amazing,huh?


Thanks for stopping by.

Veda said...

Me again. I've heard of that before, the one "enveloping" the other, but really, mostly in fiction. It would have been interesting, had the host been female, if the developement of her system wouldn't have functioned around the other embryo. As in, being in the abdomen, would her uterus has grown itself around, to help develope the second infant?

Now I'm off to read the article complete, wondering what the physical age was of the recently delivered twin.

Brenda said...

One of my 'areas' (academically/creatively) is "the maternal body" and so a 'male pregnancy' a 16-year male pregnancy, the carrying of his twin, O, if he were articulate, this is especially interesing... thank you. xo