Boyfriend devastated by 'phantom' quintuplet pregnancy
Published Friday, March 21, 2014 9:04AM EDT
A Quebec woman had her entire town believing she was pregnant and expecting quintuplets, convincing many to open their hearts -- and wallets -- to help her. Problem was, not only were there no quintuplets, there was no pregnancy at all.
The woman had told her boyfriend she was pregnant about a month after they met on an online dating site. At first, she said she was expecting twins. Then it changed to triplets and then quadruplets.
The community of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu rallied around the expectant couple and the expecting father created a Facebook page to keep family and community members up to date.
Geneviève Laflamme, a mother of triplets herself, befriended the future mother.
“I gave her tips on how to handle it, where to get financial support, where to get sponsors for diapers,” she told CTV Montreal.
Laflamme says she began to suspect something wasn’t right when she noticed holes in the woman’s story. Then, a week before the woman’s purported due date, she told Laflamme she had undergone another ultrasound that revealed there were actually five babies inside her.
Laflamme didn't buy it. But Facebook followers of the mother showered the couple with gifts and offers of help.
The whole story fell apart Tuesday when the woman's boyfriend took her to hospital for her delivery at 34 weeks. A nurse took Paul aside and informed him his girlfriend was not pregnant at all and had either faked or imagined the whole thing.
The woman is currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, which is why CTV News has decided not to identify her.
Medical specialists say “phantom pregnancies” are not unheard of. Dr. Haim Abenhaim, an obstetrician and gynecologist at Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital, says there are two types of so-called phantom pregnancies documented in medical literature.
One is called pseudocyesis, which occurs when there are physical pregnancy signs, such as missed periods, morning sickness and extension of the abdomen, but no actual pregnancy. The other condition is called delusional pregnancy in which a patient truly believes she is pregnant but is not.
A posting on the couple’s Facebook page Wednesday explains that Paul is now determined to return all the gifts the couple received and will donate other items to local charities.
The post says that Paul has cut off ties with the woman and is devastated by the events of the last week.
“Not only has he lost someone he had fallen in love with, but also four babies who had becomes his ‘joie de vivre’,” the post reads in French.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Stephane Giroux