It was a routine ultrasound until Pierre-Emmanuel Bouet, an obstetrician at a hospital in Angers, France, spotted an anomaly so rare there are only 26 other cases have been reported during the entire history of obstetric medicine.
Bouet noticed a pair of legs sticking out of a tear in the mother's uterus. Normally, the entire fetus develops within the uterus.
“I was astonished when I discovered the amniocele," he emailed The Washington Post, referring to the sac covering the legs that had escaped from the the uterus. The find was so surprising, Bouet quickly contacted colleagues to confirm what he saw.
He doesn't blame the tear on a rough kick from the fetus. Instead, Bouet believes the woman's five prior C-sections are the cause. Because of C-section scar tissue from the previous births, her uterus remained rigid instead of growing to accommodate the fetus. The tear was a result of the uterus not being able to expand.
So scary! Strangely, the mom didn't feel any pain from the tear, nor did she show any symptoms of internal injury, which was unusual; most women do feel pain after their uterus ruptures because of internal bleeding. Fortunately, the way the sac and the baby's legs were positioned plugged the tear, essentially stopping any blood from leaking out.
Though doctors were concerned the mom's entire uterus could rupture, you'll be glad to know that there was a happy ending: Eight weeks after the ultrasound was taken, she delivered a healthy baby into the world.
“The newborn was born healthy,” Bouet said. “He was premature, but healthy.”
We're so glad!