A Canadian woman faked her own pregnancy for 34 weeks, fooling both her boyfriend and her town into believing that she was giving birth to quintuplets.
Barbara Bienvenue, a 37-year-old from Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, was taken to the CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital in Montreal earlier this month and after performing an initial examination physicians quickly realized the woman was not pregnant, the Canadian news station CTV reported
. The doctors reportedly pulled aside the boyfriend, 35-year-old Paul Servat, to inform him that he was not going to be a father.
"The doctors told me it was a phantom pregnancy," Servat told the QMI Agency, the Toronto Sun reported
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"I lost everything, it was my whole life," Servat added. "We were so happy. Even my parents, they were so looking forward to having grandchildren."
A phantom pregnancy, or false pregnancy, is when a woman, believing she is pregnant, displays symptoms commonly associated with pregnancy despite the fact that she is not actually carrying a child, according to WebMD.com
According to Servat, his girlfriend experienced morning sickness and lactation during the ordeal.
The boyfriend added that Bienvenue initially told him she was expecting twins, which turned into triplets, then quadruplets, and finally quintuplets, and all the while her belly grew to appear to accommodate the additional babies that she falsely claimed were inside her, the Toronto Sun reported.
In anticipation, Servat already picked out names for the babies – Alexander, Sebastian, Charles and Rosalie, Le Canada Français, a local French-language newspaper
that covers the area of Quebec where they live, reported in January. At the time the couple was still expecting quadruplets, ABC News reported
As for the gifts the couple received from family, friends, and even people who didn't know them personally but read of their story in local media, Servat says everything will be returned to the senders, so that they can get a refund.
"I'll return all these things to people who sent them or give them (away)," Servat told QMI Agency. "I'm a good person and I have nothing to do with these lies."
Bienvenue is reportedly presently receiving psychiatric care.
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