Woman Faked Quintuplet Pregnancy for Months

Canadian experienced a 'phantom' pregnancy, doctors say

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 24, 2014 7:15 PM CDT | Updated Mar 24, 2014 9:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Canadian woman who looked very pregnant and said she was carrying quintuplets wasn't pregnant at all—and her boyfriend is devastated. Only when Barbara Bienvenue, 37, showed up to deliver her babies at a Quebec hospital last week did a nurse inform the man that there was no pregnancy. "She let me choose the names," boyfriend Paul Servat, 35, told the Toronto Sun while sobbing. "I lost everything, it was my whole life." Now she's receiving psychiatric care and he's refusing to see her again, CTV reports. And her family tells QMI it isn't a first for Bienvenue, with an unnamed relative saying she once said she had leukemia (she didn't), and an ex-boyfriend claiming she told him she had twins.

Bienvenue first told Servat in September that she was having twins, then triplets, quadruplets, and quintuplets. She even grew a big belly and had morning sickness. But doctors say she was experiencing a "phantom pregnancy" or pseudocyesis—a rare disorder that gives a woman pregnancy symptoms for months or even years when there's no baby. Now Servat plans to return or give away gifts they received thanks to a Facebook page about her pregnancy. "Not only has he lost someone he had fallen in love with, but also ... babies who had become his 'joie de vivre,'" read a post on the now-defunct page. (On the flip side, one woman who thought she was having triplets recently birthed four babies instead.)

  (Shutterstock)
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