- Family and Parenting
* Strange Parenting Tales: Fact or Fiction?
Stretch Your Imagination to the Limit... Strange but True
This lens has now grown to over two dozen parenting facts, world records and general parenting trivia that make this Fairly Goth Mother look rather normal by comparison.
In a culture of reality TV and instant YouTube stardom it is hard to imagine any parents more bizarre than Octomom or the Dugger family with their ever expanding families, but you need look no further that the World Record Books. There have been strange parenting stories throughout human history, and new records are being broken all of the time. Take for example the Worlds Smallest Mother, almost as wide as she is tall at full-term.
I've always been a bit strange when it came to my parenting but as far as I know it has never been the record setting sort of strange. I mostly just dress really weird and collect random and mostly useless facts. But when I find parents with even stranger stories than mine, I can't help but pay attention.
Like the sad and somewhat confusing case of Lina Medina the worlds youngest mother, who gave birth to her first son and went right back to playing with her baby dolls. Her geriatric counterpart, Mrs. Rajo Devi became the worlds oldest mother on record thanks to modern fertility drugs, but nature took its course in the end.
And did I mention the teenaged girl who hold the records for worlds youngest grandmother yet?
If you came here looking for the strangest parenting stories on planet Earth you need look no further. All World Records have been researched and verified to the best of my ability. So go ahead and test the limits of your imagination with this bizarre trip through the oddest parenting facts known to human kind. For the strangest of the strange parenting trivia we also have the worlds most prolific parents like the Russian peasant woman that gave birth to enough kids to more than triple the Duggar's count!
So. Please keep your hands and feet inside of the ride at all times, fasten your seat belts and please warm up your skeptical scoff before entering...
Shall we begin?
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In the arena of sad but true...
Worlds Youngest Mother: Lina Medina
Lina Medina was born in Paurange, Peru. Her family first sought medical attention believing the child had a tumor due causing her increasingly rounded belly. Discovery of Lina's pregnancy shocked the world.
Puzzled, doctors continued to study Lina Medina trying to determine the medical reasons for such an early pregnancy. It was eventually discovered that she suffered from a hormone condition known as "Precocious Puberty" that caused extremely early development. She began menstruating regularly at the age of 8 months (some sources state 3 years), and had fully developed breasts and ovaries at the time of conception.
On May 14, 1939, Worlds Youngest Mother, Lina Medina gave birth to a healthy six pound baby boy at the age of 5 years, 7 months, and 21 days old. She named the child Gerardo. Lina and Gerardo returned home, where it was noted that she still preferred playing with her dolls to the real live baby. Her parents took responsibility for raising him. Gerardo was ten before he discovered that his fifteen year old sister was actually his mother.
Youngest Mother Lina Medina is still alive today, and went on to live a normal life. She has refused to do media interviews. The identity of the father was never discovered. For a time Lina's father was held on a suspected charge of incest, until blood tests ruled him out. When questioned about the fathers identity, Lina was unable to give clear answers due to her young age, so nobody was ever charged.
Gerardo lived a normal life as well until his death from a bone marrow disease in 1979 at the age of 40.
More Info About Lina Medina, The World's Youngest Mother:
World's Youngest Father?
Your guess is as good as...
Speaking of babies having babies...
World's Youngest Father: Unconfirmed
When it comes to the youngest father in the world the record is a little more tricky. First of all solid proof of paternity is still a fairly new science that doesn't go back far enough to confirm many of these stories. There are many unconfirmed reports of boys becoming fathers while still in the single digits including reports of a 6 year old boy from China around the turn of the century and another 6 year old from the U.K. in 1864.
The youngest parents in history are rumored to be a Chinese couple that gave birth to a baby boy in 1910. The father is claimed to have been 9 years old and the mother, 8 years of age but no records can be found to substantiate this. So you don't have to stretch yourself quite that far.
Sean Stewart from Sharnbrook, England became a candidate for World's Youngest Father in 1998 when his neighbor became pregnant at the age of 16. At the time she had believed Shawn to be fourteen. She did not find out that he was on 12 until news of her pregnancy broke. Sean was given the day off from school to attend the birth of his son. Shawn said he planned to be a good father to his son.
And how has World's Youngest Father, Shawn Stewart, done in his life? Let's just say his decision making skills do not appear to have improved. The child's mother reports that she has not seen Sean in several years and Sean's last known location was a jail cell.
Youngster Alfie Patten was believed to have become a World's Youngest Father at age 13 for a short time, but DNA tests have since ruled him out as the baby's father. So, as far as anybody can tell the record for World's Youngest Confirmed Father is still Sean Stewart, at least currently...
World's Youngest Father: Sean Stewart
The World's Youngest Grandparents
A 17 year old GRANDmother?
According to a great many sources, the world's youngest grandmother was Mum-Zi a member of Chief Akkire's harem from Calabar, Nigeria. Mum-zi became a mother at the age of 8, her daughter then went on to have a child at the age of 8 making Mum-zi a grandmother by age seventeen. Unfortunately little else is known about Mum-Zi, I found that the original source of the story is Ripley's Believe It or Not. Other than that nothing.
The confirmed record for World's Youngest grandmother is held by Rifca Stanescu. Stanescu was 12 when she gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Maria. Maria quit school to marry when she was 10, and her son Ian was born six months later when Maria was just 11 years old making her mother Rifca the worlds oldest grandmother on record at the ripe old age of 23.
The title of the world's youngest grandfather goes to Nikola Kostic, who fathered his son Stanko at age 13. Stanko became a father at age 13 as well, making Nikola Kostic a grandpa at the age of 26.
More Info About The Worlds Youngest Grandparents
Aphids are born pregnant, and give birth to their pregnant offspring at just ten days old.
World's Oldest Mother
Mrs. Rajo Devi age 70-ish
The current record for worlds oldest mother tentatively goes to Mrs. Rajo Devi Lohan.
Mrs. Lohan gave birth to her first child, a healthy baby girl in 2008. She and her husband Balla named the child Naveen. The new mother was 70 years old, or at least she thought she was, her husband believes that she was 72. The mothers real age at the time of birth is questionable as many in rural India do not have birth certificates this can not be confirmed or denied.
In India infertility is often considered a divine curse. Balla Lohan's first two wives were unable to become pregnant, and he was desperate for an heir. He suffered great social stigma for remaining childless after 50 years of marriage. For many years the couple has hidden themselves away shamed by their inability to have a child. Many had urged Balla to divorce his wife and find one who was capable of giving him a child. The couple tried pregnancy through in-vitro fertilization and succeeded, at great cost. Mrs. Lohan was unable to recover from the trauma of giving birth and announced that she was dying only 18 months after giving birth to Naveen.
Before Mrs. Lohan, Maria del Carmen Bousada de Lara held the record when she delivered twins at the age of 66 in 2006. Before that it was believed that Satyabhama Mahapatra retired schoolteacher from India held that record for worlds oldest mother giving birth to a baby boy at the age of 65. Another notable late pregnancy was that of Omkari Panwar, who at 70 years of age gave birth to twins. More mothers over age 50...
The record for worlds oldest father is currently held by Australia's Les Colley who became a father in 1992 at the age of 92 years and 10 months old. At the time he told newspapers of his young Fijian wife, "I never thought she would get pregnant so easy, but she bloody well did." Colley lived to within four months of his 100th birthday.
Also of note is the man pictured, Nanu Ram Jogi who fathered his (estimated) 21st child at the age of 90, making him the oldest living father. He plans to keep fathering children until he is 100. The secret to his vitality? He eats lots of meat.
Their decision to have so many children came after Michelle suffered a miscarriage. She had been on birth control pills, and did not know that a woman on birth control could conceive and miscarry a child. Based on their pro-life stance they made a pact of sorts with God. They asked him to forgive their selfish decision and to please bless them with as many children as he saw fit, in his timing. God apparently saw that as a challenge... since then they have been blessed abundantly.
Joshua James; March 3, 1988, Jana Marie; January 12, 1990, John-David; January 12, 1990, Jill Michelle; May 17, 1991, Jessa Lauren; November 4, 1992, Jinger Nicole; December 21, 1993, Joseph Garrett; January 20, 1995, Josiah Matthew; August 28, 1996, Joy-Anna; October 28, 1997, Jedidiah Robert; December 30, 1998, Jeremiah Robert; December 30, 1998, Jason Michael; April 21, 2000, James Andrew; July 7, 2001, Justin Samuel; November 15, 2002, Jackson Levi; May 23, 2004, Johannah Faith; October, 11 2005, Jennifer Danielle; August, 2 2007, Jordyn-Grace Makiya; December, 18 2008, Josie Brooklyn; December, 10 2009.
Were you keeping count there? That is 19 children, yes 19 and believe it or not the Duggars haven't broken any records that I know of, besides possibly having the most children in one family to have the same first letter in their names...
So let's take a look at some mothers who have broken records.
All Families Are Awkard - ...the ones who aren't are lying.
Thankfully some families are more strange than others, so if you ever find yourself feeling as if you come from the strangest family on the planet just pick up a copy of this book. Trust me, you really, really don't...
If been called strange myself a time or two, but next to these families I'm June Cleaver! Awkward family photos from some of the oddest families around. Fact or Fiction?
Does she have kids or puppies? That's not a birth... it's a litter.
Octomom does not hold the world's record for the most multiples in one birth though. *applause*.
The Broderick family of Australia had nontuplets in 1971, the strongest surviving six days. In 1999 the Saad family of Malaysia also had nine babies, but none survived more than a few hours.
With the advent of fertility drugs, and IVF extreme multiple births are old news, so lets go back a bit further now shall we?
In 1954 we find a multiple birth story that is even more unbelievable. In 1954, 28 year old Mrs. Boyd Braxton, mother of six, gave birth to triplets. The two girls were born first, with a boy being delivered 18 days later. Mrs. Braxton it seems had been born with a double uterus.
And finally... the woman who bore a village.
According to church records the first wife of Russian peasant Feodor Vassilyev gave birth to an astounding 69 children before her death in 1782. She was pregnant a total of 27 times, and 67 of those children survived infancy. Between 1725 and 1765 she gave birth to 16 sets of twins, 7 sets of triplets, and 4 sets of quadruplets!
Somebody get that poor woman a shoe!!!
Feodor Vassilyev went on to remarry, and eventually sired another 20 children for a total of 87 children. cause of his firsts wife's death was presumably exhaustion...
Neither of his wives names are recorded...
True according to The Guinness Book of World Records 2004... but this skeptic makes some good points...
Go ahead, I'll wait...
As for the male record for most offspring...
Historians believe that Mulai Ismail,(1646-1727), second ruler of the Moroccan Alaouite dynasty may have sired well over 800 children through 500 wives. No wonder he looks so smug.He was even rumored to have up to 700 male descendents just before his death. And thus the first book of baby names was (probably) born.
Image you know who courtesy of you know where
All of that work...
A female American oyster lays 500 million eggs per year on average. Only one of these will reach full maturity.
Shortest and Longest Span Between Births
How close is to close?
The World's Record for shortest span between births is held by Jayne Bleackley. Jayne gave birth to a son Robert Joseph on September 3, 1999 and her daughter Annie Jessica Joyce on March 30, 2000. The children were born an incredible 208 days (6.9 months) apart
Elizabeth Ann Buttle of Wales took the scenic route when she brought her two children into this world, making her the World record holder for the longest span between births. When Elizabeth was 19 she gave birth to her daughter Belinda on May 19,1956. She took a short break of 41 years and 185 days before giving birth to her second child. Elizabeth was 60 years old when son Joseph was born on November 20, 1997. Joseph's sister was old enough by then to be his grandmother.
Twenty-five year old Beulah Hunter may or may not hold the record for longest pregnancy to result in a living child. There has been much speculation about the validity of this pregnancy, some believe she must have become pregnant, lost the child and became pregnant again right away. Doctors point to her last menstruation on February 10, 1944 and a positive pregnancy test in March 1944 as evidence. 12 and a half months is a very looong time to be pregnant.
You will notice I had to qualify that one with the "to result in a living child" part? Well... the real record for "world's longest pregnancy" is a bit more bizarre.
A Moroccan woman was just seven months pregnant when her child died in utero. Because of a myth prevalent in her culture Zahara believed that the baby was sleeping inside of her to protect her honor. She presented herself for treatment 46 years later claiming shortness of breath and heaviness in her lower stomach and that is when the doctors discovered her oddly fossilized infant.
Over the years, the baby had been saturated with calcium where it did not cause her any apparent health problems for almost fifty years earning hers the title of undisputed "longest pregnancy on record." Now that's a real momma's boy!
I found this website while researching the information contained in this lens. So many incredible birth stories are contained within its pages that this lens took me far longer than it should have.
Twins-Triplets-Quadruplets-Quintuplets-Sextuplets-Septuplets-Octuplets-Nonuplets-Decaplets-Artificial Insemination-Surrogate Mothers-Conjoined Twins-Post Cryogenic Births- Post Menopausal Births-Parasitic twin - Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Elephants can be pregnant for up to 22 months. The alpine Salamander of Southern Europe has a gestation period of 38 months.
Bringing a child into the world is exhausting in the best scenario... but according to The Guinness Book of World Records it gets worse...
The worlds largest babies have all weighed more than all three of my children combined!
In 1879 to Anna Bates of Canada, famous for her own great height of 7'-5" tall gave birth to the worlds biggest baby at home in in Seville, Ohio. The baby weighed 23.12lb but he sadly died just 11 hours after birth.
The largest surviving child ever born came to Carmelina Fedele in Italy in 1955 weighing 22 pounds 8 ounces.
PS The baby shown here is actually not the world's biggest baby, Ademilton dos Santos is the biggest baby ever born in Brazil, weighing in at a mere 17 pounds!
The Official Baby Handbook: - A book of facts, lists, and helpful hints about babies and parenting
The Official Baby Handbook is a guide, reference, and source of trivia about babies and parenting. It offers solid instructional information for new parents on a wide variety of topics: what to take to the hospital, how to set up baby's room, a chart of baby's normal development and much, much more. The book is "sugar-coated" with fun facts and trivia about babies and parenting, fun reading for people interested in all things BABY! The book includes guides on such topics as photographing baby, traveling with baby by air, car, and bus, selecting furniture for baby's room, and more. Want to know baby's birthstone or official flower? The answers are within, as well as information on which celebrities share baby's birthday, which saint may be looking over baby, or strange facts and stories in the lore of babies. This is a useful, fun and entertaining guide, sure to be a delight for any parent or parent-to-be!
Another baby of note...
You big baby!
- The biggest boy from Brazil weighs in - at 16lb
The biggest boy from Brazil weighs in - at 16lb - A WOMAN in north-east Brazil has given birth to what one doctor called a "giant baby", a boy weighing 16.7lb - twice the size of an average newborn.
You know, I started this lens to share some interesting facts but I began to notice something in the process. While I was already aware of most of these stories, I have never looked at them as a whole.
I've had a few years to get over the initial shock of finding out that a five year old child gave birth to a baby, but the sadness has not faded. Someone out there took advantage of a child so young that she was unable to articulate what had even happened to her.
I had a hard time finding the world's youngest parents because there are so many of them. Twelve, thirteen, fourteen, these are ages to be a kid, not to have a kid. Yet it isn't a new development, babies have been having babies for a very long time.
The sexism involved in many of these stories also rang out while I was writing it. How often the males are the ones in the spotlight while the females went unnamed. The suggestion to divorce a wife just because she was unable to give birth, leading her to become a mother at such a late age.
The contrast between Octomom and the Duggars. Octomom who seems to be having children she can't fully care for without the aid of the state, and the help of strangers. The Duggars who have had so many children yet did it responsibly. They have remained debt free and rely on no outside help.
Parenting is a passionate topic for me, my childhood was very unpleasant, but I truly believe I can compensate for that by offering hope to other children and families beginning with my own.
I have volunteered as a youth group leader, worked in daycare, volunteered with handicapped and disadvantaged children and become an advocate for those reasons.
Then I look at the stories complied here and I see how much work we still have to do. How much education is still needed in this world.
If I can leave you with anything today, it is this. The life of a child is precious, be gentle with it... be very gentle.
Mom isn't always right...
We were told as children to accept Mom's advice without question but now that we are bigger maybe it is time we asked... how good was Mom's word?
If parenting trivia is your thing, don't stop here... you will be surprised at how many of the things we have accepted as solid science all of our lives really have no basis at all in fact.
There are no official records for fastest labor, but as it turns out I've been nominated a few times.
I always had trouble carrying pregnancies to term. I lost my first two to miscarriages. With my oldest, Brooke I spent six months on bed rest. The doctors had to keep me on a medication called Breathine every 4 hours to keep me from going into labor. When she finally arrived at full term she was a tiny 5 lbs 4oz.
Total labor lasted about 30 minutes.
Justin made his appearance seven weeks early on Highway 141, mile marker 142. Even at seven weeks early he weighed 5 lbs 2 oz . It was the day after Thanksgiving and we had been visiting family two hours from the nearest hospital when I woke up in labor. The ambulance took me to the clinic, then transported me to the Grand Junction E.R. and Justin was born on the trip. My whole family followed in their vehicles, but they were directed to a hospital in the wrong direction.
Total labor three hours.
But nothing tops my youngest. I woke up early in the morning with my first contraction and woke my husband. He grabbed his clothes and I just laid rocking back and forth in the bed. I was determined no to move but he made me get up and head to the car. My water broke in the bedroom doorway and they barely got me loaded me into the mini-van.
My husband was nervous and ended up accidentally taking the back way the 8 blocks to the hospital and I was literally crossing my legs when we got there. The Security guard stopped us as we pulled up to the entrance and tried to redirect us until he realized what was going on. The guard took me in the wheelchair while my husband parked.
The receptionist kept trying to get me on the elevator, but I refused. I kept repeating "Baby coming now." I finally made her look... and then things got crazy.
They ran me into the back of the E.R. and helped me on the table. I felt my husbands hands slip into mine as I pushed and just like a one baby bobsled there was my little Mystery. I barely felt my body hit the table!
The ER in Farmington wasn't prepared for an infant at the time and she was born so fast she went into shock. We both did. In fact she still has a bump on her jaw today where she cracked her jaw on my tailbone, she cracked my tailbone too. We brought her home with two black eyes, and bruises on her chin, forehead and nose. They tried to get her breathing but she wasn't going for it. I looked at her, calmed my voice and said....
"Mystery Dawn, Breathe!" and she did...
Total labor 18 minutes!
How did you do on your test? Now that you have you head crammed full of juicy parenting facts and another one of my not so sneaky little ways of provoking free range thought - please tell us which stories are stuck in your head forever. Thanks for reading, and if you aren't too tired... please feel free to have another helping of parenting snark.