For many parents, one of the hardest things to accept is that their children are growing up. Every milestone on the path to adulthood seems like it comes too soon, whether it’s finishing school or moving out of the house. Perhaps there’s no greater shock than the day a doctor tells you your child is carrying a fetus. Especially if your child is two. And, especially, if your child is a boy, as was the case for one family in China.

The parents of 2-year-old Fen Shao noticed the boy’s stomach was looking particularly bloated. Concerned, they took their son to the hospital. Initially unable to diagnose the problem, the physician decided to take an x-ray of the boy’s stomach. Sure enough, something turned up that shouldn’t have been there.

There was a 20-centimeter (7.9-inch) fetus in the boy’s stomach.

The child’s shocking condition was likely the result of a syndrome known as vanishing twin. While vanishing twin sounds like the awesome title of a cool movie about ninjas, it’s actually something much more terrifying, like an uncool movie about ninjas.

▼ Ninja movies are like pizza or curry: almost always good, but when they’re bad, they’re terrible.

Vanishing twin, also known as fetal resorption, is a phenomena in which pregnancy begins with two fetuses in the uterus. Before both fully form, however, one of the fetuses dies and is absorbed into the body of the other.

▼ Why yes, there are clinical pictures of what vanishing twin looks like. Yes, they will give you nightmares. No, we’re not going to show them here. Instead, please enjoy this far less horrifying picture of non-vanishing twin syndrome.

It seems that Fen’s mother was initially pregnant with twins, and the boy absorbed his would-be sibling’s fetus while still in the womb. Instead of being broken down, though, the tissues were pulled unchanged into Fen’s growing body.

Obviously, fetuses don’t belong inside male toddlers, and an emergency operation to remove it was necessary. Thankfully, the procedure was a complete success, and the boy is no longer in any danger. After all he went though, we’re hoping his hospital has some really nice ice cream for him.

Source: Niconico News