A healthy baby has been born after developing in its mother's liver instead of in the womb.
Reports from South Africa say Nhlahla, whose name means "luck" in Zulu, is only the fourth baby ever to survive such a pregnancy.
In all, there have only been 14 documented cases of a child developing in this way.
Nhlahla was born after specialists performed a difficult operation to deliver her on Tuesday.
She had to be put on oxygen after her birth, where she weighed a healthy 2.8kg, but was breathing without aid by Thursday.
Doctors said Nhlahla and her mother Ncise Cwayita, 20 - whose first baby was born normally - were both doing well.
Liver specialist Professor Jack Krige, who helped deliver the baby, told a South African newspaper: "She is the real thing. She is truly a miracle baby."
When an egg is fertilised, it normally travels down the fallopian tube to the womb, where it implants and grows.
But sometimes, the embryo implants in the fallopian tube, a standard ectopic pregnancy.
In some cases - around one in 100,000 pregnancies - it falls out of the fallopian tube and can implant anywhere in the abdomen.
In extremely rare cases, such as this one, the embryo attaches itself to the liver, a very rich source of blood.
The baby is protected because it is within the placenta - but it does not have the usual protection of the womb - and is at more risk in the abdominal cavity.
Most babies in extrauterine (out of the uterus) pregnancies die within a few weeks.
In this case, doctors only discovered the baby was growing in the liver when they performed a scan this week.
Her womb was found to be empty, even though her baby was due in a week.
Ms Cwayita was transferred to the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.
Dr Bruce Howard told the Cape Argus newspaper said: "We knew it was an extrauterine pregnancy but we didn't know it was in the liver until we started the operation on Tuesday morning."
Doctors found a small "window" where the amniotic sac connected with the outside of the liver where they were able to go in to deliver the baby.
Doctors had to leave the placenta and amniotic sac in the liver, because the mother's life would have been at risk.
It is expected they will be absorbed back into her body.
Professor James Walker, president of the British Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, told BBC News Online abdominal pregnancies could be very dangerous.
"The mother is at a huge risk. One in 200 women die before we can do anything to help them.
The Two-Headed Baby Miracle
Miracle Baby survives multiple abortion attempts
A MIRACLE baby who survived repeated abortion attempts is alive and well two years later, it has been revealed.
The boy's mother changed her mind about wanting the child after she felt him move in her womb for the first time.
It happened as she headed home from a clinic that had just given her a series of drugs to end the baby's life.
Doctors at Hope Hospital, Salford, believe the infant - born 24 weeks into the pregnancy - to be the most premature baby to survive abortion in the long-term.
"It has defeated all the odds," said Dr Paul Clarke, until recently a member of the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. "Doctors tried three or four different abortive drugs."
The boy's mother was 24 when she went for an ultrasound and was told she was just over 22 weeks pregnant.
The woman - who was single and had a 19-month-old infant - opted for an abortion because she felt unable to cope with another child. She was admitted to a private clinic five days later and was given four different drugs over two days.
She was told the foetus was dead and to come back in four days to have it removed. But on the train journey home she felt it move and immediately changed her mind.
She went into labour that afternoon and was admitted to hospital, where she asked doctors to do everything they could to save the child. Four days later her baby was born, weighing just 1.5lb, but crying and breathing.
"She had guilt stemming from the fact she knew if she had not gone through with the procedure it would not have been born prematurely," said Dr Clarke, one of four current and former doctors at Hope Hospital who have published a report on the case in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
The baby, born in November 2002, needed ventilation for 53 days and suffered life-threatening blood infections and chronic lung disease. But he was allowed home at seven months and at 10 months had only "mildly" delayed development.
Dr Mike Robinson, co-author of the report and lead clinician at the intensive care unit, said the case raised "serious ethical issues".
"Foetuses don't have rights in law, but once born you have to look at the child in terms of what is in their best interest," he said.
"In this case the mother wanted the child. But when a woman goes to have a termination she should be aware that, while the pregnancy will end, the life of the baby may not."
Abortion is currently legal in Britain up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy.
There were 181,600 abortions in England and Wales in 2003, the highest on record and up 3.2 per cent on the previous year.
A survey published in 2001 suggested the chance of a child surviving without disability was 12.5 per cent at 23 weeks gestation and 39 per cent at 24 weeks.
Julia Millington, political director of the ProLife Alliance, said: "One can only praise this woman for the courage she showed in having the baby in what was a very difficult situation.
"The public is becoming increasingly aware of what exactly we are permitting when babies are aborted at 22, 23 or 24 weeks when they could survive."
Around two per cent of abortions in England and Wales are performed at or later than 20 weeks. The number born alive is not known.
One study showed around three-quarters of women who booked for abortion after 18 weeks' gestation later changed their mind.
The report's authors claimed private clinics did not have the staff or equipment to resuscitate "aborted" babies and "may be more inclined to overlook signs of life".
|Aaliyah Hart soon after birth|
When she arrived four months early weighing just twelve ounces (340 grams), Aaliyah Hart fitted into the palm of her mother's hand.
Against all the odds, she has just enjoyed her first Christmas at home.
Not only did Aaliyah arrive early, she had grown too slowly whilst in her mother's womb.
Measuring only nine inches (23 centimetres) long at birth, Aaliyah is the second-smallest surviving baby ever to be born in Britain.
Before her delivery, doctors warned Aaliyah's mother, Lorraine, that her daughter had only a 10% change of surviving.
Lorraine aged 37, says she defied doctors advice of a termination.
She and her husband Ricardo have been trying for a baby for more than ten years.
Lorraine says, "I'm proud that I was strong enough. I didn't crumble under their advice.
"This is great proof for all consultants... think before you open your mouth, before you tell people to terminate their babies."
|Lorraine and Aaliyah in October 2003|
Aaliyah spent her first critical days on a life support machine in intensive care.
Doctors at Birmingham City Hospital were amazed at Aaliyah's fighting spirit.
Dr Jeff Bissenden consultant paediatrician says, "I've been working since 1980 and I've never seen anything like Aaliyah."
Lorraine maintained a daily vigil by Aaliyah's side.
She says: "It's a completely different world in there, you're just oblivious to everyone else.
"You didn't know what time of day it was. Your life stops.
"That was the hardest part, the waiting."
In October 2003, after four months in the City hospital's neo-natal unit, Aaliyah was taken home by her proud mum.
Weighing five pounds (2.6 kilograms), Aaliyah's tiny lungs had developed and her body grown stronger.
The glare of the media made Aaliyah famous across the world.
As she left the hospital, the press gathered to catch a glimpse.
Lorraine says, "All babies are special, but Aaliyah is a little bit extra special.
"She's amazing. She's done so well and I'm so proud of her."
Return to hospital
But just four days after going home, Lorraine and Aaliyah were back in hospital.
Doctors had discovered a double hernia.
An operation was quickly undertaken and little Aaliyah pulled through.
Dr Jeff Bissenden, consultant paediatrician says, "All I know she was a fighter, she was tough... I guess she'll be like Lorraine."
Enjoying festivities at her home in Highgate in Birmingham, Lorraine reflects on a remarkable year, "It's been amazing but to have her here today is the best Christmas present anybody could have."
Update on miracle baby who took a train toilet tumble
A week has passed since I posted about the baby who was born prematurely while her mother was using the toilet on a train in India. As with many global stories, unless there's some big breaking news, we rarely hear what happened next. It's like traveling on a highway, seeing a big wreck on the other side of the meridian, but never really finding out what happened. We think about the wreck for a few miles or so, perhaps tell someone what we saw after we arrive at our destination, if we remember, but often our attention has already turned to the latest thing to pass in front of us.
After doing a quick Web search to look for information about the baby's well-being and ending up with my own post, I headed toThe Times of India for news. The latest update I found is from March 1. The baby--a girl, either to be named Jodhaa or Karishma, had just begun to drink her mother's breast milk through a tube. She's also on extensive antibiotics in order to combat any infection from the umbilical cord being ripped off (and I expect spending the first seconds of life in a toilet). The umbilical cord was found by her where she lay at the side of the tracks. The doctors think that she must have not been born head first but landed on her hip since there is some internal injury there, but it doesn't seem serious. Wow!
The hospital is not charging for the baby's care since the family doesn't have any money and the station master who found her spent his day off from work going to Ahmedabad to see her. (see article)