A mother is devastated after losing her ‘mermaid’ baby minutes after she gave birth natuarally to her. Disksha Kamble (25) from India gave birth to the world’s seventh baby born with Sirenomelia, a rare congenital developmental disorder characterised by anomalies of the lower spine and lower limbs. Affected infants are born with partial or complete fusion of the legs.
BORN WITH FINS
Disksha had a sonograph (an ultrasound scan) once in the eight months of her pregnancy and was unaware of the baby’s abnormality. She and her husband, Nanoba Kamble (32), learned after giving birth that their baby’s legs were fused together and its gender could not be known. The infant weighed 1.8kg.
Dr Sanjay Bansode, a gynaecologist at Swami Ramanand Teerth Rural Government Hospital, says he and his team of medical students and staff nurses were shocked to see the baby coming out with “fins”.
“It is an extremely rare condition. The mother arrived at the hospital at 7am and by 9am she had delivered the baby through natural birth. We were anticipating the head or legs, but a strange ‘fin-like’ mass came out. Everyone was shocked to see the baby. My students had never seen something like this before,” says Dr Sanjay.
“The baby not only had legs fused together and missing genitals but also had other internal abnormalities such as renal and lungs deformity. The baby could not survive more than 15 minutes. The mother had only gone once for a sonograph, but the report doesn’t mention a mermaid child, so we were also unaware of the baby’s condition.”
Dr Sanjay says Mermaid Syndrome is extremely rare and there is no known cause for it.
Nanoba, who works as a daily wage labourer at a sugarcane factory, says he and his wife had already lost their first child to a similar abnormality three years ago, but after their second child, a daughter, was born healthy, they had no apprehensions during the third pregnancy.
“My wife and I are shattered by the loss of our child. We have never seen or known a baby like this. I saw the child after delivery and was shocked to see it had no legs. It was very tiny and the legs were fused,” says Nanoba.
“We are daily wage labourers and somehow make ends meet. After we lost our first child within a day of her birth, we went for ultrasounds during our second pregnancy and only went for it once this time.
We were told the baby had some issues, but it was too late and we were prepared for everything. But we are devastated and cannot believe how and why our baby was born looking like a ‘fish’.”