When Mrs. Jackie Haddock arrived at the London hospital to have her baby, the doctors examined her and sent her home. Not yet, they said.
That was last November. At the time, Mrs. Haddock, the wife of a bartender in Wolverhampton, England, was nine months pregnant.
So Mrs. Haddock waited.
“I’m very tired,” Mrs. Haddock said during her 12th month, “and I’m sick to death of waiting.”
Late last month her ordeal ended. After a pregnancy of 396 days—or 13 months—Mrs. Haddock, 23, gave birth to a seven-pound girl, Sarah Jane. “I expected her to weigh three times as much,” said the relieved father, Brian Haddock.
Mrs. Haddock’s feat was record-shattering. The longest recorded human gestation prior to hers was 390 days. The mother was Mrs. Christine Houghton, 28, of Walberton, England, who gave birth in 1971, also to a seven-pound girl.
There is some disagreement among medical authorities whether such long-term pregnancies are really possible or simply the result of an inaccurate diagnosis of pregnancy. But Mrs. Haddock has proof of hers. Last May, in the course of making an application for low-income housing, the Haddocks got a certificate from their doctor which confirmed that she was then three months along. (They already had a son, Simon, 3, who was born in the normal ninth month.)
Now that her long-running production has ended, both Mrs. Haddock and Sarah Jane are happily back home. But apparently the last 13 months gave Mrs. Haddock time to ponder motherhood. “I found it rather depressing toward the end,” she admits. “I don’t think we’ll be having another.”