If we calculate the fertile years of this woman, we will figure out that they would have been from approximately 1725-1765. These results in
40 years and 27 labors.
That could be quite strange, so lets make some calculations. The average pregnancy takes 40 weeks, yet the more children the woman has in her womb, the more likely it is that the labor will come earlier. If we consider the BBC calculations
, Mrs. Vassilyeva most probably had 37-week pregnancies with twins and 32-week pregnancies with triplets, and also 30-week pregnancies with quadruplets.
If we sum that up we will have 936 weeks and if we divide them in 52 weeks, we will receive 18 years. So, how does it sound to be 18 years pregnant? It is pretty challenging, right?
Mrs. Vassilyeva had enough time to carry all the babies at least on theory. But there are other facts to be considered. There is a possibility for: First - multiple ovulation – this happens when a woman’s body releases several eggs per cycle. May be this woman was just a phenomenon. She should have been considered a special case as she managed to avoid the vanishing twin syndrome – according to that phenomenon that happens when one of the twins gets absorbed
by the placenta or a stronger fetus. Such multifetal pregnancies and occurs in 21-30% of the cases.
Second - the pregnancy and labor are quite challenging thing for a woman’s body. When the pregnancies go one by one and have less than 18 months apart
, there might be various risks of complications for the mom and for the baby. If 2 pregnancies in a row are already risky can you imagine having 27 of them, with no moment of rest.
Third - experts doubt those children and their mother survived in the 18th-century Russian countryside. During that time each pregnancy was a risk. She was a peasant and had to work and take care of the children, the food and clothes.
However, the historical facts speak in favor of the Vassilyevs. A list
was saved and sent by the Nikolskiy monastery to Moscow on February 27, 1782. It proved Feodor Vassilyev had 82 children alive at that time, from 2 marriages. With his second wife he had 18 children - 12 twins and 6 triplets. This information was published in 1834 in the Saint-Petersburg Panorama
Back in 1783, The Gentleman’s Magazine published an article which included Vassilyev’s case list. According to the author of that “extraordinary fecundity” might have come from “the man singly, or the woman, or both jointly”.
Later, The Lancet’s article claimed that a French Academy of Sciences tried to investigate this special case and addressed the Imperial Academy of St Petersburg. They were informed that the Vassilyevs lived in Moscow and received favors from the government.
It is believed that this photograph represents the Vassilyevs, yet that is actually a mistake. The picure shows the family of Joseph F. Smith
, one of the presidents of the LDS Church. He was married 6 times and became the father of 45 biological and 5 adopted