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SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, Quebec - A Canadian woman convinced her boyfriend, and even herself, that she was pregnant.

Oddly enough, her body responded as if she actually was pregnant.

It was supposed to be a happy and exciting time for a Quebec couple, expecting not just their first baby, but five. Their pending arrival was big news in the small community of Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, south of Montreal.

Donations poured in to help the growing family, with friends, strangers, and businesses showering them with gifts.

Genevieve LaFlamme, who has triplets, befriended the mother-to-be a couple of months ago.

"I gave her tips on where to get financial support, and places that can help with things like diapers" she said.

Then came Tuesday. The couple went to the hospital, where doctors delivered devastating news. They told the expectant father his girlfriend was never actually pregnant, duping not just him, but an entire city.

"She walked like she was pregnant. She seemed to have contractions. I never doubted it," said LaFlamme.

So how was this woman able to fool everyone, perhaps even herself?

Doctors say if this is a phantom pregnancy, it's rare.

"There is a process whereby you can convince your body that you're pregnant and you can see people having some distention and you can also see some people starting to have lactation," said Dr. Haim Abenhaim.

As the woman receives psychiatric care her heartbroken boyfriend is returning all of the presents for the babies he couldn't wait to meet.

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