One of the worst tragedies that a person can experience is losing a child before it is born.
After months of expectations, preparations and adjustments for your new life as a parent, it's hard to recover from such a devastating reality.
But the parents in this story did not lose their children due to a miscarriage or other complications.
Instead, the truth was even more incomprehensible...
Paul, 35, and Barbara 37, from Montreal, Canada, met online in the summer of 2013.
They quickly started a romantic relationship, which would lead to much more. Just two months after their first date, Barbara announced that she was pregnant.
Although it was very early in the relationship, Paul was thrilled to be a daddy.
In the coming weeks, Barbara announced even more amazing news.
At first, she told Paul she was carrying twins, then triplets, then quadruplets, and at last, quintuplets!
When Paul's family and friends heard the incredible news they were thrilled.
To welcome quintuplets into the family would be financially difficult, so Paul's loved ones helped with money and helped provide the couple with everything they would need to take care of such a large family.
They also started a Facebook page where one could get updates about the family and Barbara's progress — the support was massive.
When week 34 rolled around, it was time: Paul rushed Barbara to the Sainte-Justine hospital in Montreal for delivery.
But the doctors and nurses made a shocking discovery shortly after they examined the future mother.
Barbara wasn't pregnant — and never had been.
The hospital had no information about the visits Barbara claimed she had done during her pregnancy.
It now seemed clear that Barbara had lied about everything, including the number of babies she was carrying.
"She let me choose the names," Paul told The Daily Mail, adding, "Even my parents, they were so looking forward to having grandchildren.
'I lost everything, it was my whole life.'
Paul ended the relationship without an explanation for Barbara's lies.
The doctors first suspected that it was a false pregnancy, where symptoms resemble pregnancy in terms of absence of menstruation, and some women may experience dizziness and swelling.
False (also known as phantom) pregnancies are rare and most often observed in women seeking personal affirmation, psychiatrist Suzie L. Levesque told Canadian newspaper Toronto Sun.
"The lady seems to be seeking benefits, but unconsciously," Levesque said. "She's drawing attention to herself."
There is no medication for treating women who suffer from phantom pregnancies. Experts usually recommend therapy.
According to Paul, Barbara's belly did swell, she was lactating and he even saw when her water 'broke'.
According to gynecologist Isabelle Girard, there may be alternative explanations for these symptoms.
"A woman could push her "belly outwards, stop going to the toilet or just eat more," says Girard.
The gynecologist is more skeptical about claims that Barbara was lactating.
"That could result from intense nipple stimulation," she explained.
As for the claim that Barbara's water broke, the gynecologist suspects urinary incontinence.
Due to the unique nature of this case, Barbara was taken for psychological evaluation to determine whether she was faking, or if she had a separate issue.
According to one of Paul's friends, Barbara had made a previous false claim about being pregnant in 2010, writes The Daily Mail.
"This isn't the first time she's done it," a relative of Paul's told Toronto Sun. "But honestly, we never would have thought she was sick enough to do it again."
Talk about a devastating disappointment for Paul! Imagine waiting to have five children one day, just to discover the cruel truth that no children will come.
We hope that both Barbara and Paul will be able to recover from this sad event and find happiness in the future!