'Twilight: Breaking Dawn': Are vampire babies even possible?

grave_of_the_vampire.jpgThe highly anticipated "Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" opens next week (Nov. 18) and the plot -- which involves a pregnant Bella ( Kristen Stewart) -- has us wondering: Are vampire babies even possible?

Since we were raised on a steady diet of "Interview with the Vampire," "Bram Stoker's Dracula," "True Blood," "The Vampire Diaries" and "Twilight," we mostly assumed vampires could only be born, so to speak, when a living human is bitten by a vampire who then allows that human to drink his or her immortality-giving blood. Pop culture lore would also have us believe that when one is transformed into a vampire, she remains forever the age she was at transformation. Hence Kirsten Dunst's little girl vampire in "Interview."

There is some precedence in film ( "Grave of the Vampire") and fiction, according to The Daily Rot. Aside from "Breaking Dawn," in Poppy Z. Brite's 1992 novel "Lost Souls," the main character gets knocked up by a vampire. But, alas, the she dies before we find out whether she can carry a baby to term.

But, according to the same site, there's an old Slavic term for the child of a human woman and a vampire father: dhampir. Dhampirs are, per Wikipedia, apparently filled with self-loathing because they are particularly skilled at locating and killing vampires. Slavic folklore holds that one can recognize the child of a vampire by his or her dark or black unruly hair and lack of a shadow. Bulgarian tradition dictates that dhampir had no bones and were therefore ickily soft and lacked fingernails. Ew.

Another source which concentrates on the (fictional) biological possibilities seems to hold that a vampire baby can only be created when an already pregnant woman is "infected" with vampirism:

The outcome of the vampiric conversion of a pregnant woman would probably depend on whether or not the entity responsible for the infection does so. If it does, the fetus should be sustained by the infection quite as well as the woman would be. The fetus might or might not ever be born, but there is no reason to expect a miscarriage. If pregnancy progresses, the infant should be a vampire also.

What do you think? Can vampire babies exist? (And by "exist" we mean in fiction, obviously.)