Creating life is a beautiful and miraculous thing. Unfortunately, it’s also an excruciatingly painful bite-through-a-spoon kind of thing. It’s pretty common knowledge that labor is not a pleasant experience, but for some poor women, the act of giving birth has involved more than extreme physical pain. For the pregnant women on this list, their bundle of joy’s arrival also coincided with extreme embarrassment, death-defying stunts, and even a natural disaster!
We’ve all come across the cliches of women giving birth in odd places and at odd times, but I challenge you to find more bizarre and awkward situations than the following mothers-to-be found themselves in. As much as every parent tries to get prepared for the big day, not everything is guaranteed to go as planned. You have the baby stroller, the clothes, and a bag packed for the hospital. What you didn’t anticipate was that you’d end up giving birth on the sidewalk or on the top of a tree! (No, really).
Less considerate friends of a pregnant woman will revel in swapping childbirth horror stories, but I can’t imagine their experience could have been as horrifying or quite as surreal as the nightmarish birth stories we’ve sourced below. If you’re currently pregnant, I’d suggest looking away now. Once these stories are heard, they can’t be unheard! Read on if you dare. Here are 15 childbirth stories that may make you want to adopt.
15. The Woman Who Gave Birth In A Tree…During A Flood
Proving that life can be stranger than fiction sometimes, one poor lady ended up climbing a tree to escape the rush of floodwater beneath her while heavily pregnant. Surely, this is the stuff of a blockbuster disaster movie. We wish it were. Back in 2000, Mozambique suffered its most devastating flood for 50 years and one survivor, Sofia Pedro, had struggled to find shelter and did something miraculous for a woman on the verge of popping. She climbed to the top of a tree and eventually gave birth in it!
While the harrowing flood waters raged on beneath her, Sofia remained stuck in the treetops for a total of 3 days before she went into labor—frightened, alone, and on top of a freakin’ tree. Sofia and her newborn baby girl, Rositha, were eventually rescued by air force medics who winched them safely into a helicopter and on to hospital. How Sofia managed to endure labor pains and keep her newborn from falling out of the tree at the same time is beyond belief.
14. Polish Mother Who Endured 75 Days Of Labor
According to Parents magazine, the average length of time women spend with labor pains can last around 8 to 14 hours for most first-time mothers, and it is unusual for the labor to last longer than 18 hours. Unfortunately, nothing is ever guaranteed when it comes to childbirth and certain complications can make this labor time period stretch into days, weeks and in the case of this poor woman, even months! Yikes.
Polish mother Joanna Krzysztonek was carrying triplets when she went into labor prematurely. Tragically, the premature labor meant that one of Joanna’s babies died soon after birth. Determined not to lose the other two still inside her, Joanna was told by her doctor to keep her feet raised and literally sit upside down to keep her remaining babies in the womb until they were ready. Unfortunately, this meant Joanna staying in this position for a staggering 75 days! Thankfully, it was worth it in the end, as Joanna’s two babies were born perfectly healthy after nearly 3 months of labor.
13. The Woman Who Did Her Own C-Section
No, you’re not imagining things. In a state of desperation, one woman actually performed her own c-section (warning: you may not want to read this on your lunch break). The next time you’re quick to label someone a hero, measure them against this brave lady. In March of 2000, Mexican mother Ines Ramirez was going into labor and, after a while, realized that she would be doing it alone. It was midnight and the nearest clinic was nearly 50 miles away. Her husband was also away and she couldn’t get hold of him. What she did next makes her nothing short of a medical miracle.
After battling 12 hours of horrific labor pains and deciding that no one was coming for her, Ramirez drank from a bottle of rubbing alcohol and used a 15-centimeter-long knife to perform her own c-section. She managed to cut his umbilical cord before passing out and was found hours later and driven to the clinic. Self-inflicted caesareans have been done since the early 18th century, but Ramirez remains the only case where both woman and baby have lived to tell the tale.
12. The Baby Born Inside A Sinking Car
We’ve all heard of the classic story of a woman giving birth in a car, but this takes things to a whole other level of WTF. In another death-defying birth worthy of a blockbuster disaster film, one woman actually gave birth as the car she was in was sinking to the bottom of a lake. (There’s so much panic in that sentence, it’s unreal). In 2006, 21-year-old Kenyetta Biggs from Florida attempted to drive herself to the hospital when a strong contraction made her lose control, and the car careered off-road and into a lake.
While the car was slowly submerging itself in the water, waters of a different kind broke into the car, Kenyetta began going into labor and she gave birth to a baby girl. (This adds a whole new meaning to the term ‘water baby’.) Thankfully, Kenyetta’s nearly-submerged car was spotted by the local deputy, and they were both rescued. Kenyetta’s baby girl–who was aptly named ‘Myracle’–was found by the officer lying on the passenger seat with the placenta and umbilical cord still attached. Crazy!
11. Heroic Midwife Who Caught Baby Just In Time
The image of someone heroically catching a falling baby is something you might expect to see in a comedy film and in slow motion before everyone cheers, and then the cheesy uplifting music sets in. But as slapstick and silly as this scenario sounds, it genuinely happened. A midwife from Missouri recalls the time when she caught a newborn baby when it was seconds from hitting the floor. Apparently, the mom-to-be had rushed from the toilet back to the hospital bed and became stuck between the wall and the bed, just as the baby was about to arrive.
Midwife Elan recounts that the mother-to-be was on the toilet and didn’t want to leave since she felt that a bowel movement was coming on (a pretty common sensation when it’s time to push). Elan urged her that the baby was coming and she needed to get back onto the bed pronto. In her haste, the mother rushed to the table and became stuck, just as her baby shot out! Elan anticipated this happening and threw herself under the table and slid across the floor–Starsky and Hutch style–to catch the falling infant. Phew!
10. Woman Who Gave Birth (Hours After Learning She Was Pregnant)
Giving birth must be a hard-enough thing to mentally and physically prepare for when you have 9 months ahead of you. But to prepare for the same thing in a matter of hours? Nope. In 2010, 21-year-old Belinda Waite experienced a rare phenomenon known as ‘cryptic pregnancy’. It affects only 1 in 500 pregnancies, and it essentially means that you experience little or no symptoms throughout your pregnancy, leading to cases like Belinda’s where you only discover you’re about to give birth at the last minute (quite literally).
In Belinda’s case, she was diagnosed months before the birth with a severe case of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), as well as gout. Little did she (nor the doctors) realize that Belinda was, in fact, carrying a child and she only found out hours before she was due to give birth. No pressure then? Waite gave birth to a healthy baby girl at home with the help of her mom and her undoubtedly flabbergasted boyfriend.
9. Delivering Your Baby Alone On the Sidewalk
Ideally, every woman aims to give birth in a clean and comfy hospital bed. Some other women opt for home births and birthing pools. But whatever they choose, most women presume that they are going to bring their baby into this world in a safe and clean environment. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality for everybody, and it certainly wasn’t for Ana Belis Hernandez. Because of the shocking attitude by one cruel cab driver, this woman was forced to go into labor alone on the sidewalk.
A heavily pregnant Hernandez had hailed a taxi to take her to the hospital as she knew she was going into labor. As soon as she mentioned this to her cab driver, though, he kicked her out, and in a horrific lack of compassion, he told her it was because he didn’t want to “get blood all over the place.” Ana was left alone to deliver her baby by the side of the road until medics eventually arrived at the scene and took her to a hospital. I hope that d-bag gets what’s coming to him.
8. The Woman Who Pushed So Hard That Her Lady Parts…Turned Inside Out
Okay, so this is one of the entries that make me want to go for adoption when my time comes. Childbirth obviously requires a lot of hard and forceful pushing action…down there (you’re literally using all your force to deliver a large object through a disproportionately smaller area after all). When you take this into consideration, it makes sense that this could happen. I just hadn’t thought about it until now and life was so much simpler.
Anyway, this unfortunate scenario happened to one anonymous Buzzfeed user who recalls pushing so hard to deliver her baby that she suffered what’s known as a vaginal prolapse. Essentially, her lady bits were forced inside out. Kindly, the nurses around her bedside didn’t tell the woman until after the delivery so as to not freak her out, and she had to remain in the hospital for two extra days afterward straddling an ice bag. Goodness gracious!
7. Bungee Jump Baby
To read the words ‘bungee jump baby’, you’re probably picturing those cute bungee jumping holsters that parents put their kids in and watch them bounce up and down to their giggly little heart’s content. But the baby in this story was bungee jumping in a different sense—from its own umbilical cord. Ouch! One nurse from Virginia shared her story about the time she saw a mom stand up out of her wheelchair and her baby fall straight out of her, dangling from his umbilical cord!
Kathy, a nurse from Centerville, Virginia was making her rounds on the maternity ward one shift when she watched in amazement as one mom’s baby just shot out from her body and continued dangling up and down from his own umbilical cord. Ow. That’s one heck of a way to give birth! Apparently, the newborn boy was given the nickname ‘Bungee-cord baby’ by the maternity staff.
6. Oblivious 12-Year-Old Who Gave Birth On A Field Trip
School field trips are never as exciting as they should be. But this one, in particular, turned out to be a day these students would never forget. During what was supposed to be a fun day out with classmates, a 12-year-old Dutch schoolgirl began to experience violent stomach cramps. Concerned that this was more than mere stomach pain, a school supervisor called for an ambulance, and once they arrived, it was clear that the schoolgirl was on the cusp of giving birth.
The 12-year-old girl from Groningen in the north of the Netherlands apparently had no clue that she was pregnant and showed no signs, physical or otherwise. When the emergency services arrived, the girl was taken to a nearby building where she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. When she left her house that morning for a school trip, I doubt that was the kind of gift she was expecting to come home with!
5. Born In A Train Toilet (As The Train Was Moving)
As you probably already know, in many parts of the world, the contents of a train toilet is disposed of directly onto the train tracks (you can probably see where we’re going with this). In some cases, heavily pregnant women have given birth in a regular toilet–thinking that the urge to push was a regular call of nature–but this takes a toilet birth to a whole ‘nother terrifying and disgusting level.
While on a passenger train across India, one woman prematurely gave birth in the train’s toilet, and her baby fell right through the toilet and onto the tracks below! The 33-year-old mother, Bhuri Kalbi, had passed out after giving birth (we don’t know if it was the pain or the shock of dropping her baby outside a moving train, we can’t be sure). Luckily, though, once staff was alerted, the train was stopped and her baby was found alive and well by a local guard. Amazing!
4. Inappropriate Time For A “Movie”
Okay, so this story doesn’t technically have to do with the childbirth itself, but it concerns a strange discovery made by the young mother and father-to-be while they were in hospital. While one woman went into hospital to give birth, she asked her mom and stepdad to look after things at home while they were away—water the plants, take care of their cat, etc. And while they stayed over, she insisted that her mom sleep in their bedroom because it had a big TV. Big mistake.
While the daughter was in the middle of labor at the hospital, her husband received an alert on his phone from their cable company stating that an erotic movie had been purchased from their bedroom TV box. Awkward. We don’t know how the poor woman had the strength to carry on pushing with that kind of image in her head. What an interesting anecdote to tell that kid one day should they ever ask: “Where was grandma when I was being born?” Um…
3. One Woman “Tore”
Again, this is another childbirth story that makes this otherwise fairly broody girl want to scream out “No thanks!” and dedicate the rest of my life to raising a dozen cats instead. Women naturally tear a little bit down there after giving birth, but the normal direction of the tear line is towards their butt. Hell to the no. (You’re crossing your legs right now, aren’t you?).
Apparently, Amanda lost so much blood and was torn so badly after this diabolical rip that doctors had to give her a complete reconstruction 7 months later! When her doctor initially began stitching her back up after the birth, she thought everything was pretty normal, until she discovered that she would end up with around 60 to 100 stitches. Adoption. Adoption all the way.
2. Sounding Unintentionally “Excited” By Doctor’s Fingers
I wouldn’t know it myself, but I imagine that being in labor is the most uncomfortable thing a woman can ever feel. It must feel amazing then when a pregnant woman does have brief pockets of relief and comfort amidst the pain of contractions and a general feeling of wanting to die. This was certainly true for one user on BuzzFeed who confessed to the time she let out a very awkward pleasure moan when her doctors came to check if she had dilated enough to begin pushing.
According to her husband–as she has no memory of it–she kept repeating over and over that it “felt so good” to have the doctor’s fingers inside her. The doctors, who were checking to see how she had dilated, apparently exchanged awkward glances, and her hubby wanted the ground to swallow him up. In the poor woman’s defense, she was incredibly uncomfortable and hot at the time and the doctor’s fingers were very cold, so it was more about feeling refreshed than turned on. Her pleasure-filled moans appeared to say otherwise, though. Cringe-tastic.
1. The OB Who Got A Face Full Of Placenta
I could make a flippant remark to lighten the mood about this story such as this gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “having egg on your face.” But I’m guessing neither people saw the funny side to this incident. One mother–who has simply called herself ‘Alice’ online–revealed in a confessional forum post that immediately after giving birth to her son, her placenta shot right out of her and hit her male obstetrician in the face before hitting the wall with a comic splat. Gross.
Being an OB or any kind of doctor in a maternity capacity must mean that you’ve seen and heard most things in your time, but even this poor guy couldn’t have been prepared to get a face full of flying placenta. As a professional, we’re sure he took this in his stride, but new mother Alice couldn’t have known where to look or what to say. What do you say in that situation? As long as her new bundle of joy was healthy, that’s the important thing, right?
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