"She was texting in between each push."
Birth plans are great, but anyone who’s actually given birth knows how chaotic, unpredictable, and . And those who help deliver babies for a living, namely midwives and doulas, have seen more than their fair share of insanity. And while, yes, there is a big difference between the two—midwives are clinically-certified care providers who are trained to work with doctors and medical staff, whereas doulas are more like birth coaches and supporters—the one thing they do have in common is the amount of shocking delivery-room drama they’ve witnessed. Here are a few of the stories they’ll never get sick of sharing.
“I ran down the hall, opened the labor room door, and my patient was in the shower, leaning back and pushing in a semi-squat position with the baby’s head crowning. The warm shower water was running down her entire body, and I had no time to do anything other than get down on my knees and deliver the baby bare-handed—in the shower! After she delivered, and was finally comfortable in bed with her new baby, she confided in me saying, ‘I always wondered what it would be like to give birth in the shower.’ Well, now she knew! It could have been a dangerous situation, but fortunately it all worked out. And thankfully I had another pair of scrubs to change into.” —Risa Klein, certified nurse-midwife at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s in New York City
—Nyra Zaracho, a licensed doula in Philadelphia.
“She looked at me confused, and asked, 'What do you mean?’ I told her it was time to start pushing and she said, 'Pushing? Pushing what?' At this point, I realized she had no idea what was about to happen. When I asked her how she expected the baby to come out, she slowly pointed to her belly button.
“I softly explained that she would have to push the baby out from her vagina and that sometimes it can take a while. One can only imagine what must have been going through her mind. She looked over at her partner, who looked just as confused. I'm not sure if it was because he was unaware as well, or simply shocked by her lack of knowledge. But after about a half-hour of explaining the entire process, she began to push. Unfortunately, a vaginal delivery wasn't meant to be—the baby never descended so she had to have a C-section (through her belly after all)." —Cynthia Rodriguez, certified nurse-midwife in New York City