This Panicked New Dad Really Made An Impression
“A doctor was delivering the baby via ventouse, a vacuum extraction. He was pulling and you do honestly have to put some muscle into it, those babies are stuck pretty far in there sometimes. Anyway, the suction cap came off the baby’s head, this happens a lot. The father of the baby thought that the doctor had pulled so hard that he had pulled the baby’s head off, so naturally he punched the doctor in the jaw, who went straight down to the ground like a felled tree. Much yelling ensued, people holding the father back, him realizing that the baby was fine once we pointed out that the head was still inside, the unconscious doctor being pulled into a chair, another doctor coming in to do the delivery, the mother crying hysterically.
We had to have a quick and frantic conversation at the midwives’ station about whether to allow the father to remain in the room. We decided that from his vantage point it may have appeared that the baby’s head had been, uh, removed and that he had a momentary loss of reason. He was also hugely apologetic and took responsibility for his actions. The doctor who got punched took every opportunity afterward to tell that story as often as possible and we all laughed.”
Frantic and Forgetful
“A workmate of mine is about to become a dad in the next week. His wife has been getting to know the nurses at their local hospital and listening to some of their stories, like the following:
One day, a bloke came running down the ward hallway screaming for help, that his wife was in labor, and that they needed the docs to come quickly! The nurses looked around curiously and asked him, ‘ok… so where is she?’
The color from the bloke’s face drained for a second as he thought this over…’OH NO!’ and he legged it out of there.
40 minutes later, he returned with his wife in tow. In his initial rush, he’d packed a change of clothes, the car seat, and camera gear, then high tailed it to the hospital and left the missus at home!”
Unexpected Turn Of Events
“I have only ever ‘delivered’ one baby…So I’m in medical school on my obstetrics rotation. I’m doing a late night shift because I just want to see some births (labor lasts forever, yo). 20s something schizophrenic woman comes in, laboring with her 6th child. Her mother apparently has custody of the other kids, kind of a sad situation. Police had to break her door down because she went into labor and continuously screamed, ‘I’m not giving birth to Satan’s baby! This is Satan’s baby!’
The doctor I’m with looks unamused and just says to the nurse, ‘Sedate her a bit, we’ll do a c-section if she refuses to push, etc.’
After about 30 minutes and some sedation, the doctor tells me to go in and do a pelvic exam and to report to him how far along things are. He went in with me and then got called out as I’m putting on gloves, saying he’ll be back in a minute. I introduce myself to the patient, explain what I’m doing and start the examination. I feel a contracting sensation and the next thing I know a baby’s head pushes my hands out and I’m holding a screaming newborn. I am so in shock, I am just staring at the baby and I start to feebly scream, ‘I, uh, need, uh, some help here!’
Everything was well with the baby and mom. I had to throw away my socks and shoes.”
“He Was So Wasted He Couldn’t Even Stand”
“I’m a midwife. We do home delivery in the US. One labor mom was on the bed just working through the contractions. Dad was sitting next to the bed looking at adult videos. I gave him a look and he knew I caught him. No remorse, he just angled the screen better. Later on, Dad was just slamming shots and drinks. After the baby was born, he refused to put on the first diaper or hold his daughter. We needed to transfer the baby in, due to some blood sugar issues. I went find him wasted, playing video games in the kitchen. I told him we needed to go in. He was so mad. He said, ‘Now?! Its three in the morning.’ Yeah, dude now. I drove the car because he was so wasted, he couldn’t even stand.”
This Guy Got Two Hospital Visits In One Night
“Not a doctor, an Emergency Nurse. We had a man bring in his wife in labor, all went well, but she didn’t make it upstairs to Labour & Delivery, the baby was born, everyone happy. Dad was on his phone texting furiously, we thought he was spreading the news. About 30 minutes later, he walked out of the area where his wife and brand new baby were and into another area, where it turns out his side chick was with THEIR sick son. He was very lucky it was the middle of the night so no other family was present to have possibly discovered his secret.”
Things You Don’t Want To Hear During Delivery: “She Really Needs The Practice”
“I remember doing a delivery as a medical student working with a family medicine resident physician (a new doc still being trained and closely supervised). Usually, they let the student do a lot of it to get experience, but I remember the attending physician (experienced doc supervising the resident) saying, ‘No, no…Let her do it. She really needs the practice. You just watch.’
When an attending says, ‘No no, she really needs the practice,’ it’s not a good sign. Well, the baby itself was delivered and I’m thinking all is good.
After baby was born, you have to deliver the placenta, applying gentle traction on the cord to encourage progress. Gently but consistent. While the attending was distracted by the new baby, I watched, horrified, as the resident YANKED on the umbilical cord. Of course, it snapped. She gets this look of ‘oh no’ on her face and ‘oh no’ is right.
Now, in the best case scenario, delivery of the placenta will proceed because it was almost there anyway. That did not occur here. No matter what encouragement we gave, it was not coming. So drastic measures have to be taken.
The attending physician starts explaining what will happen next:
Attending: ‘We’re going to take her back to the OR.’
Husband: ‘She’s having surgery?’
A: ‘Hopefully not, sir. We’re going to manually extract the placenta.’
H: ‘How are you getting in if there’s no surgery?’
A: ‘Well sir, we’re able to enter through the birth canal, it remains very much open.
H: ‘You’re gonna put some tool in there?’
A: No sir, we’ll be doing a manual extraction.
A: ‘With a hand. And arm.’
H: ‘You’re going to stick your ARM in there?’
A: ‘That’s about right sir.’
…The conversation sort of went on. We got back to the OR and I watched in horror as the attending put on a glove that went back pretty much to her shoulder, and basically just dove right in. She is in past her elbow manually scraping the placenta out. The wife is loopy but not ‘out’ during this and was providing colorful commentary.
When we finally finished and reunited her with her husband, she said, ‘I swear to God I could feel them pressing on my lungs.’
The husband said, ‘I thought they went in from below.’
In beautiful theatrics, she grabbed his shirt, pulled him towards her, and through clenched teeth, said, ‘They. Did.’
As for me, I decided to go into psychiatry.”
She Tried To Tell Them
“My father-in-law was in the room when I had my second son. I didn’t mind the family being there during labor. He was going to just move up to near my head when I started pushing. Well…the resident wouldn’t listen to me when I said the baby was coming. My father-in-law has delivered around 20 babies over his career as a paramedic and firefighter. He took one look at my face from across the room and knew that, as I said, the baby was coming. Needless to say, he practically delivered my son.
The resident was like, ‘Oh, there’s no way you are that close, I just checked you. I’ll call the doctor.’
I told her, ‘He’s not going to make it.’
She said, ‘He’s only five minutes away. It will be fine. Now let’s get you ready for when he does get here. Lift up your hips so I can put this pad down.’
I did so and as soon as my hips touched the table, my son popped out. She had to grab him off the bed before he fell. My father-in-law was right beside her as she was turning away from me to leave the room.
When my doctor got there (about five minutes after) he checked on me, then tore that resident a new one for not listening to someone who had given birth previously and had no pain meds.”
She Didn’t Know She Was Pregnant
“Ambulance officer here.
Got dispatched to ’17-year-old female, difficult pregnancy. Caller statement: Baby born, didn’t know was pregnant. Can’t find umbilical cord.’
We got there, a healthy__baby girl had already been born. Mother and grandmother were sitting on floor, blood everywhere. Both emotionally shocked. Umbilical cord right where it should be. Grandmother holding was the baby. She outstretched her arms and handed me the baby without a word while my partner checked out mum.
Grandma came to me and just said, ‘I thought she had never slept with anyone!’
Mother had texted grandmother while at work to say, ‘Mum, come home, I’ve had a baby.’
The tension in that room…wow.”
This Nurse Has Lots Stories
“Where to start…
-This crunchy granola couple comes in to see if mom is in labor. They pass out pamphlets for their birth plan. It’s made to look like a playbill. Cute. Start to read it, nothing seems too off, they want to wash the baby, they don’t know if it’s a boy or girl and want dad to announce (aka my favorite gender reveal). Then I get to the end. They specifically request no verbal communication with mom. All communication must go through dad. No referring to the baby as ‘baby.’ Refer to the baby as ‘special soul.’ Those requests were quickly ignored.
-mom doesn’t want to push because she doesn’t want to poop. I tell her she better get used to poop because that’s what babies do. She pushes and a giant turd comes out, then baby. Then baby poos on the floor as I’m handing him off. Supervising doc asks me why the room smells like poop
-couple with no prenatal care shows up in labor. End up needing a c-section. We get the baby out and I’m closing up when the baby daddy starts yelling at us and accusing us of being not real doctors. We keep on going and ignore him. Demands to talk to the CEO of the hospital. Keeps on standing up and looking over the drape. At one point he is behind me until the nurse gets him to sit down. Finally, we finish up as he’s yelling at us. She never shows up for follow up appointments but later ends up with a surgical site infection. They try to sue us. I always wonder if there was some underlying abuse there.”
An Especially Chaotic Delivery
“I gave birth in an emergency room hallway, courtesy of having sudden onset preterm, super short labor. We had JUST moved to a new town and they did not have a full hospital, only a standalone ER.
So my husband went casually cruising up the freeway on the way to the hospital 30 minutes away and I had a feeling it was about to go down. I saw a sign for the ER and just screamed at him to pull off.
We got into the ER and they immediately call an ambulance to take me to a hospital with a NICU. Paramedics were literally wheeling me down the hall to the ambulance when my daughter started crowning.
They rounded the corner of the ER to get to an area with some space and the dude in the room right next to us was in cardiac arrest. So this poor ER was completely empty except the screaming pregnant woman birthing a preterm infant in the hallway and the elderly gentleman dying.
My daughter wound up being solely delivered by the two paramedics who were transporting me because the ER doc was busy running the code and the two nurses on staff were flying EVERYWHERE. They were running in and out of the other guy’s room with meds and fluid, sprinting around with the baby isolette, etc.
The other patients’ family was clustered in the hallway staring at me while also crying over their dying relative. When my daughter let out her first cry, there was a paltry round of cheers from that family and then they all went back to their crying. Meanwhile, my husband was curled up in a waiting room chair heavy breathing from lightheadedness and everyone was ignoring his feeble cries for water. He was literally acting like he was about to die.
In the end, no one died, the baby was fine, my husband passed out, and five years later, I became a paramedic.”
An Intern Experience For The Ages
“When I was an intern, we had a woman who was 8 months pregnant get crushed in a subcompact vs truck collision. Mom was pulseless on the scene so EMS brought her in hot (ie, ongoing chest compressions, very unstable). We had about a 60-second warning in the ED to get the OBGYN crash team and the NICU response team down.
It was clear mom wasn’t going to make it. But we had to try to keep her alive so we could do a perimortem C-section to get the kid out. I was on the trauma team, so while I was working on trying to keep mom’s circulation going, OB started the perimortem c-section.
C-sections are usually fast; perimortem sections are faster. From skin cut to baby out and over to NICU team was about 45 seconds. They started CPR because the baby had a severely slow heart rate and was essentially dead. That’s when we found baby #2. Turns out mom was having twins.
Now, in retrospect, it turns out this twin had died in utero earlier and this was a known problem, but we didn’t know that immediately. I joined the impromptu NICU team #2 as we tried to save baby #2. But it became clear this was futile and we abandoned efforts and turned all our resources to baby #1. We worked on that baby for over an hour but never was really able to get to a stable place. We were able to get the baby to the NICU but unfortunately, the baby arrested again and could not be resuscitated shortly after getting there. Likely catastrophic hemorrhage.
The husband and father, who was in the car as well, was physically fine. He had some minor contusions. But when he told him what happened, that he had just lost essentially his whole family, the poor man just collapsed. There was no crying, screaming, he just went down like a sack of potatoes. The expression on his face, though, with such immense sorrow and pain and suffering. I will never forget it.
That was definitely the most intense delivery I have ever attended.”
A Learning Experience Gone Wrong
“Not a doctor, but growing up, my mother wanted to have my sister and I in the delivery room when my brother was born as a bit of a hands-on learning approach. I was 10, my sister was 6, and we had seen enough delivery room TV shows to basically understand what was going to happen. Our church pastor’s wife had volunteered to sit there with us (she and my mom were close and we felt comfortable with her), and she basically served as someone to take us out if it got too crazy in the delivery room. My mom was older at that point (35) and had had a very rough pregnancy and was past her due date, so things began to happen very quickly. While she was pushing (without pain medication) she began to tear and she was screaming this horrible guttural scream.
At this point, my sister and I were cowering in the corner paralyzed with fear while the pastor’s wife was ‘witnessing the miracle of birth.’ My mom started to have a hard time breathing, and began screaming, ‘I can’t breathe, I need oxygen,’ and went to grab my dad’s arm and grabbed his neck by accident (he’s a pretty big, muscular guy), but because she was starting to pass out, she didn’t realize that all of the blood had drained out of my dad’s face and he was staring straight ahead with no emotion, probably making deals with God to stay alive.
This went on for a while, and finally my mom pushed my brother out, but he had pooped while being delivered and had breathed some of it in, which is very dangerous (called MAS, or Meconium aspiration syndrome), so as soon as he was out, the doctors rushed him out of the room. At this point, my mom was like a female lion, basically ready to murder anyone who came close in order to get to her baby. My dad had a hand choking mark on his throat, and my sister and I were fully traumatized. When my brother was brought back in, he was clean but still looked like a smushed up alien face and the doctor gave him to me to hold first, which was kind of cool, but freaked me out because he kind of looked like a white earthworm after a storm.”
“That Would Have Been Good To Know”
“This mom got a spinal anesthetic so she was wide awake but numb pretty much from the mid-chest down. I checked this carefully. A few minutes after the incision, she started screaming and thrashing around. At one point, she bumped into the OB doc, who was holding a scalpel near some huge arteries. I had to act fast, so I gave her some meds that pretty much snowed her while her husband pinned her down. After the baby was out, the dad casually dropped that his wife has 2-3 episodes (freaks out) per week. That would have been good to know.”
This Dad Kept His Priorities Straight
“When I was a nursing student doing my OB rotation, a group of us watched our first delivery. There was no time to do an epidural because the baby was ready and he wasn’t waiting.
After the baby’s delivered, the first thing the dad said was, ‘You can rub it my ex’s face that you did it natural.’
It wasn’t a huge dramatic thing but everyone in the room just kinda looked at each other. Like buddy, your son was just born and you’re more excited to one-up your ex?”
Now That’s Quite The Omen
“This is actually my grandfather’s birth sometime in the 1920s: my great grandma was giving birth at home, on the reservation (Apache), and as the labor kicked in full swing, a crow or raven landed on the windowsill.
Now, this is a bad omen, it means someone is going to die or has died. Needless to say, my great x2 aunts and great grandma’s mother started straight tripping, shooing the bird and whatnot. Bird would not go away, it looked at my great grandma and squawked.
Grandpa was born a few minutes later, while someone is trying to get the crow to go away. Crow flies off the minute the baby cries. A few minutes later, someone rode up on horseback to tell everyone that my great-great-grandfather had passed away about 15 minutes beforehand. That was right when the crow had landed on the sill.
Family legend says that grandpa was his reincarnation.”
Not The Most Reassuring Reaction From The Father-To-Be
“I was in labor with my son for a total of 35 minutes. I had my first contraction and he was out 35 minutes later. Obviously, we didn’t make it to the hospital.
I had what I thought was a contraction (this was my second baby) and told my husband I thought I was going into labor. Could he please get our daughter ready (she was 13 months at the time) and grab the bag I had packed for the hospital. By the time he came back downstairs, I’d had 2 more contractions in about a minute. So I said we’d better get going. As I said it, my water broke and I had another contraction. So I told him he’d better call 911 for an ambulance because I wasn’t sure we’d make it to the hospital 20-30 minutes away and didn’t want to have a baby in the car.
He calls 911 and tells them what’s going on. I only hear his side of the conversation. I later found out they were telling him to grab things – towels, shoelaces, etc. So I’m in active labor on the couch, waiting for the paramedics, hoping I won’t have to push until they get there. And my husband starts freaking out on the 911 operator. I hear:
‘That is your job. You need to get here. That is your job.’
Several times he says that. The operator was trying to get him prepared if the baby was born before the paramedics arrived. So he’s holding my 13 month old (who was terrified because she had no idea what was going on) and screaming at the 911 operator that it wasn’t his job to deliver his son.
The paramedics did make it, with about 30 seconds to spare. One came over to me on the couch and told me not to push if I was able. He just got the words out and I said I had to push, pushed once, and my son was born.
My husband was so terrified and panicked. He’s a good guy and a great dad, but he did not want to deliver a baby. Really didn’t want to deliver a baby. I was laying there hoping the paramedics would make it and he just screamed about how they needed to be there. It was not reassuring. We brought a bunch of homemade goodies to the fire station, and they promised they’d bring a plate to the dispatcher. I’m still so sorry he yelled at her.”
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