They call childbirth the stuff of miracles. Indeed, it is a beautiful sight to witness a new human being being brought into the world. Yet, not every delivery, or the months leading up to it, goes so smoothly.
There are doctors, and parents alike, who can recall stories of unexplained or unplanned pregnancies, failed paternity tests, and even some more unusual circumstances. On Reddit, they chose to share their most extreme pregnancy stories.
"This was my husband's birth in 1944. His mom was in labor in a small town birthing home. It was at the local doctor's house. His mom was in a back room with the doctor and a nurse. My father-in-law was in the doctor's living room, which served as a waiting room. The doctor came out and told him there were complications and that he could save the mom or save the baby, but he had to choose.
My father-in-law got up, walked out, got a weapon out of his truck, and came back in. He pointed the barrel at the doctor and said both better live or the doctor wouldn't. He then sat down on the couch.The doctor went back into the room with the laboring mother and ended up pulling the baby out with forceps.
The mother and the baby lived. So did the doctor."
"My mom nearly died while giving birth to her first child. The doctors were so worried about her health they told my parents that they wouldn't be able to have any more children for the foreseeable future.
Five years later, the doctors gave them the go ahead to have another kid. Things didn't go perfectly with the second birth. She had to get her tubes tied. There were other medical problems as well.
A little more than two years passed and they were happy with their little family, but my mother was feeling ill again. It remained for a while. They thought it was a bad cold, but then she started craving ice. She only craved ice while preggers. She started to grow in the belly region and was pretty sure she was pregnant, but this was impossible because her tubes were tied.
She went to the doctor who performed the surgery and told him that she believed she was pregnant. He disagreed entirely. He just WOULD NOT believe she was pregnant. He performed all sorts of tests trying to figure out what it was, but my mother was insistent. She believed she was pregnant.
'Fine,' the doctor finally said, 'I'll give you a pregnancy test, when it comes back negative you have to pay for it. If it comes up positive, I'll pay for it.'
It freaking came back positive.
The doctors walked in the room and muttered, 'Well, you are 7 months along.'
My mother responded with a classy, 'I know.'
Apparently, when you get your tubes tied, every year after the first one adds a 1% chance of becoming pregnant. There was a 2% chance of me existing."
"My grandmother was pregnant with her sixth child, but the baby died. They had to do an operation to take it out. A few weeks later my, as she was just getting over the death of her unborn baby, she told my grandad and doctors that she thought she was still pregnant.
They kept telling her that she was not and she was just upset over losing a baby. Well, as they had operated on her to take out the baby, they did not look and just told her to mourn and accept the baby was gone.
A month later, her water broke and they operated on her again to find that she had been expecting twins. No one knew. When the first one died, they didn't realize there was another one hidden! Everyone, especially Grandad, apologized for not believing her."
"One of my friends, a very white soldier in the Army, was sent back home from his deployment to be with his wife, who is also white, for the birth of their child. The baby was not white. The baby was black, very black.
Long story short: the wife had fooled around with a guy right after my buddy went out for his deployment. When she found out she was pregnant, she figured there was a 50/50 chance that it was her husband's child and not from her other lover.
'I'm just going tell him it's his baby and hope it all works out,' she said.
My buddy said his heart sank when he saw the doctor's eyes. The doctor saw the baby was black before he did. He knew it was about to get messier than it already was.
After the divorce, the baby's mother became a complete train wreck The father was nowhere to be seen, so my buddy ended up adopting the baby that was not his."
"I was told I would never have children. I, of course, was devastated because I love kids. My husband and I thought we could just adopt in the future. One night, I was shaking like crazy and feeling horrible. My throat hurt and I felt like dying. My husband took me to the hospital.
'Hey, take a pregnancy test,' my husband said at the hospital to lighten the mood.
I thought he was being silly, but I thought, Eh why not? It's going to come out negative anyway.
We waited. The nurse walked by and said, 'You're pregnant,' and then just walked away.
I started crying because I thought my husband did some kind of sick joke. Then, I saw my husband's face light up.
Our son is a beautiful healthy and very happy 1-year-old. He is our little miracle. I really wish I knew I was able to have children because we would have waited a few more years."
"A college friend of mine decided she was going to start working out to get her old figure back. She was doing really well at first, but then stopped losing weight. Instead, she started gaining weight. She was really frustrated and confused. She used to have some digestion problems and thought maybe it was some sort of gastrointestinal issue.
She would say things like, 'Feel my stomach. It's HARD.' My favorite was how she talked about the gas: 'No, but you can FEEL it moving around! I've never had gas like this, it's crazy!'
The stomach pains were starting to be a problem. Eventually, her dad took her to the emergency room to be looked at. Apparently, when the doctor came back, all he said was, 'You're about five months pregnant and going into early labor.'
She bawled her eyes out and was horrified. She didn't give birth that night, she ended up carrying to term and had a really healthy boy. He was freaking adorable.
I remember the first thought in MY mind was, Geez, how many Packer parties have I been to with her over the last five months? It was not that she was getting wasted or anything, but she was definitely having a drink or two. The bar we would all meet at gave us free Jell-O shots for every Packer touchdown.
But everything turned out great. She was engaged at the time, so they took the wedding to the courthouse. All three of them are very happy, healthy people."
"When I was in nursing school, we only had one clinical day dedicated to labor and delivery. My day had been canceled and moved because of a blizzard. My make-up day was at an inner city hospital instead of the nice suburban hospital I had gotten for the rest of my rotation.
On the day of my clinical, I was paired with a young teenage couple. The girl was on her fourth pregnancy. It was only the second full-term pregnancy she had, as the others were aborted. The baby daddy was miserable the entire time, saying things like, 'Can I just leave and come back later?'
He got into a screaming match with the girl's mom when she told him to stop complaining.
As soon as that baby popped out and the dad held it, he handed it back.
'This ain't mine,' he said, and he left the room. The poor girl was crying hysterically. He came back and started screaming at her for cheating because the baby was 'too light-skinned.' Everyone was saying that babies all come out white, but he started yelling at everyone who said that. He said he would not see either of them until he had a paternity test in his hand and left.
He never came back."
"I'm a nurse in a Level 4 neonatal ICU. We service the sickest of the sick from our state and the surrounding states. We see it all.
We had a baby who was sick as snot. Lo and behold, we discovered its blood/spinal fluid was septic with herpes. In most babies, we avoid this by treating herpes while the Mom is pregnant. In this case, the mom did not even know she was a carrier. Where did it come from?
That was the awkward and sickening moment in which everyone in the room realized where herpes came from. As it turned out, the father had an affair and contracted the virus from his lover.
While this woman's baby was on the verge of death, she found out her husband had been cheating on her and his cheating butt is the reason their baby was sick."
"I was an intern, which you have to do after finishing your medical degree. I checked on a mother, father, and baby's blood type (among other things), handing the results to the nurse, and telling her to get them done again.
I pointed out that the lab should pay some more attention on the second time. The nurse and patient were confused. I explained to them how blood groups work and how the result had to be wrong. The patient asked me if I was under the medical oath, meaning I could not tell her husband or certain others.
I answered that I was not allowed to talk about her medical record with anyone. She just nodded and said that the blood test was most likely correct, but I was not allowed to tell the father - her husband. Science said that he was not the biological father.
It kind of scared me a bit how easy she had said that. It made me wonder how many fathers there are out there who do not know about their own biological children."
"I heard this from an elderly client who used to be an obstetrician. He was telling me stories about when he used to deliver babies at peoples' homes way back in the day. He was telling me about his son and I asked if he delivered his own son. He said yes and told me the most amazing, heartbreaking, and heartwarming story.
In the late 1940s, the town ambulance/hearse/taxi pulled up at his little independent practice out in rural Illinois. A volunteer firefighter came in and said they had a lady in labor and they wouldn't make it to the hospital, which was over an hour away. He told them to bring her in. He delivered the baby and the mom passed out. All seemed normal. The mom later woke up, and the doctor came in to give her the baby.
'Get it away from me!' she started screaming.
The doctor was confused and couldn't figure out what was going on with the mother. She started flailing around and screaming that she didn't want to look at 'it.'
When the doctor later returned with the child, the mother still looked terrified, as if the newborn had nine heads.
'Well, what do you want me to do with your son?' he finally asked.
The mom remained silent for a long time. As the doctor was getting up to leave, she quietly asked, 'Can you get rid of him?'
The doctor asked what she meant.
'You know,' she said. 'Maybe just make him go to sleep so he won't wake up.'
He said it took everything in him to not beat this woman to death right then and there. He went off on a tangent about how much he loved his work working with all the new mothers in all these little towns full of 'salt of the earth' people with great family values. On and on about how happy it made him bringing life into the world and this woman wanted him to murder her baby.
When the doctor asked why she wanted to get rid of the baby, the mother said that her husband was in the military and the child was not his. She couldn't let him find out. He understood her rationale for not wanting her husband to know, but murder? He suggested family, an orphanage, and other options. She said no to all of them because she 'couldn't risk this coming back to haunt her.' He told her he'd see what he could do and he let her rest.
The next day, he tried to talk to her again and she was more adamant about 'making it sleep.' She said she wanted to hold her baby. He refused since he thought she'd try to kill him herself. She went nuts. In the end, he sent her home and told her that he'd given the baby to his brother who was a pastor and was unable to have children. He promised he'd never tell anyone who she was.
Then he said he 'taught her a lesson.' If she ever found herself pregnant again, she would come to him whether it was her husband's or not. If he ever found out she went elsewhere, he'd tell everyone the story. He said he did this because he was afraid she would get knocked up and kill the next one and he knew he would find out if she went elsewhere because he was the only baby doctor for five towns and knew other docs at the hospitals.
She never had any other kids. Supposedly, she died from an overdose a few years later.
The doctor and his wife raised that baby as their own son. His wife wasn't able to have kids, and the pastor brother was a fib just to make her think he'd already given the baby away.
He eventually told his son a watered down version of the story when the kid was older. The kid ended up becoming a plastic surgeon and had nine kids of his own. He's doing very well, he's very happy, and he probably never would have had a shot had that small town fireman tried to press on to the hospital and wound up delivering the kid in the middle of nowhere. He was convinced she would have delivered and then smothered the baby by the time they got to the hospital."
"I am an NICU nurse who was floating to the nursery. A baby was born with one missing limb, but was otherwise doing fine. The pediatrician was in the parents' room discussing with them the follow-up type stuff for the baby - appointments with a geneticist, an orthopedic surgeon, etc.
At some point in the conversation, the mother asked what the baby's blood type was, to which the pediatrician responded 'A+.' The father of the baby, his third with his wife, insisted that was impossible. He AND his wife were both O-.
The pediatrician got totally flustered and came back to the nursery to verify the lab results. The baby really was A+. We even went so far as to re-draw the baby's blood and re-test it. Still A+. There was absolutely no chance that the baby belonged to that man.
The husband left the hospital soon after. He didn't show up again until it was time to pick up the mom and the baby to bring them home. The mom spent the rest of her hospital stay lying alone, in the dark, mostly hiding under the covers."
"A woman was giving birth to her child and did not want her father, who likes to drink, to know. He showed up in the labor and delivery ward, absolutely smashed out of his mind, demanding to meet his grandchild. We tried to act like his daughter wasn't there.
He started to yell. The baby's father heard him and came out to ask him to leave. The wasted grandfather became very irate and started to smash the windows in the doors and the nursing station.
The father of the child tackled his father-in-law. Then, he grabbed him by his collar, dragged him out of the unit, onto an elevator, and then dragged him outside.
It is sad how many wasted people show up demanding to see the new member of their family. It's a regular occurrence."
"When I was an intern, we had a woman who was eight-months pregnant get crushed in a head-on collision. She was pulseless on the scene. EMS brought her in immediately. We had about a 60-second warning in the emergency room to get the OB/GYN crash team and the NICU response team down. It was clear the 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 alive.
I was on the trauma team. While I was working on trying to keep the mom's circulation going to perfuse the uterus, the obstetrician started the delivery. We opened the woman's chest to start internal compressions and to see if there was an aortic injury we could temporize.
A C-section is usually fast. Perimortem sections are faster. It went from skin cut to baby out and over to NICU team in about 45 seconds. They started CPR because the baby had a low heart rate and was essentially dead. That was when we found a second baby.
It turned out that the mom was having twins. I joined the impromptu NICU team as we tried to save this second baby. But it became clear this was futile. We abandoned efforts and turned all our resources to the first baby. We worked on that baby for over an hour, but we were never able to get it stabilized. We were able to get the baby to the NICU but, unfortunately, it arrested again and could not be resuscitated.
The husband and father, who was in the car as well, was physically fine besides some minor contusions. When he told him that he had, essentially, just lost his whole family, the poor man just collapsed.
There was no crying or screaming. He just went down like a sack of potatoes. I will never forget the expression on his face. It was filled with immense pain, sorrow, and suffering."
"We caught a man cracking open the anesthesia car and stealing medication while his wife was in labor with his child. When the police came to arrest the man, he was sobbing.
'Y'all aren't going to let me see my baby be born?' he said over and over.
The arresting officers were both like, 'Um... Nope. You should have thought about that before.'"
"I worked in labor and delivery. I had a very young mother come in, accompanied by her parents. She was just 12 or 13. Her parents looked stuffy. The dad kept telling her that should have had an abortion, that she was too young, etc.
Her mother was silent the whole time, but leaked tears. While she labored, I received a call from a very young boy who said he was her boyfriend. His trembly voice explained that her father shouldn't come to the hospital. I was confused, but I told him I couldn't give out information and he could talk to her afterward. I went in and told the mother her boyfriend had called. She showed me a picture of him. He was white with straight red hair, pimply and tiny - the runt of the litter.
About an hour later, her physical education teacher stopped by to check on her, which I thought was odd. We never got many teachers checking on students. He was as opposite of the boyfriend as he could get: tall, very muscular, had a beautiful smile, and rich, chocolate brown skin.
The girl's father accompanied her to the delivery room. _Odd, but OK. _
The more she pushed, the louder she cried. In between, she kept saying, 'Sorry daddy.' Finally, out slid a very beautiful, chocolate brown baby boy. I thought her father was going to pass out on my delivery room floor.
I did my usual, 'It's a boy!' and said nothing else. I handed him off to a nurse and got the girl's father a chair.
'I'm sorry, Daddy,' the new mother said over and over again.
Her mom, now frowning, came to see the baby. She took one look, started asking God for forgiveness, and left. I sent her dad home a short bit later, admonishing him to react at home, not here. I set up a time for our counselor to meet with him before I left. After talking to the new mom, she admitted that her gym teacher had been giving her 'special treatment.' I am state mandated to report child abuse, so I did.
Two weeks later, with her world shattered, her baby was given up for adoption. I wished her the best."