Labor and Delivery can be an extremely stressful time for people. With lots of screaming and cursing due to the pain and initial shock, the things that come out of expecting parents mouths can be uncharted. However, one should feel lucky if they are able to come out of the situation laughing. In this piece, doctors and people share the most hilarious thing they've done or seen from the delivery room. Keep in mind, stories are edited for clarity.
"A young couple, mom and dad were both around 18 if I recall correctly, first baby for them both. Mom's pushing and Dad is doing this awkward jig wanting to be helpful but not really knowing how to be helpful. At one point I say, 'Okay, we can see the head now' (still awhile to go) and Dad jumps up, runs to the counter, puts on rubber gloves, and gets into football receiving position, like 10 feet away from mom's legs. We all burst out laughing and he was very embarrassed to learn that babies do not shoot out across the room to be caught like a football."
"Not a doctor but my buddy who is very white and a soldier in the Army had gotten sent back home from his deployment to be with his wife as she gave birth.
His wife is also white.
The baby was not white, the baby was black, very black actually.
Long story short, the wife had fooled around with a guy right after her husband had gone out for deployment, when she found out she was pregnant she figured there was a 50/50 chance it was her husband's and not her other lover. So she said, 'I'm just going tell him it's his baby and hope it all works out.'
He said his heart sank when he saw the doctor's eyes. The doctor saw the baby was black before he did, and the doctor knew it was about to get a lot more messy than it already was.
My friend ended up divorcing his wife, who ended up becoming a complete mess. The biological father was nowhere to be seen, so my friend ended up adopting the baby that his now ex-wife had given birth to. The child is 6 years old now, and my buddy is remarried to a lovely wife. None of us have a clue where his ex-wife is or who the real father is, and it doesn't matter."
"We hired a Douala for our first kid four years ago, and she told us a story that we still laugh about.
She was with a couple that had been told they were having a daughter as their first kid. So like first time parents they outdid themselves with everything pink, sparkly and frilly, the whole nine yards. The mom goes in to labor, and they call the Douala to come in to be there for the birth. The mom's pushing, the dad is cheering nervously.
The baby pops out and the Douala notices that the sonogram tech that said they were having a girl messed up. The dad was too busy to notice anything is amiss. So the Douala tells the dad to do a finger and toe count to clue him in. So the dad looks at the baby, see 10 fingers and 10 toes, and something he wasn't expecting.
This guy had been told that he was having a daughter for the past six months and saw an extra appendage, and the first thing he screamed was, 'OH MY GOD! MY DAUGHTER HAS A WILLY!'"
"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 emergency room.
My husband goes 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, saw a sign for the ER and just screamed at him to pull off.
We got into the ER, and they immediately called an ambulance to take me to a hospital with a NICU. Paramedics are 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 is completely empty except the screaming pregnant woman birthing a preterm infant in the hallway and the elderly gentleman dying.
My daughter wound up being delivered by the two paramedics who were transporting me because the emergency room doctor was busy running the code and the two nurses on staff were flying EVERYWHERE. They were running in and out of the other guys room with meds and fluid, sprinting around with the baby isolette, etc.
The other patients' family is clustered in the hallway staring at my gaping genitalia 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 is curled up in a waiting room chair heavy breathing from being lightheaded and everyone is ignoring his feeble cries for water. He was literally acting like he was about to die.
In the end no one died, baby was fine, husband passed out, and five years later, I became a paramedic."
"I remember assisting with a delivery as a medical student working with a family resident physician. Usually, they let the student do a lot of it to get experience, but I remember the attending physician, referring to the resident, telling me, 'No, no, let her do it. She needs the practice. You just watch.'
When an attending physician says, 'No, no, She needs the practice,' it's not a good sign. Luckily, the baby itself got delivered, and I thought all is good.
After a baby is born, you have to deliver the placenta by applying gentle traction on the cord to encourage progress. While the attending physician was distracted by the new baby, I watched in horror as the resident YANKED on the umbilical cord.
Of course, it snapped. She had this look of dread on her face and with good reason. Then, we had to take drastic measures. The attending physician explained to the husband what would happen next.
Attending: 'We're going to take her back to the operating room.'
Father: 'She's having surgery?'
Attending: 'Hopefully not, sir. We're going to extract the placenta manually.'
Father: 'How are you getting in if there's no surgery?'
Attending: 'Well, sir, we're able to enter through the birth canal.'
Father: 'You're gonna put some tool inside her?'
Attending: 'No sir, we'll be doing a manual extraction.'
Attending: 'With a hand. And arm.'
Father: 'You're going to stick your ARM up my wife?'
Attending: 'That's about right, sir.'
Father: 'You mean to tell me you're going to fist my wife?'
The conversation sort of went on this way for a while. When we got back to the operating room, I watched in horror as the attending physician put on a glove that pretty much went to her shoulder, and just dove right in.
She was in past her elbow, manually scraping the placenta out. The wife was loopy but not 'out' during the procedure and was providing colorful commentary.
'I swear to God, I could feel them pressing on my lungs,' the woman said to her husband after we had finished.
'I thought they went in from below,' the husband said.
In beautiful theatrics, she grabbed his shirt, pulled him towards her, and said, through clenched teeth, 'They did.'
As for me, I decided to go into psychiatry."
"I’m not a doctor. This was my husband’s birth in 1944. His mom was in labor in a small town birthing home. It was literally in the local doctor’s home. His mom was in a back room with the doctor and a nurse. My husband’s dad was in the waiting room (living room).
The doctor eventually came out and told his dad there were complications: he could save mom or save the baby and my dad 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 with the weapon in his lap.
I’ve tried to imagine that doctor’s state of mine at that moment. He went back into the room with the laboring mother and ended up pulling the baby out with forceps. Mother and baby both lived. So did the doctor.
My husband’s skull is a testament to this story. It’s like craters on the moon. I’m grateful he’s never gone bald."
"When I was in nursing school, we only had one clinical day dedicated to labor and delivery, I was SO excited. Well my day had gotten canceled and moved because of a blizzard so my make up day was at a rough hospital instead of the nice suburban hospital I had gotten for the rest of my rotation.
I was paired with a very young teenage couple the entire day. The girl was on her fourth pregnancy, second live one as the others were abortions. The child's father was miserable the entire time and kept complaining how tired and hungry he was. He just kept saying stuff like, 'Can I just leave and come back later?' He eventually got into a screaming match with the girl's mom when she told him to stop complaining because his girlfriend was in labor.
As SOON as that baby popped out and the dad held it, he immediately handed it back and said, 'This ain’t mine' and left the room. The poor girl was hysterical crying. He came back and started screaming at her for cheating because the baby was 'too light skinned.' Everyone was saying babies all come out white, but he started yelling at everyone who said that. He said he wouldn’t see either of them until he had a paternity test in his hand and left. He Didn’t come back.
"Not a doctor, but growing up, my mother wanted to have my sister and me in the delivery room when my brother was born as a bit of a hands-on learning approach. I was 10, and 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 a safety attendant if it got too crazy in the delivery room. My mom was older at that point (35) and 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 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 when 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 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 smashed 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 earth worm after a storm."
"I have several of these kinds of stories. Where do I start?
I have one in which the baby daddy and the grandma were in the delivery room. We were setting up the table to deliver.
'Okay, Dad, want to cut the cord?' I cheerfully asked the father.
He lost his cool.
'Not if this she-devil is in the room!' he said, and pointed to the grandma.
They got into a yelling match. Meanwhile, the patient and I made awkward eye contact while the nurse and the other resident tried to calm them down. We delivered the baby and I cut the cord.
I once had a couple with no prenatal care show up in labor. They ended up needing a C-section. After we got the baby out, I was closing up when the father started yelling at us and accusing us of being not real doctors. We kept on going and ignored him. He demanded to talk to the CEO of the hospital and kept on standing up and looking over the drape.
At one point, he was behind me until the nurse got him to sit down. Finally, we finished up as he was yelling at us. The mother never showed up for follow-up appointments, but later ended up with a surgical site infection. They tried to sue us. I always wondered if there was some underlying abuse there.
I once had a mom ask if the baby is mixed... right in front of the father who was the same race. Speaking of which, I once had another father ask for paternity tests the minute baby was born. Chill.
There was another time I had a crunchy granola couple come in to see if the woman was in labor. They passed out pamphlets for their birth plan. It was made to look like a playbill. Cute.
I started to read it. Nothing seemed too off - they wanted to wash the baby, they did not know if it was a boy or girl, and wanted the dad to announce...
Then, I got to the end. They specifically requested no verbal communication with the mom. All communication was to go through the dad. There was to be no referring to the baby as 'baby.' We were to refer to the baby as 'special soul.' Those requests were quickly ignored.
Another time, I was doing an initial prenatal visit for a mom on Suboxone, a narcotic.
Good for her, trying to get over her addiction.
She seemed motivated. She was excited. The child's father seemed excited. Both seemed like a cute couple. I was doing a quick ultrasound in the room and he randomly asked me a question:
'So, can you tell me who the dad is?' he asked.
'You need a DNA paternity test for that,' I replied.
The mom looked shocked.
'Well, let's do it,' he said.
'We don't do them until the baby is born,' I explained. 'The method for doing it before delivery has risks associated with it so we don't do genetic testing unless we think there's a risk of a birth defect.'
'Then WHY am I here?'
The mom was bawling at that point. I asked him to leave.
This next story is a sad one. A mom came in on coke with an abruption. Her kid was delivered by an emergency section and went to NICU.
The child was brain-dead. It, basically, only had some episodic spasms of movement. The cops told the mom that she could not withdraw life support because, then, she would be on the hook for manslaughter. She didn't.
The guy she put down as the father on the birth certificate was her husband, whom she'd cheated on. He did not care about what was going on. The biological father had no say in withdrawing life support.
I have seen several pregnant teens whose moms, somehow, think withholding an epidural will make them think twice about premarital coitus.
OK, but let's do some birth control instead? It is so messed up."
"Because of my glorious epidural (am also an anesthesiologist), I was able to rest and save my energy for the pushing stage of labor. My husband (not in the medical field whatsoever) refused to believe I was actually progressing in my labor because of how comfortable I appeared. He was under the impression that women must scream and thrash around and go through horrendous pain during childbirth, so I must not ACTUALLY be having the baby. Please note, I love OB and it is my favorite part of my practice, so I knew what my body was going to experience-- thus choosing an epidural early on for pain control.
My husband was so amazed by this and my calm demeanor that he was in some serious denial. When the nurses told me I was fully dilated and my OB came in to deliver our baby girl my husband was asked to hold my leg. He grabbed my foot, looked down, and immediately turned white and sunk to the floor out cold. He ended up eating my ice chips and breathing my oxygen while I held my own leg in the stirrup and pushed out our baby."
"The woman who later became my godmother was the attending OB nurse when my mom, a tiny woman, went into labor with me, her first. I had to be turned. As I was being manipulated, my mom passed out; a few seconds later, when she partially came to, she smiled sweetly and groggily asked the doc, 'Did you at least take your shoes off?' My godmother-to-be had to leave the room to change whites because she peed herself.
They became best friends for nearly 50 years. My mom is gone now; I'm approaching 60, 'Auntie' Lorraine's 85, and after I feed her two stiff drinks, she still loves to tell me that story. And I still love to hear it."
"Not me, but my mom delivers babies. She was telling me that one time there was a woman that went to push and opened up her mouth and had the longest drawn out scream ever. It was so long that everyone was kind of looked at each other, checked their watches and tapped their foot.
Once she was done, my mom went up to her and said, 'You only get to do that once during a delivery and you just used yours.'"
"I'm a person of the male variety. I am also the oldest of two kids. Because I was so well-behaved when I was a baby, my mum had decided that she wanted another boy. It finally gets to delivery day, and would you know it, it's a little girl! My mother outright refuses her.
Mum: 'Nope! Give it to him!' (My dad)
Mum: 'No really, I don't want it if it's a girl.'
My dad then steps in, and takes my sister.
Dad: 'Give it six hours. She won't be able to let her go.'
It took a couple of days, but after that, my mum wouldn't let her out of her sight."
"Doctor here, I have only ever 'delivered' one baby.
So I'm in medical school on my obstetric rotation. I'm doing a late night shift because I just want to see some births. A 20 something schizophrenic woman comes in, laboring with her sixth child. Her mother apparently has custody of the other kids, kind of sad situation.
The 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 perform a c-section if she refuses to push.' After about 30 minutes and some sedatives, the doctor tells me to go in and do a pelvic exam and to report to him how far along things are.
He goes in with me, and then gets 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 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!' Luckily, everything was well with the baby and mom."