Provided by Alex Rouse
Last month, we put out a call for birth stories — and boy, did our readers deliver. We've put together some of the wildest, touching and most surprising birth stories around.
No matter how your baby arrives, these stories remind us how miraculous birth really is. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we did.
Noelle Valbuena-Paet — Landon
Around 7:30 a.m. on Oct. 2, I woke up with cramp-like symptoms. Contractions started at 8:07 a.m., coming every two minutes and getting stronger with each one. By 8:27 a.m., we were in the car heading to the hospital 17 miles away.
At one point, I realized I was pushing. I reached down and felt that I was progressing a lot quicker than I had ever expected; I was not going to make it [to the hospital]. Staying positive, Mike assured me we would as he kept driving. With two strong pushes, Landon was born, weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces and 18.5 inches long.
With all the excitement and shock we continued on to the hospital without stopping. It was there we determined our timeline and that he was born at 8:37 a.m. Big brother Lucas remained calm the entire car ride, asking me if I was okay and if I had an “owie.” He was so excited to become a big brother.
Lauren Neerman — Owen
The birth of our son was an unplanned home birth. We went to the hospital after five hours of labor contractions. I measured at 3.5 centimeters and 100 percent effacement; however, admittance happens at 4 centimeters. We returned home and I got in the bath to manage the pain. As a first-time mom, I didn’t understand at the time that my water broke in the bathtub and my body was naturally pushing.
I got out of the bathtub to head back to the hospital, and that is when we knew we needed help. My husband called 911 from outside our apartment due to poor cell service while I delivered our son. The firefighters and paramedics arrived within five minutes, cut the umbilical cord with a scalpel and returned us to the hospital.
I had hoped to have an epidural-free birth; I had a more natural birth than I could have ever imagined!
Grace Lee — Samaira
Baby no. 1 was born after 22 hours of sweating with five other laboring women, miserable drug-induced contractions and ultimately a C-section.
Years later, my doctor lied about supporting a normal birth and scheduled another C-section, but during my 50-hour labor I switched doctors!
For the third, I sobbed through pulses of agony to pass my silent fetus. I didn’t feel ready, but four months later a rainbow found her way into my womb.
No. 4 would be different! I prepared with a trusted midwife, a team of friends, Hypnobirth, daily partner massage, Spinning Baby exercises, acupuncture, raspberry leaves, nettles and, most importantly, painting therapy to overcome my fears. During a day of gentle contractions, I danced, nested and baked a birthday cake. As the sun set, I slid into a warm tub, and in 20 minutes, wondrous Samaira reached earth, en caul at home, caught by my own hands.
Carol Gavhane — Henry
My nurse rushed to my bed. In a concerned voice, she asked me to turn to my left, right, then get on all fours. Three others have now joined us.
What I hear next is a chorus of orders from nurses and doctors.
“Bring in the ultrasound machine.”
“Heart rate is too low.”
“We’re two minutes in.”
“I’m calling it; it’s go time. Someone call her husband.”
“Carol, we need to get this baby out. We’re going to the OR now!”
Moments before I closed my suddenly heavy eyes, my nurse said from behind her mask, “You’re going to sleep now. When you wake up, you’ll have your baby. Hold my hand. It’ll be okay.”
Three pounds, 14 ounces later, Henry made his appearance seven weeks early, due to a plummeting heart rate. My nurse coined this as one of the most eventful deliveries of her career.
Alex Rouse — Solomon
You should have seen the look on my nurse’s face when I puked what appeared to be a gallon of blood. “It’s not what you think it is,” I said, pausing for a contraction. “I just ate a whole box of Red Vines.”
People told me to prepare to poop during labor, but nobody told me about the puke. During labor, I puked four times. Thankfully, each time signaled progress.
The first time (the Red Vines time), the Foley catheter — a saline balloon placed next to my uterus — shot into my underwear, signaling my cervix had widened. The second and third times occurred after they stopped Pitocin; my own hormones had taken over! The fourth time, my water broke.
About two hours later — 15 hours after I checked into Swedish at nearly 42 weeks pregnant, and five hours after I puked “blood” everywhere — our beautiful son, Solomon, was born.
Crystle Rivera — Twins
I gave birth at 35 weeks and 5 days gestations on March 14, 2016, to my twin boys via emergency caesarian due to severe preeclampsia.
I didn’t meet my boys until March 17 due to being in a medically-induced coma. My caesarian was anything but routine. When they removed my Baby A, I stopped breathing. When they removed my Baby B, my heart stopped beating. My Baby B needed some additional suctioning, but other than that both of my babies were born perfectly healthy and didn’t spend a single day in the NICU. They were very quickly whisked away with their father to another room while a “code blue” was paged throughout the hospital.
I was given three rounds of epinephrine and almost 30 minutes of CPR to help restart my heart. I spent the next couple of days sedated and finally met my babies on St. Patrick’s Day.
Amanda Ray — Bryan
My second child was born in April. I took a VBAC prep class for labor and had my mom (who had three cesareans herself and never got the option of a VBAC) as a support person in addition to my husband. I wanted the experience and triumph of a vaginal birth. I always felt like a failure after my first child’s cesarean birth. But it wasn’t to be.
After 30 hours in labor, the max dose of Pitocin running for six hours and an epidural, my midwife and I agreed to call it. I went in for my second cesarean and got to meet my beautiful baby boy. They told me I couldn’t try VBAC again; the wall of my uterus had thinned dangerously. While I am sad I never will experience a vaginal birth, I know I did everything I could and now I have no regrets.
Nickole Evans — Azazeabelle
I was four days late and thought for sure I would be pregnant forever. We decided to join in on the 4th of July festivities at a local park. About halfway through the event, I started having minor contractions and festival-goers began pointing it out. I was in complete denial.
As the contractions got stronger, we decided to make our way home and called our midwife. When we got home, my midwife didn't even have time to fill up our birthing tub and BOOM our little red-headed firecracker was born on our entryway of our home at 8:35 p.m., just as the fireworks started.
Our birth story turned out better than we could have imagined; we are incredibly thankful.