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Mothers' Stories of Weird Childbirth Seem More Like Fiction Than Fact

1) Woman Gives Birth in a Tree
Woman Gives Birth in a Tree
Woman Gives Birth in a Tree

Rosita Pedro was born in a tree above Mozambique's swirling floodwaters yesterday and minutes later, with her umbilical cord still attached, was winched to safety by a South African helicopter crew.

Her mother, 26-year-old Sofia Pedro, torn by labour pains as she clutched the branches where she had sought refuge, was exhausted and near the end when rescuers discovered her precarious perch.

An airforce medic was lowered on to the tree to help the mother give birth and cut the umbilical cord. "We spotted her just in time," said the man, who gave his name only as Godfrey. "We then hoisted mother and child on to the helicopter. The crew provided a blanket to wrap the infant and return Rosita to her mother. They are both doing well."

Ms Pedro had climbed the tree on Sunday to escape the surging waters. Late yesterday, shocked and exhausted after her three-day ordeal, she was resting with her daughter in a refugee camp on high ground, knowing that she was one of the very few to be rescued from the flood-ravaged interior of Mozambique yesterday.

She could only muster the energy to tell reporters: "I'm so happy."

2) Born in McDonald's Bathroom
Born in McDonald's Bathroom
A baby was born in a Washington State McDonald's restroom and the mother says she didn't know she was pregnant.

Most mothers have months to prepare for a child, but Danille Miller had just minutes.

Miller was working the nightshift at the McDonald's in Vancouver, Washington on Friday, December 21st when she suddenly ran into the restroom feeling ill. Her co-worker, Jaynae Herrera ran in after her.

Herrera asked if Miller was okay but something was definitely not normal. Miller was in pain and shaking. And to her shock, she was giving birth to a baby, right over the toilet.

Jaynae called 9-1-1 and with the assistance of a dispatcher, helped deliver the baby. One of the first things the dispatcher said to do when the baby was delivered was to get the baby out of the toilet.

Miller had a six-pound baby boy and named him Austin. Both mom and baby are doing fine and now have an interesting story to tell.

3) Born on a train and slipped through the toilet
Born on a train and slipped through the toilet
As if birth wasn't a hard enough way to enter the world, try surviving, then falling through a toilet and onto moving train tracks.

That's the tale mother Bhuri Kalbi of Rajasthan, India, will have to tell her daughter. Kalbi was only seven months pregnant and on a train's toilet when she gave birth early. She fainted before she realized what had happened, according to reporting by Reuters.

Moore said a quick birth like Kalbi's ordeal is often called a "precipitous birth," and frequently is associated with a complication such as a detached placenta.

"My delivery was so sudden," Bhuri Kalbi told Reuters. "I did not even realize that my child had slipped from the hole in the toilet."

According to Reuters, many trains in India have toilets that are just chutes which empty directly on the tracks below.

Once she awoke from her fainting spell, Kalbi told her relatives what happened. The train stopped and staff at a nearby station found the baby girl on the tracks, alive.

4) Woman gives birth to twins on Fifth Ave.
Woman gives birth to twins on Fifth Ave
Elizabeth Brew of Scarsdale, N.Y., is surrounded by some of the Mount Sinai Medical Center staff after delivering twins on New York City's Fifth Avenue outside the hospital on Friday. Mount Sinai nurse manager Lucille Nassery grabbed a team of nurses, doctors and anesthesiologists, then rushed outside to handle the delivery in Brew's SUV. The newborns, although premature, are healthy and were admitted to the hospital along with their mother.

NEW YORK - After nearly 40 years as a nurse, Lucille Nassery had no problem identifying the sounds coming in the window from Fifth Avenue. Those were definitely the sounds of childbirth.

“There’s a certain kind of sound that comes from women who are about to deliver. It’s not just a typical scream. It’s a whole-body scream,” she said Friday, hours after she ran to peer down at an SUV parked hastily in front of Mount Sinai Medical Center. A distraught man circled the vehicle, looking for help, and a very pregnant woman lay across the front seat, howling.

Nassery, a nurse manager, grabbed a team of nurses, doctors and anesthesiologists and rushed outside.

The mother, Elizabeth Brew of Scarsdale, was 33-weeks pregnant. While she remained in the SUV — her legs extended toward busy Fifth Avenue and Central Park — the hospital staff brought equipment into the middle of the street. Nassery and other staffers used their bodies to block off two lanes of traffic.

With the baby girl’s head already crowning, the group wasn’t going anywhere. The 4-pound, 13-ounce girl was delivered right out on the avenue. Passengers in taxis stuck their heads out of windows to cheer and exclaim over the baby. Drivers stopped to yell out: “Is the mother OK?”

5) Born in a post office
Born in a post office
POST Office staff delivered a baby in the shop — then weighed it on their parcel scales.

Pregnant Sonia Marina’s waters broke as she queued to buy mobile phone credit — and little girl Dulce arrived just three minutes later.

Postmaster Paul Childs, 58, wife Helen, 54, and colleague Ray Smith, 63, wrapped Dulce in towels then put her on scales to find she was 5lb 15oz — or £11.90 for standard UK delivery.

Medics arrived, cut the umbilical cord and took Portuguese Sonia, her three-year-old son and week-early Dulce to hospital on Monday morning.

Paul, of Wisbech, Cambs, said: “It was jolly good. She hadn’t even been having contractions.

“We got her out the back, she dropped her jeans and out it popped.

“We had a shop full of people but no one seemed to notice until they heard the baby cry.”

6) baby born at 30,000ft on holiday flight
As Nicola Delemere struggled through the pain of contractions, she was gripped with greater fears than the average expectant mother.

She and her husband were 30,000ft in the air on a plane to Crete, she was 25 weeks into her pregnancy - and there were no doctors on board.

The jet had been diverted when her waters broke but Mrs Delemere knew that Alfie couldn't wait for landing.

Somewhere above Dusseldorf in Germany, as she sat in her seat with an air hostess and a passenger acting as midwives, he arrived, barely alive and weighing only 1lb 1oz.
baby born at 30,000ft on holiday flight
Mile high birth: Baby Alfie is finally at home with proud parents Nicola and Dominic Delemere

Thankfully, flight supervisor Carol Miller was there. The woman described as "Alfie's angel" used a drinking straw to clear the boy's lungs, before carrying out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and heart massage for half an hour.

She relied on her basic medical training, and a retired nurse and ambulance driver were also there to offer advice. The plane soon arrived at Gatwick Airport and Alfie was taken straight to hospital.

He was not out of danger yet, however. Doctors told Mrs Delemere, 31, and her husband Dominic, 28, that the boy, their first child, might have gone too long without oxygen.

Even when his condition began to improve after a few days, there were still fears that he could have brain damage. And after four weeks in hospital, he caught the bug E.coli.

But against all the odds, Alfie pulled through. He spent six weeks at St George's Hospital in Tooting, and was then transferred to the Newborn Intensive Care Unit at Scunthorpe General Hospital.

Yesterday, four months after the extraordinary mid-air drama, he was at home with his parents in Scunthorpe. Although still requiring oxygen and weighing only 5lb 5oz, his parents expect him to grow up to be a normal, healthy boy.

"I was really scared thinking he wasn't going to make it," said Mrs Delemere.
baby born at 30,000ft on holiday flight
Air hostess Carol Miller has been described as 'Alfie's angel' by his mother, after she took control of his delivery and immediate post-natal care

She had been checked by a doctor before taking the First Choice flight from Manchester to Heraklion on April 17, and had no inkling that Alfie would be premature.

"All the staff on board were shocked but they were brilliant," she said. Mrs Delemere also praised Miss Miller for her quick thinking.

Yesterday, the flight supervisor said: "I'm delighted to learn Alfie is at home. He was born very quickly and at first we weren't sure he was breathing so I just applied my medical training, cleared his lungs gently using a straw and then carried out mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

"We were also lucky to have the support of a retired nurse and ambulance driver on board until paramedics arrived."

Captain Peter Thomas, who was flying the plane, said: "The whole crew showed exemplary professionalism and our passengers gave us their full support through an emotional time."

Mr Delemere, a steel worker, said he and his wife were delighted Alfie was recovering well.

"I would like to thank everyone involved for supporting us in the air and on the ground. We can't begin to thank Carol enough for saving Alfie's life. We are really happy he is home."

The couple have no immediate plans to return to Crete but the airline has promised all three of them a free trip to Cuba once Alfie can fly.

Like most airlines, First Choice Airways allows expectant mothers to fly up to 28 weeks into the pregnancy. At 28-34 weeks the company requires prior notification, a medical certificate of fitness to fly and the stage of pregnancy for the homeward journey.

7) Born at the London Subway Station
Born at the London Subway Station
A Polish woman has become only the second person to give birth on London's Underground rail network in its 146-year history.

Tube officials have confirmed that Julia Kowalska gave birth at a Jubilee Line Underground station on December 19.

She was travelling on the tube with her sister when her contractions started and got off at Kingsbury in northwest London.

An ambulance was called after she requested assistance but she was too far in to her labour to be transferred to hospital.

Half an hour later, Ms Kowalska gave birth to a healthy baby girl in the station supervisor's office, assisted by the ambulance crew.

She was taken to the nearby Northwick Park Hospital and was discharged after four days, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Brent Council, the local authority, said social workers were in contact with the woman, who was reported to be homeless.

The only other birth recorded on the 275-station underground network happened in 1924 when Marie Cordery was born at Elephant & Castle, operator Transport for London said.

8) Baby Born Breach On A Shrimp Boat
Baby Born Breach On A Shrimp Boat
The baby boy came out breach (feet first) and had the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, but Kiesel managed to deliver him. The only problem was the baby wasn't breathing.

"The biggest risk for the baby is making sure that in the first few minutes of life is that we can clear the secretions and making sure it can breathe on its on own," said Moore, author of Women's Health for Life.

Kiesel tried to clear the baby's nose, rub its back and after 25 minutes of CPR, the baby boy breathed on his own.

"I was so happy and relieved," Cindy Preisel told the AP. "It's hard to put into words."

Moore said such a story is an example of the very real dangers of childbirth.

"A lot of people think, well, women have been delivering babies for centuries on their own, long before there were doctors and trained midwifes," said Moore. "But maternal and newborn deaths were also at a much higher percentage."

9) Born on his mother's front lawn
Born on his mother's front lawn
Not many toddlers celebrate their first birthday on the very spot where they were born.

On Wednesday, Mary Clare Higgins' chubby little legs scampered across her birthplace – her family's front lawn – to dig into a slice of strawberry cake.

"Every time we're out here playing, I have those memories of lying flat on my back on the lawn with the neighbors thinking I picked this place to deliver my baby," mom Jessica Higgins, 37, said. "That wasn't the case. Mary Clare decided to come 6 ½ weeks early, and she's been on the move ever since."

Higgins and her husband, Jeff, 41, gained nationwide attention when their baby girl arrived on Aug. 12 minutes after Jessica and her sleeping son, Blaine, arrived home from the Brea Mall.

"I was on hold with the doctor's office when the baby started coming while I was in the car," Higgins said. "As soon as I knew it was time, I called paramedics and my husband, but Mary Clare was already out when everyone arrived."

Fullerton police Officer Manny Ramos was the first to arrive on the scene. He later said Higgins was standing in the driveway rocking the newborn, who was still attached to the placenta. Blaine remained asleep in the car.

"I didn't get to say it at the time, but I was so proud of the way Jessica handled the situation," Jeff Higgins, a salesman, said Wednesday. She couldn't have made me more proud; not many women could have done the same thing."

Despite her "preemie" entrance into the world, Mary Clare is now 27 pounds and growing. She toddled up the sidewalk with her dolly and baby stroller, and played ball with her brother, Blaine, 3.

And when the slice of birthday cake arrived, she quickly grabbed the numeral "1" candle, preferring the solid object to gooey frosting.

"This isn't the first time someone in our family was born at home," Jessica Higgins said. "My mother and uncle were born on the farm in Paoli, Ind.

"I guess we're carrying on a tradition," she added.
Born on his mother's front lawn

Born on his mother's front lawn

Born on his mother's front lawn

Born on his mother's front lawn

Born on his mother's front lawn

10) Baby born in hospital elevator
Baby born in hospital elevator
Heather and Rob Simola describe the chaos of delivering their son Ashton in an elevator Monday at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center. Ashton joins big brother Colby, 2

Despite his parents' plans and doctor's prediction, Ashton Lee Simola's arrival in this world began in a hospital elevator Monday with his mother shouting at his father, “He's here! Catch him!”

Heather and Rob Simola were laughing Tuesday as Rob held his 6 pound, 1 ounce healthy baby.

But less than 24 hours earlier, the couple experienced what Rob called the most traumatic event of his life when Heather gave birth to Ashton in the B Elevator at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center.

Heather, two weeks shy of her due date for their second child, had stopped at her husband's job at United Rentals to bring him lunch Monday. As they sat eating in the car together, Heather started having contractions about six minutes apart.

On the way to her doctor's office, the contractions became three minutes apart.

Rob said he raced to the hospital down Arrowhead Drive with his hazards on and Heather wailing next to him.

Traffic at Arrowhead and Highway 395 was thick. Rob drove into the right turn lane next to a JAC bus going straight. He pantomimed to the driver that his wife was pregnant and he wanted to get in front.

Whether it was Rob's excellent hand signals or the obvious look of terror on his face, the bus driver got the picture and let him in.

Rob didn't slow down on Medical Parkway, nor did he bother with parking. Panicked, he stopped in front of the hospital doors and hurried his wife inside.

A nurse at the front gave him a wheelchair.

“And I just took off,” he said. “I was running as fast as I possibly could.”

The elevator to the obstetrics department was some 100 yards down the hall. Rob sped past the reception desk, past the coffee kiosk, and past waiting patients.

“I was hoping he would run faster,” said Heather.

When the doors to the elevator slid open, there sat Heather screaming in pain and a crazed Rob behind her.

“There were three kids in the elevator and I just pushed her in and yelled, ‘Get out,'” Rob recalled.

The trio obliged and Rob hit the button for the third floor.

But the elevator stopped on the second floor.

A woman walked on, saw the spectacle and said, “Oh my God!” She ran away, Rob said.

Then Heather began pulling her pants off.

Somewhere between floors two and three, Heather screamed. Ashton could wait no longer.

“She said catch him so I caught him,” said Rob.

The umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck. Rob said he tried to unravel it but couldn't and the elevator was coming to a stop.

Rob handed the baby off to Heather, and with the child only partly born, she held the cord off his throat as Rob shoved her off the elevator and into the lobby.

Three nurses were waiting for him. They'd gotten three phone calls in the time the couple had raced against fate.

Even before they made it into a room, the tiny baby with the coal black hair was nearly all the way out. Nurses quickly cut the umbilical chord, and Ashton let out a wail.

“It was heaven,” said Rob.

Heather said she wanted to apologize to anyone they may have offended and she wanted to thank the JAC driver who let them cut in front of the line, saving them two minutes.

“If we didn't have a name already picked out,” she said with a smile, “we might have named him Jack.”

11) First ever boy to be born on Tube
First ever boy to be born on Tube
Team effort: (l-r) Nurse Georgina Willis and mother Michelle Jenkins with her minutes-old son

A mother has given birth to the first ever boy born on the London Underground.

Michelle Jenkins realised she was going into labour while travelling on the Jubilee line and got off at London Bridge station to seek help.

Tube workers, including customer services assistant Dorothy Ogundipe, ushered her into a staff room and used the station's PA system to track down three doctors while they waited for an ambulance.

But the 32-year-old's son arrived before it did, becoming only the third baby to be born on the Tube.

Ms Jenkins and her as yet un-named healthy newborn were taken to hospital shortly after the birth at 2pm on Tuesday.

12) Births at Sesame Street Theme Park
Births at Sesame Street Theme Park
What child doesn't want to go to Sesame Street, perhaps even say they're from there? While the famous Sesame Street is fictional, parents can take kids to Busch Garden's Sesame Place in Pennsylvania -- and at least two mothers have had children there.

The latest birth among the fuzzy Muppet characters happened in a bathroom stall last July. Mother Takia Mann felt cramps and headed to the bathroom to be surprised at what came out.

"It happened so fast. I didn't have pain, just shock," Mann told Sesame Place employees.

A woman in a nearby stall asked Takia if she was all right, and Takia opened the door with her brand new 5-pound, 11-ounce baby in her arms, according to a press release issued by Sesame Place.

"We sent Elmo and Abby Cadabby to visit the mother and child at St. Mary's Medical Center at Longhorn," said Paula Pritchard, director of communications for Sesame Place. "Actually, this is the second baby born at Sesame Place. A little boy was born 10 years prior."

Jayda, the baby girl, turned out fine and the Manns received season passes for 2009 as a gift.

13) Crowded Interstates Collect Three Gridlock Births in One Month
Crowded Interstates Collect Three Gridlock Births in One Month
The next time you curse morning rush hour traffic, think of the three women who gave birth on the jammed Interstate 5 in Seattle during one month in 2007.

First Ian Miller was born in a car parked on the shoulder on Jan 5, then on Jan. 29 Juliet Kirkman was born in a moving car. The next day, Alexa Rodriquez was born in front of a state trooper on an off ramp.

State troopers told the AP that they were trained to handle deliveries, but preferred not to have to do so.

"It's part of our basic curriculum at the academy," said state patrol spokesman Jeff Merrill. "You secretly hope you don't have to use it in the field."

Lu said in cases like these, it's best to call for help rather than continue driving.

"In those situations it's wise to play on the safe side -- if it looks like you're not going to make it to the hospital, call the ambulance because they can get to you a lot faster than you can get to the hospital," said Lu.

"The call for help is probably the most important thing, the other thing that's important to do is to protect the mom," Lu said.

Lu said that often in a precipitous birth, the baby is coming out so fast that it can do damage to the mother. Lu recommends for those at the birth to gently place a hand on the baby's head and to guide its speed as it comes out.

14) Mom Gives Birth in Royal Park in London
Mom Gives Birth in Royal Park in London
The Richmond Park in London is full of history, both royal and common. Though it once counted among its residents King Charles I and his court as protection from the plague in 1625, today it's home to mostly deer and beetles.

One October day in 2006 Carmel and Fredrik Ohrwall were on their way to the hospital when Carmel asked her husband to pull over, into the park, according to reporting by The Sun. Fortunately, some fast-thinking tree surgeons happened to be nearby.

Four pushes later and her baby was out.

Even in that situation, Moore said the best thing a bystander could do is to call for help.

"Even a doctor in a park, the most important thing they can do is calling an ambulance," said Moore. "Even if an ob-gyn happens to be walking in the park, he isn't going to have something to clean the baby, to suction the baby, to tie off an umbilical cord."

After the baby comes, Moore said it's important not to assume the mother and child don't need to go to the hospital.

"Even if they look fine, even if the baby is cooing and nursing and everything looks fine, it's very important to get them checked out," she said.


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