Pregnancy and childbirth can be an unpredictable business and OB/GYNs happen to have prime front row seats. Oftentimes, they are first to bear witness to the miraculous and interesting, as well as the oddest and most bizarre birthing situations ever to unfold.
For all intents and purposes, these doctors are professionals. Generally, they are relied upon for their expertise and their split-second decision-making as well as their calm and cool when expectant parents may not be at their calmest or coolest. But in the end, they are only human after all and can be just as caught off guard as the rest of us.
Take #14 for instance. This particular story has so many unusual and wondrous facets to it, that the doctor in charge must have realized what an extraordinary situation he was involved in. Or #11 - when faced with the strange and unusual, the doctor did what any ordinary citizen would do. He turned to Google to gain a better understanding of what he was dealing with.
As readers will note - some of these stories are outrageous; others are heartbreaking; some are light-hearted; others not so much; some even border on the miraculous - yet all are true. And while the OB/GYNs involved were regaled with an up close and personal view of these goings-on, thanks to this list now readers can partake in some of the shock as well. Sit back and enjoy 17 times an OB/GYN has said WTF!
17 Where My Baby At?
In June of 2015, English woman Amber Hughes was in labor with her fourth child. She figured since her first three were born uneventfully that her fourth would follow suit. But she was mistaken. She went into labor at the 30-week mark and endured contractions for the next 36 hours before her doctor opted to prepare her for an emergency C-section.
However, when the doctor sliced her open there was a moment of baffled silence. Amber saw the shocked expression on her partner’s face as well as the panic on the doctor’s. Her womb was empty - as in: there was NO BABY in there!
Suddenly, the missing baby let out a cry and the relieved doctor located the newborn laying under the bed sheets between Amber’s legs. At first, Amber was under the impression that the drug cocktail administered to her had caused her to hallucinate the entire upsetting incident.
Thankfully, Baby Olly was fine and Amber and her family have since put the chaotic birth experience behind them. That said, Amber is still upset by the fact that not only was she cut open unnecessarily but that Olly spent the first few minutes of his life unattended and alone hidden beneath a sheet.
16 A 60-Year-Old Mystery
This next story is just as amazing as it is heartbreaking. Chilean woman Estela Melendez, 91, underwent an x-ray after suffering a fall. It was then that doctors made the surprising discovery that the uncomfortable lump she had harbored in her abdomen for most of her adult life was a calcified fetus in her uterus. It had been there for the last 60 years!
Estela had lost her husband of 74 years earlier that year. One of their biggest regrets had been that they could never have children. According to the grieving widow, both her marriage as well as her life in general had suffered due to this infertility.
Her extended family were both shocked and saddened by this discovery. Not to mention astounded at the fact that the miscarried fetus had never been expelled from Estela’s body or caused her any serious health concerns.
After careful consideration, doctors decided that surgery to remove the baby was risky due to Estela’s advanced age so they left well enough alone. Estela described the uncomfortable lump on her stomach as a bitter sweet reminder of her late husband and their “unfulfilled dream” of starting a family of their own.
15 Tater Tots
In 2014, doctors were taken aback after discovering a potato growing inside a 22-year old Colombian woman's vagina. She was initially hospitalized due to severe abdominal pain. But when the attending nurse spotted the potato and its roots peeking out, she figured she was part of an elaborate practical joke.
When questioned, the young woman admitted to inserting the potato there herself as a means of contraception. Because potatoes thrive in the dark, it only took two weeks for the veggie to germinate and sprout roots. That was when the pain started. Luckily, the troublesome tater was easily removed and the woman did not suffer any lasting effects.
She pointed the blame at her mother - who had apparently planted this faulty idea in her head in the first place. No word on whether the woman’s mother had been serious with the advice or just pulling her extremely naive daughter’s leg.
14 And Then There Were 11
She may have needed a boost to get pregnant - but 42-year-old Indiana woman Maria Hernandes took over from there. Thanks to IVF, she and her husband managed to conceive 11 twin sons - and it was pretty much smooth sailing from that point on.
Once readers have wrapped their head around the fact that there were 11 babies in there - deal with this: Maria was able to carry them to 38 weeks’ gestation (another rarity in terms of multiples) and endured only two hours of labor before giving birth to them all without benefit of a C-section. Yes - you read that right! She birthed those suckers one after the other - all 11 of them - out the vajayjay!
In the end, the Hernandes family was 11 larger and over the moon. Maria’s OB/GYN, Dr. William Roberts, was - to put it mildly - in shock. “They literally came out one after another. From the time the first baby came out, and the 11th baby was born, it was only 17 minutes.”
Hospital staff even went so far as to reach out to the Guinness Book of World Records in the hopes that Maria and her extensive new brood would be included in the upcoming edition.
13 Bungee Jumping Baby
Most of us have heard the term “bouncing baby boy” but what about a “bungee-cord baby”? Probably not so much. Yet this was the term light-heartedly used to refer to an unexpected baby born in a Virginia hospital.
As the mom-to-be was wheeled into the maternity ward in a wheelchair, she stood up and the baby slipped right out of her body and was left dangling by the umbilical cord. Incredulous yet quick-witted staff reacted with lightning speed - grabbing the swinging bundle, cutting the cord and ensuring both mother and baby were okay. They were. Talk about a quick and easy delivery!
A similar birthing story took place in Jamaica in 2016 but for obvious reasons wasn’t as whimsical a situation. The hospital in question referred to it as an “unfortunate situation” which pretty much says it all - because they were at fault. After denying a laboring woman entry into the hospital, the baby slipped out as the mother stood on the sidewalk out front. Thankfully, both mother and baby were fine.
12 Malignant Twins
In 2016, Australian mother Tina Breen was told by doctors that a potentially cancerous tumor or bowel blockage was the cause of her recent health issues. The normally healthy 39-year-old had been suffering from severe nausea, fatigue, headaches, weight gain and kidney and liver trouble. Her stomach also happened to be hard and bloated.
Having four children already, Tina knew the signs and took a pregnancy test only to have it come back negative. Worried, she sought out a medical opinion but after running a battery of tests on her the doctor remained stumped. That’s when he began to speculate about a more serious diagnosis.
Tina begged for another round of tests including an ultrasound. And when the scan results returned, it was confirmed that she was pregnant - and already 24 weeks along. Twelve weeks later, Tina gave birth to healthy twins Arabella and Caleb.
11 Knocked Up...Again
In 2016, Australian couple Kate and Peter Hill defied all odds when they somehow managed to conceive two daughters 10 days apart. After initially becoming pregnant, Kate became pregnant a second time 10 days later! When Kate’s doctor realized what had occurred - he actually had to rely on Google for more information as he had only heard about this phenomenon in passing.
Known as superfetation, the condition has been well-documented in the animal kingdom in species like badgers, buffalo and panthers but there are only 10 reported human cases in the world. It occurs when a woman continues to ovulate even after becoming pregnant and a second fertilized embryo implants itself into the womb’s lining. This particular condition is suspected when two babies in utero appear to be in varying stages of development. However, it can only be confirmed after birth by conducting chromosomal and metabolic tests on the babies.
Initially, the Hill girls were given two different due dates (10 days apart) but both ended up being born together via C-section.
10 Oops - Our Bad
Jennifer Cramblett and her partner were geared up to welcome a new baby into the fold of their lives - but a misread number changed the course of their destiny. A sperm bank employee mistook a #8 for a #3 and as a result, the Ohio woman was impregnated with sperm from donor #330 (an African American man) as opposed to #380 (a carefully chosen donor, hand picked by Jennifer and her partner).
Jennifer was not even made aware of the disastrous mix-up until she was already five months along. At this point in time, the sperm bank apologized for the error and refunded a portion of her costs. Yet Jennifer wanted the sperm bank to be held accountable for the error so she sued them for pain, suffering and future medical costs. For whatever reason the judge assigned to the case sided with the sperm bank and threw the case out of court.
In 2013, Jennifer gave birth to Payton, a healthy baby girl. And while she admitted she had not initially been prepared for a transracial parenting situation, she was also extremely happy to have a healthy child.
9 Tiny Little Wonder
Within minutes of giving birth to her son Aaron in 2013, Scottish mother Emma Murray was told the heartbreaking news that her baby would not survive the day. He was born with a devastating condition called holoprosencephaly which meant that while he had a brain stem allowing him to breathe and move - the rest of his brain was missing.
Doctors advised Emma to have her family gather as soon as possible to meet Aaron and say their goodbyes. But little Aaron had another idea - and it proved to be a miraculous inspiration to everyone who knew him. He didn’t die - he proved the doctors wrong by continuing to live and even thrive. Two years later he said his first word “mummy” and he was also able to clap his hands and giggle when tickled.
While most babies born with the condition succumb quickly, there is one other similar miracle on record. In 2001, another baby boy was born with holoprosencephaly. He reached the age of 12 before dying peacefully surrounded by his family.
8 Kicking Baby Out
It was 2016 when Dr. Pierre-Emmanuel Bout, a French OB/GYN, got the shock of a lifetime. His patient - a 33-year-old expectant mother who was 22 weeks pregnant at the time - came in for a routine ultrasound. It was during this scan that the doctor discovered the baby’s feet were actually hanging outside of her uterus!
Before any preggos start to panic - know that this is an extremely bizarre situation borne from a set of rare circumstances. In fact, there are only 26 cases like this ever recorded. The pregnant woman had developed a one-inch tear in her uterine wall and then a portion of the amniotic sac pushed through. So rest assured - it’s not like this future soccer player kicked their way out of the womb!
Because the expectant mother had birthed five children previously - all via C-section, Dr. Bout believed this lead to an increased risk of suffering a uterine tear in the first place. Once this anomaly was discovered, the woman underwent careful monitoring followed by prescribed bed rest. As a result, a healthy baby boy was delivered by C-section at 30 weeks.
7 Black And White
Twins can be a misleading word thanks to the way the meaning has been twisted over the years to mean identical. But as most of us already know - twins don’t always look alike. In fact, some fraternal twins are polar opposites in looks, personality, even gender. So from a genetic viewpoint, it only makes sense that fraternal twins can vary in terms of race as well.
And that’s exactly what happened in Illinois in April of 2016. Twin sisters Kalani and Jarani Dean were born - proving how wonderfully mixed-up a gene pool can be. Kalani is fair-skinned with blue eyes taking after their caucasian mother. While Jarani has dark skin and brown eyes like their African-American father.
The girls’ mother, Whitney Meyer claims her differing twins serve as a beautiful symbol against racism. “They’re the same girl, just different colors,” she said. This may be true - but it still came somewhat as a surprise to both Whitney, her boyfriend and the OB/GYN when the girls were born.
6 A Quintuplet Sensation
Picture this: an expectant mother suspects she’s carrying twins yet when it comes time to give birth it turns out there are five in total. Did we mention it was 1934? In rural Ontario, the Dionne quintuplets were born on May 28, 1934 and became a worldwide sensation. Only two previous cases of quintuplets being born were on record at this time - and the Dionne sisters were the first to survive beyond a few days.
Dr. Allan Roy Dafoe birthed the girls with the help of several midwives and is credited for their survival. Since quintuplets weren’t even on anyone’s radar - we would’ve loved to see the expression on his face as the babies kept coming! Annette, Emilie, Yvonne, Cecile and Marie Dionne were identical which meant they all came from a single egg. And it was also believed there was a sixth baby that had been miscarried early in the pregnancy.
The Dionne quints quickly became Canada’s biggest tourist attraction as more than three million people travelled to “Quintland” where they paid money simply to watch the babies at play. All five sisters survived into adulthood and currently three are still alive.
5 MoMo Twins Activate
After three years of trying, Canadian woman Lisa Hansen was overjoyed to discover she was finally pregnant. Her joy doubled when she learned she was carrying twins. Meanwhile, her doctors were stunned to discover that the twins were monoamniotic-monochorionic (often known as MoMo twins). This occurs in only one percent of identical twins and refers to babies who share one amniotic sac and placenta.
While definitely rare to happen, the condition is also considered life-threatening as there is no protective buffer between the babies and they only share one blood source. Also, because of their cramped quarters, MoMo twins run the risk of several unique complications including cord entanglement as well as organ defects. As a result, Lisa and her husband were given the option to abort which they turned down.
At the five-month mark, it was noticed the babies’ umbilical cords had entwined into one thick braid. Careful monitoring ensued and Lisa was able to hold off on becoming a mother until the babies reached the 32-week mark. Baby girls River and Piper were born relatively healthy and only required another 14 weeks in hospital before being discharged.
4 Precious Pearl
Australian couple Chloe and Rohan Dunstan had three boys at home but desperately hoped to add a little girl to the masculine mix. In 2015, they happily became pregnant and were shocked to learn that Chloe was carrying triplets (with no help from fertility treatments). They received more joyous news - there were two more boys on board as well as a precious little girl.
It all came crashing down when part way through the pregnancy, doctors informed the Dunstans that their little girl was being deprived of oxygen and nutrients. Their two choices were equally devastating - move forward with the pregnancy in order to give the boys the best chance at survival but lose their daughter - or take the risk of delivering all three babies at the 28-week mark.
After agonizing over the decision, Chloe and Rohan chose the latter and welcomed Henry, Rufus and Pearl in July of 2015. While all three babies struggled at first, Pearl was hit hardest as she suffered from several potentially serious complications. Currently, the triplets are all doing well health-wise though Pearl remains smaller than her brothers.
3 Congratulations - It's A Soccer Ball!
It was 2015 when Louise Bryant knew in her heart of hearts that something was very wrong. She was suffering from severe stomach pain as well as bleeding in between her periods. In order to rule it out, she took a pregnancy test which came back negative. Louise then sought medical help but her doctor chalked her symptoms up to pregnancy - and even after undergoing seven more pregnancy tests (which all came back negative), he remained perplexed and uncertain about the cause of her discomfort.
As time passed and still no official diagnosis was made, Louise’s symptoms worsened. She was now experiencing back pain, appetite loss and having trouble standing. The doctor finally had the bright idea to examine her via ultrasound (three months after experiencing her initial symptoms!) Lo and behold, they found a soccer ball-sized tumor attached to her ovary which had spread to her fallopian tube.
Louise underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumor, ovary and fallopian tube. Fortunately, doctors believe it will not affect her future fertility as she and her husband plan on starting a family in the near future.
2 Baby Nuptials
While it’s generally agreed upon that OB/GYNs are instrumental in helping families expand, performing wedding duties while at work are probably not at the top of their daily “to-do” lists. Yet that’s exactly what happened to a doctor in Texas on Valentine’s Day.
A couple dressed to the nines arrived at the hospital and it was clear the woman was in labor. They had been on their way to get married when the baby decided to crash the party. The expectant mother was a tad disappointed as she had hoped to make the marriage official before the rugrat’s arrival.
The attending nurse took control of the situation - both the delivery as well as the pending nuptials. She confirmed the betrothed couple had their marriage license on hand and then called for the hospital chaplain. Once he arrived on scene, the nurse was nominated as maid of honor and the doctor as best man and the wedding took place without a hitch. Ten minutes later a healthy baby girl arrived - a perfectly timed wedding gift.
1 Seeing Triple
Doctors described the situation faced by expectant mother Amber Morgan in 2016 as “one in a million”. The Nebraska woman became spontaneously pregnant with triplets - that means without any fertility help - and all three of them were identical. This occurs when one embryo splits into two and then one of these splits again.
Amber’s doctors at the Methodist Women’s Hospital had never seen anything like this before. Because nobody had paved the way for the handling of this particular type of high-risk pregnancy before (officially referred to as monochorionic-diamnotic), doctors trusted their judgment and figured it out as they went along.
Once Amber reached the 26-week mark, she was placed on hospital bed rest. At 29 weeks, she underwent an emergency C-section and gave birth to Sharlet, Sydnea and Savana. At just over two pounds each, the three sisters were required to spend a further 68 days in hospital before being deemed fit enough to go home.
Sources: LiveScience.com, LittleThings.com, Cosmopolitan.com, WashingtonPost.com, RedBookMag.com, CNN.com, TechTimes.com, GoodHouseKeeping.com, SFGlobe.com, UsMagazine.com, Parents.com, JamaicaObserver.com, TheCanadianEncyclopedia.ca, Today.com, Now8News.com