I've only been in labor twice, but neither time was what I would call " a walk in the park". Giving birth is incredibly difficult - physically taxing and emotionally intense, with real life-altering risks. So when a mom in labor asks for something, most birth partners and care team will do whatever they can to get that mom what she wants. But sometimes, those requests are just too weird! Nurses, midwives, OBs, and doulas share these ridiculous demands from the delivery room. Can you imagine being so extra that you try to sneak in your dog as an emotional support animal? Well, these moms are THAT extra.
But You Aren't Supposed To Have Water During Labor
A mom who was in labor with her second child insisted on holding her screaming 15-month-old throughout the delivery. Then, when it was time to push, she refused to do it unless we gave her a drink of water during delivery -- something laboring moms are not supposed to have. So she used one sip as a negotiating tool for each push. - U., Nurse
She Asked For The Baby Daddy And Her Husband
“One of the most memorable situations was when a patient came in with a boyfriend, a father of the baby, and a husband. We had to keep them all straight! They weren’t allowed to be in the room together, so it wasn’t always clear who we should let in when. The patient got along with all three of them, but she tried to keep them separate. I don’t know how she managed it!” — Labor & Delivery Nurse
Mom Needed Her Video Games For Labor
“A woman came into L&D thinking she was in labor. It was her third baby and on examination it was determined that she was in very early labor but wasn't even dilated. The mom was determined NOT to go home. She'd had two previous very fast labors and didn't want to take the chance of getting caught on the freeway. She settled in and took out her Nintendo DS and proceeded to play her video game while in labor. We checked on her frequently but it seemed like labor had completely stopped. Two hours later she started shouting for help and moments later her baby was born. She was so focused on Mario Brothers her brain couldn't process pain signals (she used the exact same labor 'technique' with her second baby too). Wish she'd shared that minor detail with the rest of us!” - Tracy, A Midwife
She Needed Some Privacy For Her Pain Relief Technique
“One time we had somebody who tried to have an orgasm every time she started to have a contraction. I was still in orientation at the time and I had no idea what was going on, but apparently that’s a pain-relief technique some people use!” - Shelly, A Nurse
Baby Got Back! And Baby Got Delivered
“I delivered our daughter to the likes of Destiny’s Child, Salt-N-Pepa, Kanye West, Queen and the Ramones. My midwife joked that if Sir Mix-A-Lot’s ‘Baby Got Back’ came on at any point, she might keel over laughing (it did, and she did). My daughter made her grand entrance to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ — fitting, since my husband and I are both Canadian, and our daughter is American!”
She Asked Him To Sing A Duet With Her
One couple started singing a duet of Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound Of Silence" as the baby was being born. You know, the one that starts with, "Hello darkness, my old friend." It was kind of creepy to see a woman singing that song while she was pushing.
Mama Had To Have Milano Cookies
“This wasn’t in my official birth plan, but I packed Milanos for labor in the hospital and told my husband I wanted the cookies next to me the minute the baby was born.”
Teen Mom Asked For Her Cigarettes
One of my patients on that shift was a teen mom. This was her first pregnancy, so her labor was long and slow to progress. I looked up from her chart to see her reaching for her purse. I offered to get it for her so she wasn't leaning so far out of bed. She said, "I just need my cigarettes. I'm going to go take a smoke break." - K., RN
Her Requests Could Have Killed Her Baby
I had one "super crunchy" couple that wanted no meds for baby, no vaccines, no formula, etc. They refused the Vitamin K shot (as is their right, and I don't generally have a problem with that) but then they wanted their infant son to have a routine circumcision. First of all, that seems so counter to what most "crunchy" couples want. And secondly, no vitamin K, no RIC! Sorry, you want your infant to bleed out? They did capitulate on the Vitamin K shot after we explained that our policy was that the peds would not do RIC unless the infant had had a Vitamin K shot. - Labor & Delivery Nurse
She Asked For Help With Her Self-Love
One patient had a birth plan with all sorts of specifics. She requested "clitoral stimulation" from the nurse during her induction. Not gonna happen. - Childbirth Educator
Kudos to the nurses and doctors who kept a straight face when they heard some of these requests! I can't imagine being asked to help a patient have an orgasm, or keep her many lovers from fighting with each other. Take it from someone who has had a few babies: keep it simple! There's nothing wrong with having a birth plan, but there certainly is something wrong with asking to have a smoke break between contractions. Good grief!