To be clear, I do not actually think something as awesome, natural, and life-changing as giving birth to another human being could ever really be “messed up.”
This, however, is not to say that some rather surprising scenarios might just (or in some cases absolutely will…) arise when that big day – that day of labor and delivery – comes.
Like, draw a card from the deck and see what you get: It’s a natural process, so stuff isn’t always going to go down just like you think it will, or like you may hope that it does.
Don’t worry, mamas, papas, and other curious readers. It’ll happen the way it happens, and highly trained medical staff will be there to make sure it ends okay.
And so that some of this stuff is a little less mysterious and surprising, check out 20 messed up delivery situations doctors won’t warn you about.
20 Unwanted Visitors Barging In
I think many would be surprised to learn how many people they know who have a relative or someone else in their life who they would really not want to see or be seen by when they were trying to cope with contractions and push out a baby. Modern hospitals are pretty careful about only allowing in those you want there – but I’d put it in your birth plan if there’s someone specific who you don’t want visiting during or after.
19 Emergency C-Sections After Hours Of Labor
Sometimes women labor naturally (or with the use of pain-relieving interventions such as epidurals) for hours and hours and it’s just not gonna happen. Things aren’t progressing. The baby isn’t coming out. Or maybe it’s decided that it’s safer for mom, baby, or both if the baby is brought into the world more quickly through a C-section. This can be a big (and disappointing) deal to moms.
18 Forceps For A Forceful Exit
Some babies slide out quite quickly after that little fuzzy head has started to emerge. Others? Well, let’s just say that they can sometimes need a little help. “In a forceps delivery, a health care provider applies forceps — an instrument shaped like a pair of large spoons or salad tongs — to the baby's head to help guide the baby out of the birth canal,” says Mayo Clinic.
17 Vacuum Extraction – Yes, It’s What You Think It Is
I had no idea at all that this was a thing until it happened to one of my friends. Similarly to the above scenario (birth assisted by forceps), suction is also sometimes used to help get that baby out of there. It’s when the doctor uses “a soft or rigid cup with a handle and a vacuum pump — to the baby's head to help guide the baby out of the birth canal. This is typically done during a contraction while the mother pushes,” says Mayo Clinic.
16 When Cord Wraps Around Neck
It’s not an ideal situation, but it’s not an uncommon one, either. The umbilical cord that has connected mother to baby during pregnancy can have a way of wrapping, twisting, and turning, potentially resulting in a situation that is of course not ideal for the baby in need of making that grand exit.
15 When Poo Is All Up In The Amniotic Fluid
Meconium is the early waste that newborns must pass, and in some cases, it’s found to be in the amniotic fluid – and in some cases it’s breathed in, causing some complications down the road. Infection following this aspiration is something commonly dealt with and treated in hospitals. The Merck Manuals say trouble breathing is the symptom of the syndrome.
14 When Baby Is Born In The Amniotic Sac
Sometimes, a woman’s water breaks quite earlier on in labor, or even what seems like at the very start, just like on TV (though often trickling rather than gushing out dramatically all at once). Sometimes, though, there is a “bulging bag” that stays intact even through some of the pushing. If it stays intact through all of it, the baby is born “en-caul”— actually within the sac.
13 How Common It Is For It To Be Coming Out Both Ends During Labor
It’s not just the pain of contractions that can be a pain in the rear during labor. Oh, no. It’s also that you might just find yourself hurrying to the toilet to urgently let something out of one end or the other. Staying hydrated (which is SO important during labor) can become challenging, which is part of why many women get hooked up to IVs.
12 When Your Man Passes Out
It’s common enough that they warned about it in the childbirth class we took at the local hospital, and I believe is discussed in many a birthing book I’ve read, as well: If Daddy feels faint, he should sit down immediately and not ignore it. Otherwise, he could hurt himself by passing out on the floor.
11 Leaking All The Way To The Delivery Room
So, it might not be a bad idea to have an adult diaper or very large and very absorbent sanitary pad, I guess, for cases in which the water breaks before you’re at the hospital. Otherwise, getting there without leaving a trail behind you as you go can be tricky.
10 Not Being Able To Feel Contractions After The Epidural
So many women are quite ready to accept an epidural during labor to take away those sensations of pain during contractions. However, inexperienced moms probably don’t consider just what this does to you. You may not even be able to feel the contractions at all, thus making it very hard to effectively push when the time comes.
9 When Labor Totally Stalls
Sometimes, things are progressing, you’re excited to meet your baby soon – and then everything sort of comes to a halt. When women arrive at the hospital can tend to be a time that labor slows or stalls – and it probably has something to do with the fact that mammals like to give birth in dark, safe, secure places where they don’t feel watched.
8 When More Pops Out Than A Baby, From The Butt
There is a lot of pushing, clearly, that happens during childbirth. It is probably not going to be possible to focus this pushing energy just on the birth canal. And so, yes, women really do go poop while giving birth to babies. They probably don’t even realize in many cases.
7 When Some Of What Pops Out Remains For Weeks
So, back to that whole pushing thing… There is a lot of exertion during the pushing phase, and quite commonly a vessel sort of pops out from the backside. Johns Hopkins Medicine says, “Many women get hemorrhoids during pregnancy and childbirth. The pressure of carrying a baby in your belly puts extra stress on the blood vessels in your pelvic area. Straining to push the baby out when giving birth also puts extra pressure on these blood vessels.”
6 That You Never Even Met The Dude
Another sort of sitcom scenario is that the laboring woman gets pissed when she finds out her OB is out of town when she needs him to be there for the delivery, meaning her baby is delivered instead by someone she doesn’t know at all. Actually, this is quite common – many clinic/offices have a team of doctors, assistants, and midwives who take turns being the one around to deliver babies that night or day.
5 “Disagreements” With Nurses Mean So Much Awkwardness
Nothing against nurses – but I will say that many of them work long or even multiple shifts and are very, very tired. They are also doing work that can be quite challenging and stressful – physically exhausting, even. Mothers and nurses can certainly clash, and they do, and it makes it no fun to be stuck in that room together, during such a trying time. Maybe try requesting a new one?
4 When The Placenta Pops With A, Well, Flourish
The placenta: It doesn’t always come out in one piece. Or sometimes it does, but then it might snag on something, a stirrup at the bottom of the birthing bed or medical instrument or something, and this leads to, well, a messy situation. I will not describe it in detail here.
3 The Tear From Here To There
There are various degrees of tearing – when the tissues naturally separate during the birthing process, as the baby passes through. The perineum is the prime place to undergo this tearing, although tears can certainly extend farther in one direction or another, sometimes completely through to the backside. Being stitched up is common.
2 And You Can Sorta Feel The Stitches
After said tears (which many, many women experience, often not very severe ones, though) occur, the doc will usually quickly stitch up the tissue in question. Although the area will be numbed, it doesn’t mean that women won’t be able to feel that something is happening; perhaps it will be a slight pulling or tugging sensation.
1 When It’s Not What You Thought It Was
Some people – okay, a lot of people – still buy pink stuff, fairy princess décor, and all things cutesy-wootsy when they are told they’ll be having a baby girl, or blue stuff and things in sports or dinosaur themes for a boy. At the least, folks often tell friends and family whether a son or a daughter is on the way. But what if they got it wrong? Mommyish says that this only happens approximately 2 percent of the time – but that’s not zero!
Sources: MayoClinic.org, MerckManuals.com, Mommyish