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Mom Drops Pants and Gives Birth on the Sidewalk

By ceridwen |

The entrance  to the hospital was within sight but the baby was coming. Now.

So, Elissa Simonson, of Minnesota, pulled down her pants and gave birth right there on the sidewalk.

Her husband, Josh Simonson, ran to get help. But by the time he got back with doctors (seconds apparently), Elissa was already holding her daughter to her chest. “I just couldn’t believe my eyes… she seemed to be healthy and she was making little cooing noises,” Josh said.

Mother and baby girl, McKenna Rose, are both doing fine and checked out of the hospital on Wednesday. This is her third child.

In an interview Josh said, “Elissa grabbed me and told me that she had to push and that she couldn’t go any further. I kind of thought that I could still get her in the building, but at that point, she started unbuckling her pants.”

This happens from time to time. I’ve seen two videos of unplanned unassisted births in the past couple of weeks: Here’s a provocative video of a woman giving birth alone while waiting for her midwife and husband, and here’s some footage of a recent taxi cab birth in NYC taken by an Occupy Wall Street videographer.

I actually found it reassuring to hear stories of births happening en route to the hospital when I was first pregnant. I know it sounds nuts, but I guess it reassured me to know that birth can work… in a cab, on a sidewalk, whatever. Ever notice how these stories always have happy endings?  Mom gives birth on subway and the baby is… fine! I know it’s not ideal. But when it happens this way, that’s usually a sign that labor is working well. And moms do rise to the occasion and have strong instincts about what to do. (Also this is more likely in a subsequent birth and mom has some experience by then.)

My husband, on the other hand, was always petrified by these scenarios, and to this day will look back at our safe, uneventful, fully assisted births and wonder, “what if… ” we’d been all alone?



Photo credit: Jon Ovington/Flickr

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About ceridwen



Ceridwen Morris is a writer, mother, and certified childbirth educator. She is the author of several books and screenplays, including (Three Rivers; 2007). She serves on the board of The Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York and teaches at Tribeca Parenting in New York City. Read bio and latest posts → Read Ceridwen's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “Mom Drops Pants and Gives Birth on the Sidewalk

  1. Hollie says:

    If you are into the medication-free birth, this sounds like the way to do it! Then you can walk into the hospital and everyone gets checked out without being billed for L&D, ha ha :)

    1. Liz says:

      This is true – I gave birth in the car en route to the hospital and there was no delivery fee on our bill!

  2. Amy says:

    I actually gave birth in the parking lot/ front entrance of an urgent care facility that would not let me in because “they don’t deliver babies”. Yes thank goodness me and my bouncing baby boy (almost off the sidewalk) are doing just wonderfully. But it’s disappointing to see health care professionals simply turn the other cheek. Sad to say the least!!

  3. Audra says:

    Who has maternity pants that need to be unbuckled? Ha.

  4. stephanie tellas says:

    love your guys comments :) ,

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