Nothing unusual happened to me during pregnancy. And I’m glad for that. I don’t need an exciting story to tell. I just want to survive the pregnancy. Being pregnant is most definitely not my thing. While I’m not so good at being pregnant, I think I am an excellent childbirther. I don’t freak. I go in and git-er-done. So there’s that.
But I’m losing the plot a bit here.
Nonstop hiccups, neverending labor, the “drive-thru delivery” – they are all strange but true pregnancy and childbirth tales of which you are about to read.
Barbara Rowley was inspired to write this article for Parenting.com after she experienced her own bizarre pregnancy. Rowley suffered hiccups, 24/7, for the last five months of her pregnancy. She says she even hiccuped her way through delivery! Can you imagine? Take a deep breath in and push! 1, 2, 3 (HICCUP) 4, 5, 6 (HICCUP!) 7, 8, (HICCUP!) 9, 10.
This could happen to anyone, as Rowley says, “the bizarre and the unbelievable are part and parcel of many women’s pregnancies. And as unique as some of these tales may sound, the medical facts underlying their specifics are usually applicable to all pregnant women.”
As in the case of the hiccups. Doctors told Rowley it was just a case of crazy pregnancy hormones.
The Never Ending Labor
The average active labor can last from 6 to 12 hours for first-time moms and 3 to 6 hours for veterans. And then there’s Jenny Montgomery who was in active labor for 22 hours with her second baby. Oh my! I was in active labor for twenty minutes. I cannot even begin to imagine…
“I went into active labor at nine o’clock on a Monday night, and had only progressed one centimeter to five centimeters — halfway there — by Tuesday evening,” remembers Montgomery. She went into the hospital the next morning, where she was found to be completely dilated — at 10 centimeters — within a half-hour of arriving. After that, nothing happened. So they waited through seven hours and painful contractions before she felt the urge to push. 22 hours plus an extra 7 of painful contractions! Finally, after 45 minutes of pushing, she had a nearly 10 pound baby boy.
The Biggest Babies
Jennifer Shuart makes ’em big, that’s for sure. She has given birth to increasingly heavier babies with each of her three children. As Rowley reports, “the first was 8 pounds, 15 ounces; the second 9 pounds, 14 ounces; and the last, 10 pounds, 15 ounces. This means her third child was 50 percent bigger than the average full-term baby, which generally weighs in at 7 pounds.”
Shuart delivered her nearly 11-pounder vaginally WITHOUT AN EPIDURAL.
Drive Thru Delivery
Molly MacKay Zacker went into labor and immediately drove to the hospital with her husband, Dave. The hospital was 45 minutes away, but they should have been fine as typical active labor last 3 to 6 hours. Instead, about a mile from the hospital Zacker gave birth in the family minivan.
“I gave one push and Abby’s head was out, with no problem at all.” Mom and baby were both perfectly healthy after a night at the hospital, and back home the next day.
Although speedy labors have a downside, like increased likelihood of tearing, that wasn’t the case with Zacker. She didn’t need a single stitch. “I guess I just have stretchy skin,” she says.
Twins Born In Different Years
Twins are usually born within minutes of each other. But twins are usually born premature and can sometimes be born days and, yes, even months apart. Dr. Joseph says that’s what happened when he delivered twins in 1994. He says the first twin was born 15 weeks premature in mid-October and weighed less than 2 pounds; he spent 81 days in intensive care. The second was born 14 weeks later — in 1995 — at nearly 6 pounds, and was hearty enough to go home the next day.
“Most often what happens in these situations is that the first twin delivers naturally but early, but the second just won’t come out. So you say to yourself, this one isn’t coming and the other one is premature, so we’ll buy some time for the second,” says Dr. Joseph.
One mom was surprised at how active her second baby was compared to her first child. It wasn’t until she delivered that she found out why. “I had just delivered when I started having contractions again. The doctor was stitching up my episiotomy, but I knew I was feeling more than just the afterbirth. I handed my husband the first baby, and the doctor delivered her twin.”
A surprise twin used to be relatively common, but since the advent of ultrasounds it’s not so much anymore. Still, some women choose not to have ultrasounds. As Barbara Rowley reports, “without it, twin detection remains a vague business of measuring uterine size and severity of pregnancy symptoms.”
There are so many crazy pregnancy tales. Do you have one? Does your mom or your aunt? What’s the wildest pregnancy story you ever heard that you believe to be true?