Doctors And Nurses Share Tales Of Family Tension (And More Dramatic Scenes At The Maternity Ward)

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Yeah, birth is a beautiful miracle and all that, but family drama stops for no one…not even a 30-second-old newborn. Just ask the medical professionals who deliver babies on a daily basis. Wow, do they have some stories to tell.

We know because we found those stories. They were waiting right there on Reddit. We combed through them to find the best ones, edited them a bit for grammar and readability, and set them here before you. Warning: These tales are so shocking that they might induce labor.

We know it can be stressful being the daddy on duty, but jeez…

“A doctor was delivering the baby via ventouse, a vacuum extraction,” wrote JaniePage. “He was pulling, and you do honestly have to put some muscle into it. Those babies are stuck pretty fast in there sometimes.”

“Anyway, the suction cap came off of the baby’s head. This happens a lot. The father of the baby thought that the doctor had pulled so hard that he had pulled the baby’s head off, so naturally he punched the doctor in the jaw.”

“[The doctor] went straight down to the ground like a felled tree. Much yelling ensued, people holding the father back, him realizing that the baby was fine once we pointed out that the head was still inside, unconscious doctor being pulled into a chair, another doctor coming in to do the delivery, the mother crying hysterically.”


Sounds like quite a scene. Also, that dad should take up boxing; sounds like he’s got a heck of a right hook. Even when there’s no violence involved, though, it can be risky to have baby daddy in the room. That’s especially true when the dad in question doesn’t think before he opens his mouth.    

“I’m a doctor, but this is not my story,” wrote Xyzar, in a triumph of attribution. “There was this couple who were going to birth their first. The father, though, already had a child from a previous marriage.”

“So when it was time for labor, instead of being supportive and calm and leaving it to the professionals, the father went [crazy] and started screaming, ‘My previous wife wasn’t in this much pain! Something is wrong!’’’

“That is exactly what a woman in labor would like to hear,” Xyzar concluded.

The only thing worse than one unruly dad is two unruly granddads.

The birth of a child is a stressful thing. Apparently, that stress can get to some relatives, like the two grandfathers of the newborns in this next story.

“[I’m] not a nurse, but [I] was staying in the hospital with my sister while she was pregnant, and [I] have some interesting stories about the two fathers of the parents in the bed across from [my sister] in the room,” wrote one Redditor. “We got to know this family over the two days, and they seemed nice except for the dads of the parents. They were constantly shouting and swearing at each other the entire time.”

“These two hated each other. It was mental. They broke out into a full-on fist fight in the hallway and ended up knocking over some cleaning supplies. I had to help break them up.”


“Let me remind you that these two were 67 and 75 years old,” they continued. “The hospital staff asked them to leave, as they were stressing out the patients, which is the last thing a woman in labor needs. They asked me to make sure the [men] actually left the hospital, and when they got to the parking lot they started going at it again in front of the building.”

“I had to break it up (again), and just before hospital staff came, one old guy got into a wheelchair and told the staff that the other tried to flip him over. [The other man] then walked up to the guy in the wheelchair and punched him in the face. Then the guy got up and, yep, you guessed it…they started fighting…again. I left this time to go back to my sister.”

When the baby says it’s time, it’s time.

You don’t necessarily need relatives for a dramatic story. Sometimes, the baby can cause enough drama on its own.

“[This is not] so much a drama, but a funny story on [labor and delivery],” wrote jmihelc2. We’ll let you be the judge on how funny it is. “I was a third-year medical student, and a pregnant woman came to floor in labor. She wasn’t that far along, as in she wasn’t really wincing in pain or screaming or anything yet.”

So far so good, right?


“The nurse gets her gown and she goes into the bathroom to change,” jmihelc2 continued. “All of sudden, we hear a scream and we run into her room. Her nurse made it there first to find a newborn baby with its head in the toilet and feet up in the air.”

“The first thing I saw was the mother shuffling out the bathroom with an umbilical cord coming from her and the nurse following behind with the baby attached still in her hands. It was one of the most bizarre sights that has ever crossed my eyes.”

“TL;DR I saw a woman give birth into a toilet.”

It just goes to show: You can’t pick the moment your baby is born. That didn’t stop at least one mom from trying, though.

“The way my dad tells it, partway through labor with me, my mum said, ‘That’s it. I’m done. I’m going home,’” wrote Purplehairpurplecar. “[Then she] tried to get off the table. Mum claims not to remember this.”


Not surprisingly, this comment got a lot of attention on Reddit. The Reddit user posted an edit explaining how it feels to go semi-viral for a story like this one.

“Edit: My highest-rated comment is about my mum deciding I wasn’t worth the effort of labor,” wrote Purplehairpurplecar. “LOL.”

To be fair, we hear labor is pretty darned intense.  

Some birthing drama stories are funny. This one’s just sad.

“There was a 16-year-old girl who was pregnant and in labor,” wrote Grumpy_Kitty, a nurse. “I remember she looked so young and childlike to me that it shocked me to think she was about to be a mother herself.”

“Now to give a little background on the hospital—this was a major birthing center, and the rooms were designed so that the mother never has to leave the room…She gives birth in the room, and she does the postpartum process in the room. The baby never leaves the mother’s bedside unless it’s going off for a feeding or to be circumcised.”

“What I’m trying to say is: These birthing rooms are massive because a lot goes on in them, and they have to be able to accommodate the vast amount of family members that want to come see the newborn. With this 16-year-old in labor, it was her, her mom, the nurse, and me. That’s a pretty standard amount of people during the laboring process.”


“What made the situation unusual was the patient’s mother,” Grumpy_Kitty continued. “This soon-to-be grandmother was all the way on the other side of the room sitting on a couch and staring out of the window. As the young girl’s labor was progressing, she called out for her mom to come hold her hand, and her mom did not even acknowledge her daughter calling for her. She just sat on the couch and stared out the window.”

The mother of the new mom kept up her reticence throughout the entire birth. She declined to hold her daughter’s hand during this special moment, Grumpy_Kitty wrote.

“The baby was born, and the new mom was as happy and excited as she could be, given the situation. The mother/grandmother eventually came over to see the baby, but she never held it or showed any type of emotion or affection for her daughter or grandchild. It was very uncomfortable to be stuck in the room for the duration of the birth, and that room definitely never felt more massive than in that moment.”


“The poor girl had no one besides her mother to be with her, and that just magnified the emptiness of the room (and their relationship). As disappointed or angry as that woman may have been at her daughter for getting pregnant, she will never get to redo that moment…and that makes me sad for her.”

Yeah, us too! Let’s get back into comedic territory, shall we?

No pictures, please.

If you don’t think we live in an image-obsessed society, just check out this story.

“[I’m] not a nurse [or a] doctor,” wrote My_Name_Is_Pearl, “but my mom was the only one present when my sister gave birth. So she decides to take a pic of the midwife holding up the baby and sends it to me and my three brothers. Unfortunately, my sister’s hoohah was visible in the picture.”

“I’ve told my mom no photographs allowed when I give birth.”

Let’s all make that a rule.

Don’t forget anything on your way to the hospital.

One Reddit user heard this story second-hand, but it initially came from a maternity-ward nurse. We know—it’s just too weird not to be true.

“One day a bloke came running down the ward hallway screaming for help, that his wife was in labor and they needed the docs to come quickly!” wrote marty998. “The nurses looked around curiously and asked him, ‘Okay…So where is she?’”


“The color from the bloke’s face drains for a second as he thinks this over…”

“‘OH S***!’ [he yells,] and he legs it out of there.”

“Forty minutes later he returns with wife in tow. In his initial rush, he’d packed a change of clothes, the car seat, and camera gear, [then] hightailed it to the hospital and left the missus at home!”

It’s tough to let the father get involved if you’re not sure who the father is, it turns out.

“A patient asked if both possible fathers could be in her c-section so that neither would miss the birth of his child,” wrote Miaow73. “They’d figure out the details later.”

So many questions! Luckily, the Reddit user quickly offered an update. If you ever plan on sharing the birthing room with two potential fathers, this will be a priceless nugget of wisdom for you.

“After a lot of careful consideration (because it did seem like a semi-reasonable plan), the answer was “No, [both possible fathers couldn’t be in the room for the birth],” wrote Miaow73 in a follow-up. “It was too easy to imagine many scenarios in which a fight might break out in the [operating room] and instruments go flying.”

“Also, there is a pretty strict rule about only one person [being] allowed with the patient in the [operating room]. In the end, she brought her mom.”

When your husband isn’t the baby-daddy, watch out: There are all sorts of tells.

“My [OB-GYN] friend told me this story…,” wrote mechadragon469. “[A] woman and her husband were having their first child, and it was [my] friend’s first-ever delivery. When she got the baby out she looked at it, then looked at the parents and asked ‘Okay, which of you has six fingers?’”

The mother broke down crying [and] yelling ‘I’m sorry!’ to the husband…their neighbor apparently had 6 fingers.”

If you were wondering, yes, the rest of the Reddit thread contains nothing but Princess Bride references. Some of them funnier than others.


Anyway, back to the subject at hand. Paternity isn’t always so clear-cut. Doctors and nurses sometimes get things wrong. As the following story illustrates, even an error by the U.S. military can lead to some false positives for cheating.

“When I was born, my father was 100 percent certain that I was not his because his blood type and my mom’s blood type couldn’t have produced me,” wrote _toodles. “He punched a hole in the wall in the hospital and yelled at my mom, refusing to sign the birth certificate, because I have A-positive blood.”

“My mom has O-negative [blood], and he was positive that he had AB-negative because that’s what his brand-new dog tags said. (He was in the army at the time.)”

“Turns out, they misprinted his dog tags. All his old dog tags said A-positive.”

This story turned out okay in the end. Still, battlefield medicine isn’t the only place dog tags come in handy, it sounds like.

Maternity-ward staff have more stories than you can even imagine.

Meet this Reddit user who has story after story to tell! We read through them all to bring you nothing but the best. Here they are:  

“Where to start…,” wrote recycledpaper.

The first story takes place in a delivery room, where our storyteller, mom, dad, and the baby’s grandma are all gathered.

“We’re setting up the table to deliver and cheerfully ask, ‘Okay, Dad, want to cut the cord?’ He says, ‘Not if this she-devil is in the room!’ and points to the baby’s grandma. They get into a yelling match, and meanwhile, the patient and I make awkward eye contact, and while the nurse and the other resident try to calm them down, we deliver the baby and I cut the cord.”


Then there was the time a dad didn’t quite understand how skin-to-skin bonding works…

“[This] baby daddy is so excited about the birth,” wrote recycledpaper. “We ask mom if she wants to do skin-to-skin bonding with the baby. She says yes. We go to put baby on her chest, and baby-daddy rips his shirt off and is stoked to do skin-to-skin. A for effort, dude!”

Meanwhile, there are those “baby-daddies” who don’t score so high, according to this Reddit user. The writer has a message for “Baby-daddies asking for paternity tests the minute [the] baby is born.” That message?


Not everyone wants your standard hospital experience when they give birth. Our eyes-on-the-inside also shared a story about a creative couple who got…well…just weird before it was all over.

“[A] crunchy granola couple come in…” wrote recycledpaper. “They pass out pamphlets for their birth plan. It’s made to look like a playbill. Cute.”


“[I] start to read it. Nothing seems too off. They want to wash the baby, they don’t know if it’s a boy or girl, and [they] want dad to announce [the gender] (aka my favorite gender reveal).”

“Except I get to the end. They specifically request no verbal communication with mom. All communication must go through dad. No referring to the baby as ‘baby.’ Refer to [the] baby as ‘special soul.’”

So how did those special requests work out? This Reddit user doesn’t leave us hanging.

“Those requests were quickly ignored,” recycledpaper wrote.

At least recycledpaper ended the stories on a positive note.

“You couples that are lovey-dovey and sweet and care about each other, and dads that are so excited they drop the scissors…Thank you for being awesome. I love you guys. Please don’t get a divorce.”

We’ll second that, we guess?

Early births are always intense and dramatic.

One Reddit user shared her especially shocking preemie story, which has a surprisingly uplifting ending.

“I gave birth in an emergency room hallway, courtesy of having sudden onset preterm, super-short labor,” wrote lorabore. “We had just moved to a new town and they did not have a full hospital, only a stand-alone ER.”

“So [my] husband goes casually cruising up the freeway on the way to the hospital 30 minutes away, and I had a feeling s*** was about to go down. I saw a sign for the ER and just screamed at him to pull off. We get into the ER, and they immediately call an ambulance to take me to a hospital with a NICU.”


“Paramedics are literally wheeling me down the hall to the ambulance when my daughter started crowning. They rounded the corner of the ER to get to an area with some space and the dude in the room right next to us was in cardiac arrest. So this poor ER is completely empty except the screaming pregnant woman birthing a preterm infant in the hallway and the elderly gentleman dying.”

“My daughter wound up being solely delivered by the two paramedics who were transporting me because the ER doc was busy running the code and the two nurses on staff were flying everywhere. They were running in and out of the other guy’s room with meds and fluid, sprinting around with the baby isolette, etc.”

“When my daughter let out her first cry there was a paltry round of cheers from [the elderly gentleman’s] family, and then they all went back to their crying. Meanwhile, my husband is curled up in a waiting room chair heavy breathing from light-headedness, and everyone is ignoring his feeble cries for water.”

“He was literally acting like he was about to die. In the end, no one died, baby was fine, husband passed out, and five years later, I became a paramedic.”

See? We told you that was uplifting.

Other births seem like they’re no big deal to everyone involved.

“I worked as a hospital parking attendant, manning the booth,” wrote obeyaasaurus. “A car pulled up, and the woman was midway [through] pushing out her baby in the passenger seat. One relative in the back was giving her a back massage, one was fanning her, her kid was playing on his [Nintendo] DS, and her husband in the driver’s seat nonchalantly smiled at me and asked for one ticket—all while the mother just delivered her own baby, looking calmed like it was a perfunctory task. I didn’t know what to do so I just gave them free parking.”


This next couple wasn’t quite as nonchalant…but the dad could use a priority check.

“When I was a nursing student doing my OB rotation, a group of us watched our first delivery,” wrote NoNotTom_Sawyer. “There was no time to do an epidural, because the baby was ready and he wasn’t waiting.”

“After the baby’s delivered, the first thing the dad says is, ‘You can rub it in my ex’s face that you did it natural.’ It wasn’t a huge dramatic thing, but everyone in the room just kinda looked at each other. Like, buddy, your son was just born and you’re more excited to one-up your ex?”

Lest you think that home births are less dramatic, think again.

Every hero needs an origin story, and TrailMomKat’s grandfather certainly has a great one.

“This [was during] my grandfather’s birth sometime in the 1920s,” wrote TrailMomKat. “My great grandma was giving birth at home, on the reservation (Apache), and as the labor kicked in full swing, a crow or raven landed on the windowsill. Now, this is a bad omen; it means someone is going to die or has died.”

image Edwards

“Needless to say, my great aunts and great grandma’s mother started straight tripping, shooing the bird and what-not. Bird would not [leave. It] looked at my great grandma and squawked. Grandpa is born a few minutes later while someone is trying to get the crow to go away. Crow flies off the minute the baby cries.

“A few minutes later, someone rode up on horseback to tell everyone that my great-great grandfather had passed away about 15 minutes beforehand. That was right when the crow had landed on the sill. Family legend says that grandpa was his reincarnation.”

Whatever your feelings are about crows and reincarnation, that’s a pretty cool story.

Sometimes, the experts seem a little too casual.

Ideally, you want to give birth surrounded by medical experts who take the situation seriously—and listen to the mother. Unfortunately, those types of attentive, helpful experts aren’t always available.

“My father-in-law was in the room when I had my second son,” wrote Jadenlost. “I didn’t mind the family being there during labor. He was going to just move up to near my head when I started pushing.”

“Well…the resident wouldn’t listen to me when I said the baby was coming. My father in law has delivered [around] 20 babies over his career as a paramedic and firefighter. He took one look at my face from across the room and knew that, as I said, the baby was coming. Needless to say, he almost delivered my son.”


“The resident was like, ‘Oh, there’s no way you are that close, I just checked you. I’ll call the doctor.’ I told her, ‘He’s not going to make it.’ She said, “He’s only five minutes away. It will be fine. Now, let’s get you ready for when he does get here. Lift up your hips so I can put this pad down.'”

“I did so, and as soon as my hips touched the table, my son popped out. She had to grab him off the bed before he fell. My father-in-law was right beside her as she was turning away from me to leave the room. When my doctor got there (about five minutes after), he checked on me, then tore that resident a new one for not listening to someone who had given birth previously and had no pain meds.”

And sometimes, the families are hiding secrets.

This next story is almost too strange to believe.

“[I’m] not a doctor, I’m an emergency nurse,” wrote Vacuous_hole. “We had a man bring in his wife in labor, all goes well, but she didn’t make it upstairs to [Labor and Delivery]. Baby born, everyone happy.”

“Dad is on his phone texting furiously. We thought he was spreading the news. 30 minutes later, he walks out of the area where his wife and brand-new baby were, into another area where it turns out his [mistress] was with their sick son. He was very lucky it was the middle of the night, so no other family were present to have possibly discovered his secret.”


Of course, some secrets are more innocuous.

“My great grandmother had 13 children,” wrote smartblondeva. “Somewhere around number five or six, she made it as far as the front lawn of the hospital and gave birth. The next pregnancy, she only made it as far as the elevator and was totally mortified. The nurse on staff tried to reassure her by saying, ‘It’s okay, last year someone gave birth on the front lawn.’ She had the rest of her babies at home.”

We’re not sure whether smartblondeva’s grandmother had any other strange birthing stories, but we’re guessing she did. As we’ve seen, no birth is really simple, and some amount of drama is fairly standard. If you’re pregnant—or planning on a pregnancy—we hope these stories don’t stress you out too much. If, however, you find yourself in a delivery room while someone else is delivering a child, keep these tales in mind (and avoid adding to the drama as much as possible).

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