Sometimes people can be so bleak we wonder how they get by in the world, let alone have survived this long. But doctors have heard it all- especially ones of pregnant women or expecting parents, which turns into concern (and rightfully so) about the life of the unborn child.
Midwives, gynecologists, and people they know, share the most disturbing things they've heard from expectant mothers (and those involved) about not only child birth, and just basic human anatomy that make them wonder how they got pregnant in the first place.
“How Will I Feed The Baby?!?”
“I worked as a telephone triage nurse and received a call from a very concerned young lady. She said that she was pregnant and had gone to an appointment with her OB-GYN that day and had some questions. This was relatively common; patients can sometimes feel rushed in the doctor’s office or forget the questions they were going to ask, so they call and ask us later.
Me: Ok, no problem! How can I help?
Pregnant lady: Well, the doctor told me I can’t have any more activity until after the baby is born!
Me: (Looking at her record in the computer) Ok. I see you’re pretty far along and were having some pre-term contractions, which can be caused by intimacy. So the doctor recommends no intimate activity so that the baby doesn’t come too early.
Pregnant lady: BUT HOW WILL I FEED THE BABY?!?
Turns out, her male partner convinced her that babies needed to eat a male’s ‘fluid’ to develop. I told her this was totally wrong and gave her a quick lesson about the umbilical cord. She was skeptical until I pointed out that single women and lesbians have perfectly healthy babies without constant intimate activity. ‘Oh, ok! That makes sense!’ she said. Then she thanked me and started to hang up the phone – I could hear her calling her partner’s name as she hung up. Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation!”
Had To Have A Talk About Where Belly Buttons Come From
“A heavily pregnant woman put her finger in her belly button and pulled out something gross. She immiediatly freaked out, making her husband freak out as well. She called my friend, who is a doctor specializing in ob/gyn, and almost cried on the phone:
Pregnant Lady: ‘Help!! I just pulled something out of my belly button!!’
My friend, who’s a doctor: ‘Yeah??’
Pregnant Lady: ‘So, have I removed a plug or something? Have I hurt the baby??’
My friend: ‘But you just pulled something gross from your own belly button, right?’
Pregnant Lady: ‘Yeah, but isn’t my belly button connected to the baby’s belly button? Isn’t that how she gets all of her nutrients and stuff?’
And then they had a long talk about the uterus, placenta, and from where our belly buttons originate.
Mind you, this isn’t about the pregnant lady not being educated, she is a lawyer. She just caught pregnancy brain.”
“Allergic To Water”
“I once talked to a pregnant woman who had come to an appointment for her mother, who I was seeing. The woman was largely pregnant with twins and chomping on ice chips. I asked her why she was doing that because sometimes that can be a sign of anemia and I would have told her to make sure to bring it up with her Ob/GYN. She told me she always ate ice chips because she was allergic to water. Her mother agreed.
I know aquagenic urticaria (chewing on ice) is a real condition (and what a cruel joke of one!), but she didn’t have it.”
It Doesn’t Really Work Like That
“I had a girl call the office because she swallowed a cherry seed and was worried that the baby was going to choke on it.”
It Wasn’t A Bad Batch
“I was booking a woman at the beginning of her pregnancy and she wasn’t exactly pleased about being pregnant. I asked her if she was sure she wanted to continue the pregnancy (there’s no point me booking her if she wants a termination). She starts ranting about how it was the soft drink industry’s fault and how she’s going to sue them. I was pretty confused at this point and asked her what she meant. She informed me that she had been washing her female parts out with cola after ‘bumping uglies’ and that she must have bought a bad batch as she was now pregnant.”
“Luckily The Baby Had No Lasting Effects”
“Here’s a W-T-F moment:
We have bags that are given away to new parents, and they have free samples in – baby wash, fabric conditioner, diaper cream, etc. I examined a baby who was 10 days old and her skin was almost raw in places. I thought it was the worst case of eczema that I had ever seen and that she should get the baby checked out at the hospital.
While I was trying to get through to them, I asked the mother if she had been bathing the baby in anything. English wasn’t her first language but her husband came home at that point and translated for me. They had received a free sample of fabric softener in the pack. This had a picture of a smiling baby in the front. They assumed this was baby soap, had bought a massive bottle of it, and had then bathed the baby in it.
Luckily the baby had no lasting effects.”
Not The Same As Basting A Turkey
“An acquaintance of mine got pregnant while her husband was in the army deployed. She had convinced her husband that they needed to try and get pregnant. So how do they resolve the issue of long distance and time? They concocted the plan of using a turkey baster, where the husband actually mailed a package of his little soldiers to her and she used the baster on her self to impregnate herself. No doctors were consulted during this time. And this story all came to light in divorce court when someone actually convinced the husband the baby was not his.”
“SHE Had Checked Her”
“We had a woman come to triage one day, in no visible distress, but certain that she was in labor. She denied feeling any loss of fluid, contractions, or pain. When questioned further, she explained that she was already ‘dilated 4.’ She was accompanied by her granny, who explained that SHE had checked her granddaughter at home and she was able to fit four fingers inside the woman’s reproductive area, so she knew it was time. Not in the cervix, in the ‘v’.”
“Denial Is Not A River In Egypt”
“It goes like this:
Me: Your pregnancy test came back positive.
PT: Oh, I couldn’t be!
Me: Are you intimately active?
Me: Are you using any birth control?
Me: Then why don’t you think you could be pregnant?
PT: Because I couldn’t be!
Repeat scene many times over past 20 years. Denial is not a river in Egypt.”
“Belly Button Contact”
“My dad was a general practitioner. He had a couple – lovely people, very young, a bit unworldly – come to see him to discuss their failure to conceive, about thirty years ago. He was bright enough to ask what they were doing in bed.
They had BOTH somehow come to the conclusion that what was needed to make a baby was male organ/belly button contact. I have no idea how anybody was getting any satisfaction, or how on earth they kept believing this after doing it once – it must have been a horrible experience. He explained (literally) the facts of life to them, and on coming home had THE TALK with me and my brother, just in case we were also stupid.
The couple in question ended up with two kids,”
“Push This Baby Out Already”
“Woman was about six centimeters dilated and laboring in the pool. Her partner was murmuring in her ear, which I assumed was reassurances and encouragement. I kept hearing her actively pushing, and kept reminding her not to, because her body and baby weren’t ready yet (It wasn’t involuntary pushing, I could hear her hold her breath and push). I came over to listen to baby’s heart rate and overheard her partner say to her, ‘Why are you taking so long, just push this baby out already?’
I was a bit shocked, he obviously didn’t mean for me to overhear. I kindly told him it didn’t work like that, and pointed out that if she pushed on an undilated cervix, the baby could get distressed, her cervix could swell or tear and she could have a hemorrhage post-birth. He was so confused, until I explained that the cervix was not the female reproductive organ.
I had to give them both a biology lesson in between contractions. Baby was born four hours later, she bled a huge amount and I had to pull the emergency buzzer.”
How Did He Even Conceive?
“I was asking consent from a woman to put in an in-and-out catheter to drain her bladder. (For context, sometimes baby’s head presses on the urethra and it’s impossible to pee, but the bladder needs to be emptied otherwise it gets in the way of baby’s descent).
The partner asked if it would hurt the baby and I said no it wouldn’t. He then asked if it would poke the baby in the eye, and how did I know that it wouldn’t hurt. I was a tad confused to say the least. I said ‘well I won’t accidentally put the catheter in the reproductive area, so it won’t even touch the baby.’ He replied, ‘Well, how are you going to get the pee out if you’re not going to put it in there?'”
“Must Work In Preventing Infections”
“I went to see a woman who had delivered her first baby a few days earlier. I knew she had had stitches, but she seemed to be in a lot of pain. I asked her if she wanted me to check them and she consented, and when I did, I got a strong whiff of chemicals. I asked her what she was using to clean her female reproductive area with (we advise women to just use water for the first few days). She told me she was using Dettol (a household disinfectant) as she always used it in her kitchen, and she’d never got ill from her food, so it must work in preventing infections.”
She Should Probably Still Use Birth Control
“I work in Public Health and Family Practice. We get our own special ones. Most recently the lady with chlamydia that stated she did not use birth control because ‘you cannot get pregnant if you have an STD.’ Right. Yes she knew she had the STD and yes she was intimately active.”
His Family Thought She Was Fooling Around
“A man and wife had a daughter. Then he somehow (farming accident?) lost one of his balls. Then the couple had a son a year later so all his parts work, right?
A few years later, they have another daughter. All craziness breaks loose in the maternity waiting room between the two families. His family is insisting that the mother was fooling around because ‘he lost his girl ball in the accident.’ The doc had to separate them, then had to give a lesson about reproduction right there to explain that men’s balls aren’t made to be one to make boys and the other to make girls. Members of both families were apparently confused about it.”
It Was Just An Example!
“My high school Spanish teacher ran a reproductive education program in the Peace Corps for women in a South American country. Most of these women were already married and had many children, but couldn’t afford to keep procreating because they could barely afford to feed the children they had.
My teacher and a few other women went over how to use protection. They explained all of the steps for putting it on, using a banana as a stand-in male organ, and then distributed free rubbers to each of the women.
In the next few weeks, they noticed some gaps in their explanations. For example, my teacher was riding her bike home one day and noticed one of the local women hanging rubbers up on the clothesline to dry. The woman had been washing them and reusing them.
However, the biggest misunderstanding came two months later when another woman came to see my teacher. She was screaming and very hard to understand, but my teacher gathered that the woman was pregnant. My teacher explained that it’s not a foolproof method, the rubbers can break, etc, and asked the woman to walk her through how the protection had been used so they could better expand on the issue. The woman replied by saying she had done everything they instructed – before having intimate relations, she would roll the rubber on a banana and put it next to the bed.”
She Refused To Drink Coffee For The Craziest Reason
“I knew a lady who refused to drink coffee, not because lots of caffeine is bad during pregnancy but because she believed that coffee would turn her baby black!
She was a superstitious lady I knew. Funny enough, the man she married is light skinned Moroccan guy and little did she know that his extended family was black complexed. So when the baby came out dark skinned she was baffled.”
She Didn’t Cheat On Him
“My mother is a midwife and this one story sticks out.
A couple is in her office looking very somber and the woman has been crying.
Mom: ‘What brings you in today?’
Man: ‘This’ points to a spot on woman’s lip.
Mom: ‘Looks like a cold sore.’
Man: ‘What are we going to do about this?’
Mom: ‘Have you tried abreva?’
Man: ‘That is for herpes.’
Mom: ‘Yes, this is a form of herpes.’
Man: ‘I knew it. Check her for gonorrhea and chlamydia please.’
Mom to woman, ignoring man: ‘Have you ever had a cold sore before?’
Woman: ‘Yes in 2012’
Mom then had to go in circles for 20 minutes with the man about how it’s not transmitted necessarily in that way, how it’s very common, she didn’t cheat on him since she had it for years, and that he probably had it.
He cursed my mom out for ‘accusing’ him of having an STD after she said that last bit and stormed out. My mom had to have a come to Jesus talk with the woman about leaving this loser. Crazy how little people know and how angry people get about how ignorant they really are.”
“My dad worked as a hospital orderly to put himself through college. He told me that he went to clean up half of a double room, the other half was occupied. Sitting in the bed was a girl who was somewhere between 14-16 going through labor. She was in agony on the bed, her mother holding her hand, and a teenage boy who was most obviously the father was crying in the fetal position in the corner. Eventually, the girl’s father came into the room, seemingly having just heard that his daughter was pregnant. (she was very small and it must not have shown well) The father threw the teenage boy against the wall and screamed at him.
‘How did this happen!?’ he screamed.
Through tears, the kid said, ‘My brother told me it wouldn’t happen if we were standing up!'”
That’s Why We Educate Children
“Very young girl (barely 13) came in for symptoms of a UTI. Pregnancy test came back positive. She and her mother claimed that could not be possible because ‘you can’t get pregnant until you’re 18.’
When asked why they thought that, her mom said, ‘Well, if that wasn’t the case why would they put warnings for pregnant people on packs of smokes.’ The daughter genuinely thought that ‘only grown-ups can have babies.”
“A patient and her husband, both healthy, were being seen for infertility issues. They were having regular, timed intimate activity that was painful for her.
On exam, her urethra was large and floppy. We asked her to demonstrate where they were inserting the male’s organ during intimacy.
Ya, it’s hard to have a baby when the sperm is in the bladder, not the uterus. Once we reviewed this with her, the intimate activity was way less painful, and they conceived within four months! Her urethra is still dilated, but will be repaired once their family is complete.”
Uhh, It’s In The Name
“I do ultrasound. When I was a student, I did a rotation at a small OB/GYN clinic. One day, a woman and her husband came in for a pelvic ultrasound. They had come to see the doctor because they were having trouble conceiving. They said they had been sleeping with each other regularly for almost a year, and had not gotten pregnant. My instructor asked the patient if she was on medications (standard question).
‘Only my birth control pills.’
In a year of trying to get pregnant, neither she nor the husband had thought maybe she should stop taking her birth control.”
Sounds Very Fishy
“I had an acquaintance try saying that she was only pregnant for 6 months but that her baby came out full-term, like her child was fine and needed zero medical attention due to being so premature.
I don’t think she was actively lying, but she was not a bright person. She might have found out she was pregnant at 3 months and just assumed that she was just newly pregnant by the time she found out.
Or maybe she felt bad for drinking/partying early in the pregnancy so she refused to acknowledge it until it was convenient.
Either way it sounded very fishy.”
She Knew She Was Pregnant All Along
“I had a young lady come in for elective knee surgery. She’s a little overweight, and nurse thinks she’s pregnant. She says she delivered last month. I get a pregnancy test (as they all will nowadays) and she’s positive.
I ask for her records from where she gave birth. They have never heard of her. I call an OB to examine her. She was three months along by ultrasound. After more digging, she knew she was pregnant all along.
Turns out she thought the anesthesia would give her an end to the pregnancy and she’d get a two for one special… Terrible!”
She Couldn’t Figure Out Why She Wasn’t Losing Weight
“A college friend of mine decided she was going to start working out to get her old figure back. She was doing really well at first but stopped losing weight at a certain point. Then she started gaining weight. She was really frustrated and confused – she used to have some digestion problems and thought maybe it was some sort of gastrointestinal issue. She would say things like, ‘feel my stomach, it’s HARD.’ My favorite was how she talked about the gas, ‘No, but you can FEEL it moving around! I’ve never had gas like this, it’s crazy!’
Her stomach pains were starting to be a problem until eventually, her dad took her to the emergency room to be looked at. Apparently, when the doctor came back, all he said was, ‘You’re about five months pregnant and going into early labor.’
Of course, she bawled her eyes out and was horrified. She didn’t give birth that night, she ended up carrying to term and had a healthy boy. But I remember the first thought in MY mind was, ‘Geez, how many Packer parties have I been to with her over the last five months?’ Not that she was getting wasted or anything, but she was definitely having a drink or two (and the bar we would all meet at gave out free jello shots for every Packer touchdown).
But everything turned out great. She was engaged at the time so they took the wedding to the courthouse and all three are very happy, healthy people.”
Never A Dull Moment
“I had just gotten off the night shift in triage. I had to tell a 19-year-old woman that she was pregnant. I’m not allowed to talk to patients, but I do have to be present to document that my provider has informed the patient of lab results. When my provider (a PA rotating through triage) asked her if she was romantically active, she said ‘Yes, but not like that.’ I’ll admit that the PCT in the room and I shared a very confused/shocked look. Then when the PA told her the positive results, she blurted out she only used the ‘other hole,’ then facepalmed. I did as well. It was awkward all around.
I also realized that in my previous night shift we had to tell four different women they were pregnant. The second one was a morbidly obese woman who fell off her bike and was complaining of abdominal pain. She denied a chance of pregnancy with her boyfriend in the room, but when he left to get coffee, she waved me over and said that she cheated on him and her period was four days late. I relayed to the provider, and sure enough, she was pregnant. She did fracture her hip and was admitted, so I don’t know how she broke the news to her boyfriend.
The third pregnancy of the night was a ‘dancer’ who had a history of miscarriages and came in for abdominal pain. Sure enough, the pregnancy test was positive, but this time it looked like a healthy pregnancy and she was estimated to be past the first trimester (still not even showing a baby bump). She then asked the PA if he could ‘take care of her pregnancy’ there so she wouldn’t have to deal with a bloody mess later.
The last one was a 22-year-old female who thought she had a UTI, and when she got the news, she immediately called up her boyfriend, while my provider was mid-sentence with her, and had the boyfriend schedule an appointment with a clinic the next day. She hung up, calmly looked up at the PA and told him to prescribe whatever will make her UTI go away because the pregnancy wasn’t going to be a problem anymore.”