When it comes to giving birth, one thing all moms can agree on is that from days-long labor to things you never thought you’d say out loud, it’s a life-altering experience like none other. In honor of Labor Day and moms everywhere, we asked you, dear readers, to share your special stories. Scroll down and get ready to laugh, scream and cry with the rest of us.
Home Birth Stories
I had fairly easy deliveries with both my children but my 2nd one was the most interesting. I started having contractions around 2 pm on a Friday afternoon, shortly before 2 am I told my husband we needed to head to the hospital. While he went to wake up our daughter to get her ready to go, I went to the bathroom, where my water broke. I went to walk out of the bathroom to get dressed, but my body told me differently 😯. I yelled for my husband to come and help me, climbed into my bathtub, leaned on the wall, and pushed only 4 times before my baby boy popped out 😊. My husband was an absolute trooper (for a man who faints at the sight of blood)—once we got ahold of a phone (thanks to my 4-year-old), I was so disoriented that I called my MIL first, who proceeded to tell me to call 911, which I did—fortunately we have a fire station a block away from our house, so the EMT response was quick! It was the first (and hopefully the last) time I rode in an ambulance.
—RT reader Rachel C White
My third was 9 days overdue, yet even with that, I was a bit in denial when I finally went into labor. I even tried to go to bed for the night. I finally decided to call my midwife at midnight, but my regular midwife was on vacation because I was so far overdue, and the midwife I had as a backup was 2.5 hours away. At 2 am baby came with just me and my husband; my other two kids slept through it in their bedroom. 30 minutes later the midwife arrived, took vitals, cut the cord and made a joke about it being the easiest birth she ever attended. Then come 7 am, we get a notification that they would be turning off the water on our street for an emergency repair that would last an undetermined amount of time. We had to call the city and explain we were still cleaning up from home birth; could they please keep the water on a little bit longer? They were able to give us until 10 am, and then it was shut off for 2 whole days!
—RT reader Rivmay Maloney
I had my daughter at home with a midwife back in the 1970s; we lived in Massachusetts at the time. I woke up at 5 am when my water broke, so I called the midwife to let her know, and she got reeeaaly quiet and said ... "well, I knew someone was going to go into labor today and thought it was another woman who lives in NH, so I drove up last night." Soooo, she had to make the 4-hour drive back to MA. It worked out though because it was a very long day; my daughter wasn't born until 2 am the following morning. I loved that I had her at home—it was an amazing experience.
—RT reader Kathy Mercon
The Stories That Make You Laugh
I had an allergic reaction to something in the hospital and literally sneezed my kid out.
—RT reader Ann Schade Ochiltree
That awkward moment when people are called from all over the hospital to come and look at your placenta which is almost bigger than the baby you just delivered ... lol 😭😩👏🏼😝
—RT reader Ingrid Owens
With my first, I was uncomfortable with the idea of being seen so naked—and by so many people. After getting an epidural, I convinced myself that if I couldn’t feel it they couldn’t see it. Worked like a charm. I birthed a 7-lb baby boy and nobody saw a thing. 😜 Haha! I didn’t care so much by my 2nd ... 3rd ... or 4th. 🤷🏼♀️
—RT reader Lacey Hardy Barker
When I was having my first child my mother took me to the maternity ward and the nurses looked at me and asked: "how can I help you?" My mother and I looked at each other with a dumbfounded look and I said: "I'm here because I think I'm about to deliver a baby." Like why the hell else would I be here? I didn't think it was for a Telletubbi convention. 🙄
—RT reader DO Tucker
I have a long labor story, but my favorite part was told to me afterward. I had to be induced due to preeclampsia. On day two, when they put the balloon catheter in, I opted to get some fentanyl to help with the pain. Ohhhh boy ... it hit me quickly. My husband said my eyes kinda rolled back, and I got giggly like I had a few too many. My mom was in the room, and we were discussing labor stories. She asked the nurse if I had told her how long she (my mom) was in labor for (48 hours). I had no filter so I exasperatedly said “my gaaaawd! with how much you talk about it I’m surprised the whole damn hospital doesn’t know that story by now.” My husband tried very hard not to laugh 😂.
—RT reader Kaitlyn Sullivan
First one, my water broke in the middle of the night on his due date, and I thought I had peed the bed!! Then the pain started, so I knew it was happening!
—RT reader Justina McLellan
I was told I wasn’t having contractions that I was “constipated.” The doctor was actually surprised they were going to admit me and said: “I guess we are just going to take your word for it that you are feeling these!” I was having back labor and the machine wasn’t picking it up. He told me several times I just needed to poop. After that, it went pretty easy till time to push. I pushed for 2.5 hours, at 1 hour in the nurse said over and over again that I was close. So close. 2 hours in, after hearing that over and over again, I snapped “IF ONLY THAT WERE TRUE!” She and my husband had a good laugh about that!
—RT reader Melissa Lea Foster
My water broke while I was pushing, and it shot across the room all over the student who was observing. 😳😬😂
—RT reader Chrystie Elinski Krasucki
I was on the fence about an epidural but leaning more that way. The nurse convinced me that going ahead with the fluids needed before the epidural would be a good idea and that it would save me time. She got me all hooked up and told me I’d be ready for the anesthesiologist in about an hour if I wanted him. About 15 minutes later, my kiddo rolled onto a nerve on my left side, and it was instant pain, numbness, and panic. I begged the nurse for the epidural, but she kept explaining I had to wait for the fluids. I channeled my inner demon and scream-whispered that she’d better get the anesthesiologist RIGHT NOW. She calmly told me she’d go call him right then; she walked over to the door, opened it, closed it, and walked right back to my bed and said, “Baby, it’s going to be about 45 minutes before he can get here.” After that, I was perfectly fine and dandy to wait. 🤣
—RT reader Jamie Sona
Early Labor Stories
With my first child, we lived in MA and had just moved to CT. My doctor told me that I would have plenty of time to get to the hospital as she was my first. I went into labor 3.5 weeks early, so he told me to go to a different hospital in MA then we had planned, as it was a bigger hospital and had more beds. We set out for the 1-hour drive to go to the hospital and kept getting lost trying to find it. 3 hours later we got there; I get set up in a labor and delivery room and the doctor comes in with 5 residents asking if it's ok for them to stay. I was so stressed out at that point; I didn't care about the audience I had.
—RT reader Denise Frey
We had just moved into our new house 2 days before; it's 5 weeks before my due date—the first child. We haven't unpacked, have no baby stuff as with the move we left everything at my in-laws an hour away until we were settled. Even the baby furniture was set to be delivered in 3 weeks. We stayed up on our new deck talking until midnight; I go to bed, and 2 hours later I get up to pee. Just before I stand up and pull up my pants my water breaks, conveniently, while I'm still over the toilet. I tell my husband, who doesn't believe me, and 14 hours later my little guy is born. My in-laws had to visit, bringing the new car seat so we could leave the hospital. My sister and brother-in-law set up the pack and play with bassinet and bought preemie clothing and diapers. Oh, and his birthday ... 8/31 ... Labor Day!
—RT reader Jill Davidson Robinson
It was a week before my due date; I was in pre-labor for three days! Constant mild to medium contractions every 5 to 10 minutes for three days! Finally the morning of the fourth day I felt something was different, and the contractions were stronger and closer together. I told my husband "Today is the day I'm having the baby. We're going to the hospital, but first, let's have breakfast." So, he made me strawberry pancakes (which were delicious!), we grabbed our bags and baby stuff and headed to the hospital. Needless to say, a few hours later in the early afternoon, we held a beautiful 8-pound baby boy in our arms. The next morning the doctor had to take an ultrasound of his chest area because they discovered his heart was right in the middle of his chest and not off-center as it should be. They were worried his organs were flip-flopped, but everything looked okay, but they still wanted to send us to the NICU to make sure he was all okay. After an echocardiogram, it all turned out just fine. His heart is just placed in the center of his chest!
—RT reader Erica Wilson
I went into labor 3.5 weeks early (that same day I had a doctors appointment to see if my daughter was still breech ... which she was!). So my doctor said: "I think we need to start discussing having a c-section." I was determined not to have a c-section, so after I left the doctors, I yelled at my daughter for the first time, telling her to turn around!! Well, she showed me just how stubborn she was going to be by causing my water to break while I was folding her newly washed clothes (I was not prepared at all for her to come yet!!). I called my doctor and told her my water broke, and the only thing she could say to me was ... "are you sure you didn't pee your pants?" So I was like, "yeah I'm sure," and I immediately left for the hospital (sitting on a towel). When I got to the hospital and finally got to see my doctor, she took one look at me and said: "I guess your water really did break!!" Unfortunately, I couldn't have my c-section right away, because I had a snack of m&ms and a chocolate shake!
—RT reader Michelle Hutchinson
I was in labor for about 36 hours, but I only knew for about 12 hours when my water broke. I thought the back pain I was having all day was just the normal pain I had had my entire pregnancy. I was also 6 1/2 weeks early, so I wasn't expecting it either.
—RT reader Jacki Murak
Really, Really Fast Labor Stories
I dilated lightning-fast, which nobody expected since it was my first kid. My OB ("he") and my nurse ("she") were passive-aggressively fighting with one another (she turned off the Pitocin while he was with another patient, which made him mad. Then when she left the room after my son was born, HE suggested handing the baby to my husband before my hour of skin-to-skin bonding was up, which made HER mad when she walked back in). And they were both snappish with ME, which was confusing the heck out of me.
—RT reader Chandra Blackwell
My son was delivered on Mother's Day 2018—from water break to delivery, my labor was 2 hours 🤭. If it had been a weekday, I would have delivered on the side of the road, and we would have made the news, LOL. Luckily, it was 8:00 am on a Sunday morning, and we had a straight shot to the hospital. Once I arrived and checked in, I had to wait for L&D to come and take me up to the delivery rooms. I looked at the admitting nurse in the ER and told her “Now, now, now, you gotta take me back NOW!” My son was born 10 minutes later in the ER with every … single … nurse and doctor around watching because it was early in the morning and nothing was going on apparently, LOL. I think there were 20+ people in the room with us. To this day I have no clue who actually delivered my son because it all happened so fast! What a crazy morning!!
—RT reader Allison Welch Santos
With my oldest, the nurse checked me and told me I was 6cm dilated. I told her I was ready for an epidural then. She walked out of the room to call the anesthesiologist, and I immediately started hollering that something was happening; please check me again. She ran back and checked me and started yelling "DON'T PUSH!" I had gone from 6 to 10 in a minute. She's yelling to get the doctor in the room. He comes flying in putting on gloves and sweating and says "Wooh! It's HOT out there!" I immediately busted out laughing to which he starts telling me "no don't laugh! I'm not quite ready!" When he was ready he would tell me to push, and when I was done pushing I would just start giggling. It was horribly painful with no epidural, but I just couldn't stop giggling at him running in complaining about how hot it was outside.
—RT reader Kayla Luczaj
The nurse tried to make me use the bathroom, he crowned halfway there, I reached down to grab him, with the doctor hollering, "Wait till I get my gloves on at least!"
—RT reader Tina Marie Wood
The nurse was having trouble finding my daughter’s heartbeat, so she was rolling me from one side to the other, and I said I was feeling some pressure. Since it had been a couple hours since they checked me last, and I’d been dilated to a three; she said she’d check me again. Put me on my back and flipped down the sheet, and my daughter’s hand waved at us before she shot out like a tiny little Olympic Luge champion. The nurse and my mom and I were the only ones in the room together, and it felt like we stared at each other for a decade before Miss Lily started crying and everything went into motion again. I asked my OB if I had to pay him the full amount since he didn’t even play catch with this one, but I guess what you really pay for is them delivering the placenta. 😂
—RT reader Kate Dowd Morrison
With my 3rd he was super tiny. I was induced and ready to push. My doctor wasn't ready yet he was in the room next door. The nurse was telling me to hold it but I couldn't 🤷♀️ he was literally sliding out 🤦♀️ I ended up laughing my son out of my vagina and they barely caught him 🤣🤦♀️
—RT reader Brie Flores
The Stories That Warm Your Heart
During both of my pregnancies, I really missed my late grandfather. However, my first kid was significant because she was the first great-great daughter that would not be able to meet my grandfather. For my Nonno, the family was the most important thing. Finally, when the time came we went to the hospital to have my little Sofia, and I couldn’t stop thinking how happy he would have been, and that probably he would be wanted to hold her first then everybody else. So, I arrived at the hospital with this nostalgia, while going into labor, when the male nurse pushing my chair to the delivery room introduced himself and said, “my name is Vincenzo” (my Nonno's name). I started crying; he noticed and asked me if I was in too much pain. I told him he had my Nonno's name, and that I miss him terribly. Turns out, the nurse was from Sicily, just like my Nonno. He really made my day and made me feel safe. I knew my Nonno would be with me and my kids no matter what because I will always keep him in my memory and my children’ memories as well.
—RT reader Esteli Isaias-Caleca
After suffering PPH with both my deliveries and having spent time working doing auxiliary work at a local hospital, I'm in awe at the measures taken to save my life. I'm grateful for the nurse who implored me to fight, who caught the baby in my arms as I passed out from the blood loss, who sounded the alarms that brought in the cavalry. There were plenty of funny moments, too, but this is what gives me chills and waves upon waves of awe and gratitude.
—RT reader Jennifer Allen
My 2-year-old son was hospitalized with a virus that was making the rounds, so I was staying overnight with him sleeping (in between all the checkups) on a hospital sofa bed while about 8 months pregnant. That Wednesday they discharged my son and we headed home only to turn around a few hours later to head to another hospital to have my daughter.🤷🏻♀️
—RT reader Amy Smith Kellogg
I had two water births, custody of 2 children for a year, 2 miscarriages and 2 difficult pregnancies!!! All before I had hit 30.
—RT reader Carmen Soc
I started having contractions around 11pm, and they were a few minutes apart. My mother insisted that we go to the hospital (even though I knew I would get told to go home because of other pregnant stories from friends), so I grabbed the first shoes I saw, which were high heels. We went to the hospital I was only at 1 centimeter so I was told to walk around the hospital for an hour ... there was no change so I got sent home. The contractions got worse around 2 am, so I knew this time it would stick. My dad was driving, me in the passenger seat, my mom in the back. My dad rolled through a red turn light and got pulled over by a cop. The cop came to my side of the car, he asked why my dad had rolled through the red light; he then said, "my daughter is in labor." The cop looked at me like “oh she’s pregnant,” asked if I was having contractions; I told him “having one right now,” and the cop said “drive safe,” and off we went. My son wasn’t born till 5:30pm the next day via emergency c-section. He is now 10 years old and has a 6-year-old brother who was just a scheduled c-section, so no surprises there!
—RT reader Desirée Zufelt Hansen
I was pregnant with twins and my due date was 6/8. On 6/8 went to doctor, and he said: "The babies are doing fine; it'll be any time now." Later the next day I started spotting and called the doc. He said: "It's anytime now, so when you go into labor call me and go to the hospital." Later that day I was bleeding, but with no pain, so I called the doc, and he said: "Go to the ER." I go in, and they immediately put me in the hospital. I got hooked up to the fetal monitors, and twin one had a heartbeat of 122; twin two had a heartbeat of 34. Immediately, I was put into surgery for a c-section. The anesthesiologist says, "sit up to put in epidural," and the doctor says "No time! Local." The doctor shot novocaine into my abdomen and starts cutting to get baby out—I felt it all. By the time the novicane kicked in, he was taking out baby number two. At least I didn’t feel the stitches! This was 6/10/93. I'm happy to say both kids are healthy and strong and are doing well. It's not your traditional labor story, but it's a unique one, to say the least.
—RT Reader Robin Hittle
The Story That Needs to be Told
This isn’t the kind of labor story anyone wants to hear, much less experience. But that is exactly why it’s so very important to share. 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in a loss. 1 in every 160 pregnancies ends in stillbirth, yet no one talks about it. This is my story:
I went into labor at 39w 1d on Friday, February 8, 2019—just 3 days before a planned c-section due to breech positioning. When we arrived at the hospital that fateful day, we quickly learned there was no heartbeat. Three times they told us “I’m sorry, we can’t find a heartbeat, we need to get one more confirmation …” We didn’t even know if it was a girl or boy; the gender was to be a surprise until the baby arrived. Upon arriving in labor & delivery, I was told I was extremely sick with a super rare and life-threatening condition called Acute Fatty Liver of pregnancy. My liver and kidney were failing, my blood was acidic and not clotting, and my blood sugar was 26 (for context, “normal” is 70-100; at 20 your body starts seizing). Based on my labs, it’s a surprise I was even conscious. My body was literally shutting down and because of my condition, there would be no epidural or c-section. I had to deliver the baby naturally—breech and fast. They needed to get me to the ICU if I was going to make it.
That’s when we learned she was “Grace.” A beautiful baby girl.
After 10 hours of excruciating labor, Grace was born still at 8:25pm. We held her; we kissed her; we took pictures with her; we loved her. Then, we had to give her back. I was taken to ICU, where I remained for the next 4 days, and then I spent another 6 days in the postpartum unit. After 10 days in the hospital, we went home without our baby.
My loss journey is still in the early stages, but I have found a way to let grief and gratitude co-exist. Thankfully, I have a 3.5-year-old at home who brings me great joy every day, but not everyone is that lucky. I share this story to help break the silence on pregnancy loss and to let others know they aren’t alone. If you are someone or know someone who has experienced loss, please help break the silence. Share your story, and ask about theirs. Say the babies’ names. They were real, and they mattered.
Love and light to all of the moms, with babies earthside, and in heaven. ❤
—RT reader Kristi Rabaska Noonan