Labor stories vary from the unbelievably serene to birthing on a moving train to the extraordinary saved from a c-section at the last possible moment. While birthing is no doubt miraculous, the experience can be empowering — and disappointing – for many women. But no matter what inane comments your partner was making in the delivery room or how mind-numbing the pain actually was, one labor story has officially achieved the Worst Labor Story ever title. This woman takes the cake, the title, and whatever other metaphors of your choosing as while laboring with her twins, she suffered four attacks and a stroke — and has lived to tell about it.
A 33-year-old and seemingly healthy English mother named Georgina Cormack had her heart stop after giving birth to her first twin. She subsequently suffered a bilateral stroke. Her second twin was reportedly not breathing upon delivery, but was later revived by doctors. Only later did physicians realize what had happened:
Doctors placed her in an induced coma after she gave birth when it was discovered she had suffered an amniotic fluid embolism – a rare condition which effects about one in 20,000 women. Fluid which surrounds the baby or other debris enters the mother’s blood stream via the womb and triggers an allergic reaction.
Saddled with two infants, Georgina had to learn how to talk all over again with the help of speech and language therapists. She awoke gradually, working with the basics, such as alphabet and object recognition, once more appropriate for her babies. She eventually returned to health some months later, singing the praises of her doctors and medical team and spending time with her now 10-month-old babies. Yet, she has not forgotten the precious time that she lost out on:
“When I should have been celebrating the happiest event of my life I was at a loss to know who I was, where I was, what I was doing there,” she said. “I was unable to understand all these strange noises people around me were making.”
Georgina’s truly horrific labor coupled with her optimism and perseverance earn her not only that Worst Labor badge, but also a well-deserving Miss Congeniality.