• Thu, Jun 6 - 9:30 am ET

I Had No Idea How Awesome Jessica Alba’s Birth Story Was Until I Saw The Picture Of The ‘Baby That Didn’t Know It Had Been Born’

caul birth photoThe story of the “baby that didn’t know it had been born” blows my mind for so many reasons I don’t even know where to start — it’s the same as Jessica Alba’s birth story (huh?), a doctor in Greece posted his experience on Facebook (what?), and all I can think is how freaking lucky this mother is because my water breaking was like the gates of hell opening to swallow me whole.

The “baby that didn’t know it had been born”, as the Daily Mail is calling it, was delivered with its amniotic sac intact.

The amniotic sac is a bag of fluid inside the womb where the unborn baby develops and grows. It is also referred to as the ‘membranes’, because the sac is made of two membranes called the amnion and the chorion.The sac is filled with clear, pale fluid, in which the unborn baby floats and moves.The amount of amniotic fluid increases gradually during pregnancy until about week 38, when it reduces slightly until the baby is born.

Basically this means the mother’s water never broke and at birth the baby still behaved as if it was inside its mother’s womb – because that’s the way it felt. The baby would only begin to breathe on its own once the sac was ruptured.

If the story sounds at all familiar, it’s because Jessica Alba told OK! about her “intact sac” story (as I’m calling it) during the vaginal birth of her second daughter, Haven.

“When I delivered Haven she was born still inside the amniotic sac, which is rare,” the Valentine’s Day star, who also has daughter Honor with her husband Cash Warren, reveals. “The doctor had never seen anything like it before. He grabbed the nurse and said: ‘Look at this!’ I was in the middle of pushing and he told me to hold on a minute and not to push! He was wearing basketball shorts and a T-shirt and said: ‘Oh I have to get my scrubs on for this!’ The sac burst on its own after she came out. It was a trip.”

The experience actually inspired Haven’s name, Jess says. “When I was in recovery we still hadn’t chosen her name. Cash picked her up and said she came into the world in her ‘safe haven’ and it clicked right then for both of us…”

Did you see that picture?  She doesn’t do this birth story justice!  That might be one of the craziest coolest things ever. Let’s just say Jessica Alba is a terrible descriptive storyteller and move on.

The intact sac phenomenon is rare, but not as rare as someone capturing it for all the world to see, which is exactly what obstetrician Dr. Aris Tsigris did after delivering such a newborn via caesarean section in Amarousion, Greece. He snapped the pic and immediately posted it to his Facebook page. I wonder if that is in his standard release form. “You are here to have a C-section, you will get anesthesia, I may take photos to post to Facebook, blah, blah other legal mumbo jumbo here.” I hope the mother consented, because if I were laying on an operating table and the doc whipped out his smartphone and started sharing on social media, I don’t think I’d be so cool with it.

Maybe she was just so happy her water didn’t break while she was in labor that she didn’t care about the photo share – and that I could understand. I was hoping for a natural delivery with my second child, but when my water broke I really didn’t think I was going to make it. What started as manageable pain sent me screaming my head off. I had also gone from four to ten centimeters dilated in 45 minutes after the membranes ruptured. Thankfully it went very fast, but for the chance to miss out on that part of my labor, I would have let my OB share a couple of photos — maybe even a complete video — on Facebook.

(photo: Facebook)

You can reach this post's author, Carinn Jade, on twitter.
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  • NYCBaby

    My birthing coach told me that she’d seen this once…I couldn’t even conceive of what it meant! So cool to put a picture to it now…and I also like “Haven” a lot more as a name now. What a great story!

  • ksu_artist1

    My brother was born “en caul” as well. y mother said she could feel the doctor pull the sac out – so crazy! I’m like my mom in that our waters never break, they have to be ruptured. And I”m with you on the pain level once that water is broken! I asked to have mine ruptured at 9 cm, and whoa. Ouch.

  • Lauren

    That is crazy! But also very interesting! My water broke with both of my babies before I even knew I was in labor. And let’s just say, it was very apparently that my water broke! lol!

  • Ali

    I was kind of upset that my doctor broke my water herself during both my labors. For each kid it happened so quick they said I didn’t have time for any drugs. Ugh it hurt so much after she did that. It would have been cool if I could have tried to deliver the babies with the sac unbroken… Cool picture though.

  • anonymous

    I’ve given birth to five babies and never had my water break on it’s own. The doctor/midwives have all done it. After my fourth was born with two sacs around him I was looking it up and it’s apparently considered lucky to be born with the sac intact. Made me wish they hadn’t broken mine!!

  • outlaw mama

    What? Seriously. What? That’s the coolest thing ever. Docs always broke mine. I didn’t even know this was possible.

  • Shelly Lloyd

    I think this would happen more often if doctors/midwives would not break the water for the mom in labor. For both my pregnancies my midwife broke the water around 7 to 8 cm. And I agree with other posters–the pain is so much worse after they break the water. It as if the amniotic sac provides a cushion for the cramps.

  • Iwill Findu

    I showed the photo to y hubby he thought it was cool “in a horror movie kinda way”

  • Simone

    A caul-born baby…. those are meant to be witches or warlocks when they grow up. A baby born in its caul is just amazing.

    And f**k that doctor uploading pics to facebook, I would sue for that shit.

    • Boots

      Really? Some people must have lawyers on speed dial. Litigation is not really meant to be a first response…

    • Mo

      Let me tell you Simone. Caul babies are meant to bring in good feelings for humanity. They may have exceptional talent for music, science, teaching, seeing the future. Unlike the uneducated who believed these babies were demons in centuries past, we now know so much more. Many have hard lives yet continue to
      bring peace and harmony to their family, home and surroundings .Educate yourself.

  • Sue G

    My nephew was born ‘under the caul’ or as some say, ‘under the veil’. It isn’t nearly as rare as some think. One old wives tale says it portends good luck in life or being psychic.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Gross. Horrifying. Disgusting as all get out.

    And quite possibly the coolest thing I’ve seen all day!

  • Malia

    My water didn’t break until my daughter was born. The nurses kept asking if my water broke and I said “I don’t know” and they said “Probably.” And that was that. They kept wondering why it was taking so long for my labor to progress. My water broke as she was born, so I never saw anything like the photo above, but she was born the cleanest looking baby ever.

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  • asdfghj

    I can’t believe people think this is so unusual. It’s called “not letting the doctor break your water”!!!! People refer to this as caul birth or angel birth. My baby was born like this.

    • kcard82

      Even before doctors intervened by breaking the water, this was still considered rare in the “old days”.

  • Jane

    I used to breed mini goats and sheep, a few cows, this is actually THE NORM for these mammals. I had the break the sacs postpartum about 60% of the time. Interesting!

  • Ashley Emerick-Ritchey

    I delivered my third daughter completely in her water bag! It was so awesome.Unfortunately no one was able to grab a picture..My doctor didn’t think I would go so fast,so didn’t give orders to nurses to break my water before he left. I hardly had any contractions, so I definitely believe if they would have broke my water it would have been worse! It was an amazing experience getting to see her laying there on the bed,hair floating, sucking her thumb, just completely unaware that she had been born!!!

  • TripletBoysMum

    2 of my triplets were born in the caul, or as described above in an intact sac. The other one could have been born the same way but the doctor said he ruptured the sac as he was lifting the baby out during the C-section. All healthy and happy both then and now!

  • Irene Shaw

    I was born with the caul , I am very lucky in every way

  • Irene Shaw

    I am so lucky . I was born with caul