Pregnancy

This Amazing Woman Gave Herself a C-Section, and Somehow Everyone Survived

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A mother faced with the prospect of losing a baby in utero resorted to extreme measures and actually gave herself a DIY Caesarian section with a kitchen knife. Somehow she and her baby survived, and there are not enough expletives and reaction GIFs in the world to adequately convey the appropriate reaction to this woman’s story.

According to Discover, the 40-year-old woman lived in a small village eight hours away from the nearest hospital. The village had no running water or electricity, and the woman did not have access to prenatal care or help with her delivery, which is how she wound up faced with the prospect of losing her baby or carving open her own stomach with a kitchen knife.

The woman had eight surviving children already, but two years before this pregnancy she experienced an obstructed labor, and the baby died in utero when she could not manage to get it out. When she went into labor this time and realized she was in the same situation, she decided she was not going to risk losing another baby that way.

“Rather than experience fetal death in utero again, she used her skills at slaughtering animals. She took 3 small glasses of hard liquor and, using a kitchen knife, sliced her abdomen in 3 attempts in the right paramedial region, cut the uterus itself longitudinally, and delivered a male infant that breathed immediately and cried. Apparently, she did not bleed excessively and asked one of her children to call a local nurse for help before she lost consciousness. The nurse … found the patient eviscerated and proceeded to reposition bowel loops, suturing the skin with an ordinary sewing needle and cotton thread.”

Holy fucking shit, man. I feel like I need three shots of hard liquor just to read that, and this woman actually lived through it.

And because the woman was eight hours away from the nearest hospital when this happened, that meant that when help did arrive, this woman–who had just eviscerated herself–had to undergo an 8-hour car ride to the hospital before undergoing several days of massive surgery. And she was caring for and breastfeeding a newborn while that was going on.

After all the surgeries, the woman reportedly recovered well and was discharged from the hospital after just 10 days after surgery.

This woman’s story is insane. But it really highlights the need for more extensive prenatal and maternal care around the world, especially in rural areas like this one. There’s no good reason in 2016 for a woman to have to use “her skills at slaughtering animals” to perform a C-section on herself. It’s amazing that this woman and her child survived.