Boats, Lawns and Worse: Seven Extreme Birth Stories

Unusual places where women have given birth.

Until they step into the delivery room, most people's notion of childbirth comes from the very graphic end of "The Miracle of Life" in health class or the canned comedic version out of Hollywood.

"People are used to the Hollywood delivery -- a woman is in a restaurant, she's fine, happy, and she has one contraction and she's delivering within minutes," said Dr. Donnica Moore, an obstetrician. Then add some panicked dialogue, perhaps some slapstick and some smiles at the end.

But Hollywood's writers can't top the truth. In anticipation of Mother's Day, ABC News compiled some of the most amazing tales of delivery in odd places.

Obstetricians say not to worry since the chances are quite slim that you'll deliver a baby in a tree or on a plane. But for good measure, doctors have also offered some advice for what to do if the baby comes before help arrives.

Birth on the Front Lawn

When Jessica Higgins' and Jennifer Coffman's children ask where they were born, these moms could actually put down the garden hose and go point to the place.

Two women in the last two years have found themselves delivering on the front lawns of their suburban homes, and not as some new experimental home birth plan.

Jessica Higgins, of Fullerton, Calif., was driving home from the mall with her 2-year-old in the back seat when she realized she was about to go into labor, according to The Associated Press.

Higgins managed to make it to her driveway and call 911, but it was too late.

By the time police got there, baby Mary Claire was already out.

"She was just standing in the driveway rocking the newborn, who was still attached to the placenta," Officer Manny Ramos told the AP. Father Jeff Higgins got there in time to cut the baby's umbilical cord.

A similar event happened to Jennifer Coffman last July, except she delivered her baby on the front lawn of her Ann Arbor, Mich., home at night, by flashlight.

Although she once spoke out about the story to a local blog, Coffman's now a bit reluctant to share details about the circumstances.

"I'm not really a public person," she said.

Dr. Michael C. Lu said this sort of emergency delivery is very rare.

"It actually doesn't happen that much if you give your patients good instruction about when to come in," said Lu, who is an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and public health at the University of California Los Angeles.

"For me in the last 10 years it's happened three times out of probably over a thousand deliveries," he said.

Rare as these unusual births may be, when Coffman heard of other stories mothers had been through, she was grateful.

"I thought a lawn was bad, but a tree?" she joked. "At least I had my feet on the ground."

Woman Gives Birth in a Tree

It sounds like the birth story of an ancient goddess, but it's true. At least two baby girls on this earth were born in a tree, and in each case the mother was escaping a deadly situation.

Carolina Chirindza was near term in 2000 when flood waters raged through her town in Mozambique. She climbed a tree to escape the crocodile-infested waters and stayed there for four days with nothing to drink or eat, according to reporting by The Independent.

Finally on the fourth day, her baby came. Soon after, helicopters arrived to winch the mother and the baby, Rositha, to safety.

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