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Claire Clarke-Wood, Midwife, Delivers Own Baby Using Makeup Mirror

Midwife Delivers With Makeup Mirror

First Posted: 12/29/11 06:12 PM ET Updated: 12/29/11 06:14 PM ET

Midwife Claire Clarke-Wood has delivered plenty of babies throughout the years, but she never expected to deliver her own child using only a makeup mirror.

Clarke-Wood was trying to get some sleep after a shift at Croydon University Hospital near London when she awoke to sharp pains, the Croydon Guardian reports.

Initially, the 28-year-old thought the aches were just back pain, but she soon realized she was having contractions -- about 3 weeks early.

She alerted her husband about her progress at about 5 a.m., but she thought it would be a while before it was time to give birth. She was wrong.

The contractions intensified, and Clarke-Wood soon found herself delivering her own baby in the bathroom, using a hand mirror. Her baby, named Esmay, was born at 7:26 a.m. on Dec. 11, Clarke-Wood said in a video interview with the BBC.

Clarke-Wood was scheduled to begin her maternity leave starting Dec. 16, the Croydon Guardian reports.

"Me and my colleagues had joked: 'Wouldn't it be funny if I ended up delivering my own baby?'", she told the BBC. She just never thought it would actually happen.

Baby Esmay might have an interesting story to tell her friends one day, but Clarke-Wood isn't the only mother who has given birth in unusual circumstances.

Just a few weeks after the midwife's unexpected delivery, an Australian mother gave birth to her daughter right under her Christmas tree. The woman went into labor while wrapping gifts on Christmas Eve.

In January, a New Jersey mother gave birth to her son in the car, while pulled over on the side of the Garden State Parkway, according to

The bathroom might not be the most bizarre place to give birth to a child, but we're pretty sure some of these unusual birthplaces might take the cake:

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  • In A Tree

    In 2000, Sofia Pedro <a href="" target="_hplink">climbed a tree</a> to escape the floodwaters in Mozambique, Africa. The brave mom held onto branches as she delivered her baby Rosita. A few minutes later, they were rescued by a South African helicopter crew, umbilical cord still attached.

  • At McDonald's

    In 2007, McDonald's employee Danille Miller -- who didn't know she was pregnant -- felt a sudden urge to run to the bathroom during her shift. A few minutes later, she <a href="" target="_hplink">gave birth to baby Austin</a>. Sources were unable to confirm if she changed her greeting to, "Would you like a baby with that burger?"

  • In A Library

    Dominique Trevino was on the way to the hospital by bus in 2009 when she started <a href="" target="_hplink">having contractions</a>. Another passenger, who worked at the hospital, told her to get off at the library. Once inside, library security pitched in to help deliver her baby girl. She only had to push twice.

  • At A Post Office

    Sonia Marina Nascimento stopped by a <a href="" target="_hplink">post office in England</a> to buy a mobile phone credit -- but got more than just a top up: she went into labor and gave birth to a baby girl right there. The post-master, who put the baby on the scales (and handled her with care?), said she weighed "the equivalent of an £8.22 first class parcel."

  • On A Sidewalk

    In 2009, Tiffany Kohls gave birth a few <a href="" target="_hplink">feet away from a hospital</a> in Wisconsin. She said there was no stopping her son Kellen's arrival. Security guards and a nurse helped delivered him.

  • In A Car (That She Was Driving)

    In 2010, Amanda McBride felt like she was <a href="" target="_hplink">going into labor</a>, so she picked up her husband -- who suffers from seizures -- and headed towards the hospital. While en route, her water broke and her husband took the wheel. "And then, all of a sudden, I heard this little waa-a-a-a (cry)," he said.

  • On A Highway Shoulder

    A New Jersey couple was on their way to the hospital when mom Alshesirca started having contractions on the <a href="" target="_hplink">Garden State Parkway</a>. Dad-to-be Nelson pulled over and delivered his baby on the side of the road with a 911 operator guiding him. "I was just glad we were driving our truck and not our Civic," said mom.

  • At 40,000 Feet

    In September, Aida Alamillo was <a href="" target="_hplink">flying from Manila to San Francisco</a> when she went into pre-term labor. Three nurses on board and cabin crew members helped deliver baby Kevin Raymar Francis Domingo --"Francis" because they were en route to San Francisco.

  • On The Internet

    OK, so she was technically at home, but Nancy Salgueiro set up a high-definition video camera in her living room in Canada to <a href="" target="_hplink">livestream the birth of her son</a>. More than 2,000 people registered to watch online. Her two-year-old son cut the umbilical cord.

  • In An Art Gallery

    Performance artist Marni Kotak <a href="" target="_hplink">made headlines</a> earlier this year when she announced her plans to give birth inside a New York art gallery because it is the "highest form of art." With approximately 20 people in the room, she delivered baby Ajax in late October. Footage of the birth will be added to an upcoming exhibition at the Microscope Gallery in Brooklyn.


Filed by Ileana Llorens  |