When critically endangered species successfully reproduce offspring and show the world their adorable baby, I’m not going to lie, I also tend to feel like getting a new shot at life. An OB-gyn who delivered a western lowland gorilla via C-section at the Philadelphia Zoo even said the experience of actually making it happen felt like an incredible privilege.
Just a few weeks ago, another western lowland gorilla was born at Smithsonian National Zoo, the first of his kind in nine years!
“The birth of this western lowland gorilla is very special and significant, not only to our zoo family but also to this critically endangered species as a whole,” Meredith Bastian, the zoo’s curator of primates, said in a statement regarding Moke’s birth.
Born to mother Calaya and father Baraka, the baby gorilla was named Moke (Mo-Key). Keeper Melba Brown went through months of training with Calaya to make sure she is able to prepare for the task of motherhood. And those months have truly paid off, as soon enough Calaya is kissing and nursing adorable Moke without difficulty.
“This infant’s arrival triggers many emotions — joy, excitement, relief — and pride that all of our perseverance in preparing Calaya for motherhood has paid off,” Brown said. “We will provide support to her if need be, but I have every confidence that Calaya will be a great mom to Moke. I am excited to see how he will fit into the group dynamic. There are a lot of different personalities in this family troop, but they all work well together.”
Surely a cute baby gorilla is enough cause to celebrate. Though of course, I would like to be proud first of amazing mommy Calaya. Now let me just go get a piece of tissue to wipe away this stray teardrop on my left cheek.
Parents do a lot for their children and, occasionally, the children of others. This generous mom donated 5,000 pints of breastmilk to parents in need. 37-year-old Carrie Deklyen saved her baby’s life — and she didn’t even know it. Deklyen chose to forego cancer treatment in order to protect her unborn child, giving birth while in a coma.
Dekylen… discovered she was pregnant in April, just two weeks after being diagnosed with glioblastoma. She underwent two surgeries to remove the tumor and, along with her husband, Nick, chose to forego a clinical trial in order to protect the baby.
The miracle baby was born at 24 weeks and conveniently named Life. Weighing only 1 pound and 4 ounces at birth, Life has progressed immensely, according to doctors. Unfortunately, they couldn’t say the same for Dekylen.
Dekylen’s tumor was showing rapid growth, and doctors were forced to drain fluid from her brain several times. Doctors had hoped to delay delivery until 28 weeks gestation, but a decline in both Life and Dekylen’s health had forced them to act earlier.
Alongside Life, Dekylen will be survived by five other children. As proven by Dekylen, nothing compares to a mother’s love.
The miracle of birth is nothing short of a spectacle. Whether you’re a transgender man breaking norms or a preteen delivering your own brother — it’s exciting! For some, like California mom Maria Esperanza Flores Rios, it’s also pretty weird. The eager mom gave birth to twins, born minutes apart but in different years.
Delano Regional Medical Centre has stated that Joaquin was the last baby born in Kern County in 2017, with his younger sister Aitana named the first baby born in Kern County in 2018.
Talk about a never-ending dispute of “but I’m the older twin!” Breaching complications forced Rios into a C-section, but the twins are perfectly healthy. The rare duo join three other sisters, who will likely boast the incredible story at school.
According to Louise Firth Campbell and Amram Shapiro, co-authors of The Book of Odds, the odds of twins being born in different years are around one in 60,000.
Now that’s something to brag about.
I believe that people are inherently good. Strangers can volunteer to return a missing family pet across state. Entire communities can gather together to raise funds for a family in need. Regardless of who a person is, kindness is almost always in anyone’s nature. Latest to reflect this mantra is Griffins goalie Tom McCollum, who lent his pick-up to opponent Pierre-Cedric Labrie to catch the birth of his son.
“I’ve never actually met PC, but I played against him a bunch when he was in Rockford,” McCollum said… “He’s one of those … you can just tell he’s an honest hockey player.
At the time, Labrie’s only option was to fly and miss the birth, until the sympathetic McCollum stepped in. In lieu of a chauffeur, Labrie then braved the Milwaukee snowstorm in the borrowed truck.
“He offered to pay me for (using the truck),” McCollum said. “I just asked him to fill it up with gas, and he was nice enough he washed it for me before he gave it back. That’s all I need honestly.”
In just under six hours, Labrie and his wife welcomed baby Lionel. Hockey may be tough, but there’s always a little room for bromance.
Conceiving a child is not always the easiest task — especially if you’re a transgender man. 34-year-old Trystan Reese, who transitioned at age 20, successfully gave birth to a son in July.
Doctors told [the couple] that because Reese had only undergone hormone therapy in his transition, preparing to conceive wouldn’t be very different than for a woman who had been on hormonal birth control.
Reese said he became pregnant about five months after he stopped taking testosterone.
Reese, who experienced a perfectly healthy pregnancy, educated haters on social media. He and partner Biff Chaplow documented their journey through blogs, addressing people’s concerns. Reese also explained why he chose not to undergo a full gender reassignment. If not the whole of Facebook, it certainly had me touched.
“I’ve never wished or wanted to be assigned male at birth or to have my body match up exactly with that of my partner, who was assigned male at birth,” Reese said. “I’m okay being trans. I think it’s kind of awesome, actually, and I’ve never wanted my body to be different.”
Reese is not the first transgender man to see out a successful pregnancy. But he is one of the few to go public. Judgment is unfortunate, and also inevitable — but there is always room for understanding.
Delivering a baby is always a unique experience. You could be a preteen delivering your brother or an OB-Gyn delivering a gorilla. Regardless, the journey is always different. Pregnant doctor Amanda Hess thought she’d only be birthing her own child when she stepped out to deliver another woman’s baby.
While waiting to begin the procedures to have her labor induced, she glanced at the computer screen in her room that alerts the medical staff to patients’ conditions and noticed that an unknown woman was having complications with her pregnancy.
“I heard nurses running down the hallway,” Hess says. “I said, ‘Do you guys need some help?’”
Patient Leah Halliday-Johnson’s baby was experiencing sharp drops in her heartbeat. When Hess learned that the on-call OB-Gyn was not on duty, she immediately took action.
Dr. Hess, in practice about seven years, says occasionally women deliver a baby in the hospital when a doctor can’t make it in time and in those cases, the nurses handle the birth.
But Dr. Hess didn’t mind at all, and afterward returned to her own room and started the medication to induce her own labor.
To us, the decision may have demanded more thought — but to Dr. Hess, it was a total no-brainer.
On my mother’s side I have twelve first cousins, so despite being an only child, I’ve seen my fair share of births. While I can stomach the sight of blood, I surely wouldn’t have the guts to deliver a baby, which is exactly what this 12-year-old did.
Just 18 months ago, Jacee Dellapena ,of Jackson, Miss., had asked her mom and stepfather, Dede and Zack Carraway, if she could be in the delivery room for the birth of their son Zadyn.
Jacee… simply wanted to be present at the birth because she thought “it would be a really great experience for me.”
Still, when she heard the doctor tell her to suit up, she says, her initial reaction was, “What? He is crazy! He is just playing with me!” But the “serious look on his face” told her that he was absolutely serious — and so, as a result, she was too.
The photos (which have been been shared more than 175,000 times) prove that birthings are emotional, slightly gross, exciting, and beautiful all at once. Not only did Jacee realize the true difficulties of birthing, she now also aspires to be a, ob-gyn.
Every now and then, we hear about unlikely heroes on the Internet. Some have pulled kittens out of pipes. Others have dove into canals to save dogs. But OB-gyn Rebekah McCurdy has gone above and beyond, delivering a baby gorilla at the Philadelphia Zoo via C-section.
[Philadelphia Zoo] wanted someone on standby in case any of the [primate] pregnancies became complicated.
For a while, these precautions proved unnecessary… But when Kira, the second female gorilla, went into labor last Thursday, things took a different turn.
While obstetric gynecologists are trained to deliver infants, non-human offspring require a different kind of attention.
Gorillas are clearly very different from humans. Their pelvis is both wider than ours, and larger relative to the baby. The babies are also proportionally smaller.
Still, gorillas are among our closest relatives, and their reproductive parts are similar enough to ours that McCurdy could easily apply all of her experience despite never having dealt with a non-human patient before.
McCurdy is unimaginably proud of her newest achievement.
To have delivered a western lowland gorilla—a critically endangered ape with fewer than 100,000 individuals left in the wild—was an “incredible privilege,” [says McCurdy].
“It wasn’t until afterwards that it really hit me. Oh my, I believe I just delivered a gorilla.”
McCurdy herself was also 28 weeks pregnant during the surgery, making her a true supermom.