On March 5, 2000, Inés Ramírez Pérez of Rio de Talea, Mexico, became the first woman known to have survived a self-inflicted cesarean section. When the case study detailing her son’s birth, Self-inflicted cesarean section with maternal and fetal survival, was published in the March 2004 issue of the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, the mother of eight quickly became an international celebrity.
Inés Ramírez Perez was alone in her rural cabin and felt labor begin midday. Her husband, who had assisted in six of her previous births, was drinking at a cantina. The town of Río de Talea, located in San Lorenzo Texmelúcan in the state of Oaxaca, had only one phone at the time. After twelve hours in labor and gripped with terror that this baby would suffer the same obstructed labor and death as her previous baby, Ramírez decided that she needed to bring him into the world as quickly as she could.
Ramírez sent her eight year old son, Benito, to buy a kitchen knife at a shop, as the knife the family used wasn’t sharp enough. After ingesting two cups of mezcal (alcohol made from the maguey plant), Ramírez held the knife by the blade instead of the handle and used her index finger and thumb to apply pressure. [x]