A mother had her six child while completely alone – expect for the 1.4m viewers who watched her agonising labour and birth online.
36-year-old Sarah Schmid from Halle, Germany gave birth to the newest member of her growing family next to a playground in her garden.
More than 1.4 million people watched her give birth, including her kids, as she uploaded the footage to YouTube.
Sarah had all six of her children, Johanna, 11, Jonathon, 10, Emanuel, eight, Elisabeth, six, Konstantin, three, and, Kiran, one – outside of hospital, The Sun reported.
A video of the experience was posted on her YouTube page, where it’s garnered 688,000 views. A second copy has 700,000 views – meaning in total around 1.4 million people have watched her give birth.
But Sarah doesn’t mind explaining why she decided to share her experience: ‘A woman looks like a woman. It is the most natural and normal thing in the world. I don’t think it’s strange.
‘In old cultures the girls would watch their mothers give birth so they would know what it was like. Now the chance to do this is very small.
‘This gives people the chance to see birth, and especially birth without intervention. It’s a rare thing to see.’
Sarah gave birth to all six of her children outside of hospital after being put off by births in traditional hospital wards
Sarah’s experiences whilst training as a doctor made her want to give birth without intervention
The mother-of-six said she can ‘relax better’ when she is outdoors and is able to focus on the matter at hand
She said responses to her unusual birthing technique have been ‘very different’.
‘Some people are excited and some think it’s the most stupid think I could do,’ she said.
‘I don’t mind. I love my happy and healthy family.’
Having trained as a doctor, she said she had been inspired to adopt ‘free birthing’, (birthing outside without any medical assistance) as she was ‘put off’ after seeing people deliver babies in the wards.
‘I studied medicine to become a doctor, although now I am a full-time mum,’ she explained.
‘There I watched people giving birth in hospital and I thought, ‘I can’t do this. It isn’t relaxing.’
Sarah said the experience made her want to give birth without intervention and after having Johanna at home in September 2006, with the help of a midwife but no pain relief, for her second, Jonathon, she decided to forgo any medical assistance.
‘I didn’t like having a midwife and the birth was long and painful – I was in labour for 15 hours. I did a lot of reading about birth myself. I tried to learn everything about birth I thought I should know.’
Sarah, who is married to 41-year-old Tim, said by time she was pregnant with Jonathon she was a baby expert and felt perfectly prepared for his arrival – in a forest in Sweden, where she used to live.
She was alone in July 2008 when he arrived after four hours – and Tim arrived afterwards to take photos.
Sarah, who lives in France said: ‘I can relax best outside. I can look up to the sky, feel grass under my feet and focus.
‘I found it stressful in hospital. I found the forest very relaxing, so I thought it was the best place for me to have my baby.
Around 1.4 million people have watched her give birth, including her children
Sarah said the other children were ‘excited’ to watch the birth, but that they were slightly dissapointed that their Mum had birthed another baby boy
Sarah had studied medicine to become a doctor but is now a full-time mum to her six children
‘My waters broke around 11pm and I walked to the forest at 1.30am and he was born around 3.30am.’
She said she wasn’t worried about people stumbling upon her as she laid out her picnic blanket and delivered her son.
‘It was very isolated there. There had been a storm, so there were just broken trees. It was bare and beautiful.
‘I didn’t mind Tim not being there. I knew he had fears about the birth – especially because it was unassisted. But I felt I had to deal with my own fears first.
‘I did not want to be overwhelmed with fear. He came afterwards. I called him when the baby was born.’
He took pictures of their little boy before they headed home – without visiting a hospital. Just a few years later, and again without any medical attention, Sarah delivered son Emanuel in their garden.
She said Tim had been taking photos of her bump when she felt like she needed to push.
‘I wanted to give birth to him in a Native American-style tepee we have in our garden.
Sarah has given birth in her garden, her living room, a forest and even a water butt
Originally from Germany, Sarah now lives in France with her husband and six children
Baby Kiran arrived in the back garden in September, while his siblings watched
‘But then the birth happened so quickly – I just had to stop mid-way to the tepee, without even reaching it and it was only 20 minutes before he came out.’
In April 2012, one year after the birth of Emanuel, baby Elisabeth arrived indoors because it was so chilly on her birthday, her mum explained.
Three alternative methods of birthing
1. Vacuum Extraction: A vacuum extraction is a procedure sometimes done during the course of vaginal childbirth. During vacuum extraction, a health care provider applies the vacuum (a soft or rigid cup with a handle and a vacuum pump) to the baby’s head to help guide the baby out of the birth canal.
2. Forceps Delivery: A forceps delivery is a type of operative vaginal delivery. It’s sometimes needed in the course of vaginal childbirth. In a forceps delivery, a health care provider applies forceps (an instrument shaped like a pair of large spoons or salad tongs) to the baby’s head to help guide the baby out of the birth canal.
3. Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: In the past, a C-section ended any hope of future vaginal deliveries. But today, thanks largely to changes in surgical technique, VBAC is possible in many cases. In fact, an estimated 75 per cent of women who try VBAC have a successful vaginal delivery.
‘Elisabeth was quick,’ she recalled. ‘She was born in the living room as it was cold out. Johanna wanted to watch it, she was there. But the boys had gone to the neighbour’s.
‘I filmed her arriving – I filmed all the births, with the exception of the first two.’
Sarah toyed with the idea of a water birth for Konstantin in February 2015, but also wanted to stand up, so she hovered naked in a water butt.
‘I thought a water birth would be a good thing to try. I had a rain barrel because I like standing up. But he arrived so quickly the barrel was only half full. I cut the cord myself, delivered the placenta and cleaned the baby.’
Finally, Kiran arrived in the back garden in September 2016, while his brothers and sisters watched.
‘They were really excited and not at all scared,’ Sarah explained.
‘All the other births were at night, so they were delighted they got to see one. They watched TV when the contractions were coming, because they aren’t very exciting, but when the baby was coming they ran out.
‘One of the boys was really excited. Though Johanna was disappointed it was another boy.’