There’s a lot of mystery, fear and even romance surrounding how birth is portrayed, so when a video shows a version of birth that’s all strength, determination and pure grit it really makes us sit up and take notice.
(Content note: this birth video is brilliant but graphic, and features nudity.)
The Instagram video below is a snippet from the birth of mum-of-six, Sarah Schmid. Sarah’s own full video – scroll down for that – was shot at the birth of her baby in 2015. The footage is going viral again, and being reposted online, as Instagram have changed their policy on sharing imagery surrounding birth and breastfeeding.
Sarah was one week past her due date, when her labour began progressing very, very quickly – to an unassisted birth in front of a camera crew.
“I was not expecting things to go so fast. A few minutes ago I was still in bed,” a labouring Sarah said in her YouTube video. “I just thought I would stay in bed as long as I could stand it. Then with the last one I thought ‘I better get up'”.
Sarah had been planning on filling a huge tub with water and hopping in to ease the contractions, but her baby had other ideas – and her labour was much faster than she’d anticipated.
I’m so grateful that our daughters and sons will grow in a world where their history “books” (aka: the internet) is alive with images such as this one. Birthing is so badass. I love how calm and cool this confident mama and her birthing partner are. Enjoy! Video courtesy of @empoweredbirthproject via @badassbirther via Sarah Schmid YouTube/user/owahiki
“He began to complain loudly”
The experienced mum was able to birth in a supported standing position, between an unnervingly wobbly bookcase and the unfilled tub, rocking back and forth through her contractions. She listened to her body and pushed her baby out, super efficiently.
The baby started to crown just six minutes after the crew began filming!
Read more about birth:
- 12 fantastic birth photographers you should be following on Instagram
- Instagram and Facebook update policies to allow photos of uncensored birth
- A simple viral photo has people rethinking childbirth recovery periods
It’s eye-watering stuff, to be sure, but it’s also a glimpse at the reality of birth for many (not all, though!) women – painful, seemingly impossible, messy and triumphant.
Sarah was keen to birth her baby without others stepping in to assist, and by jove, she did just that. Granted her little guy wasn’t too keen on the situation for a wee while, but he came around in the end!
“Just over 25 minutes after I had roused my husband, our third son was born,” Sarah wrote on her blog. “He began to breathe as soon as his head was outside and when I held him in his arms, he began to complain loudly about his fate.”
You can watch more of this amazing birth – thanks to Sarah generously sharing the footage – below.