This dad took my Hypnobirthing Workshop (click here for more info) and I was honored to support this family as their doula too! Read on to see how preparation and support worked out for him.
Homebirth on the grass by Martin, “The Dad”
Here’s some explanation before we start. Humlekärr is my father- and mother-in law’s home which is situated a 20 minute drive from Katrineholm. The closest neighbour is at 2km distance, besides Sadie’s sister’s family’s summer house which is around 1km away.
In Humlekärr lives Lars and Linda (Sadie’s mother and father), Zilla and Ruby (two stray dogs from Romania), Emil (an 11 year old Cavalier King Charles spaniel), 4 cats, 4 rabbits and some roosters and hens. A lake, which you can swim in, is situated close.
Sadie started to feel different waves,
and the waves came with more intensity around 21.00. At that time, we had eaten lasagna, which Lars, Sadie’s father, had made. Sadie’s sister Sara and her husband Anders, and their children Hedvig, 8, and Leon, 14, were also there. We ate strawberries and cream outside in the garden and, after that, the waves increased.
At that time, Sadie’s mother, Linda, and Hedvig went out with the rowing boat and collected water lilies to have in the bowl with the coming placenta. Sadie took a hot shower, then we went to our room upstairs and started to clock every wave. The time was around 23.45. Sadie had spoken to Fatima, our midwife, before the shower, and she said that it seemed perfectly normal and calm, but she was prepared to go to Humlekärr in the coming days.
Around that time, we also spoke with Amy, our beloved doula, who told us that if the waves come every five minutes and they last around one minute, and that goes on for about one hour, we should contact her again. Both Amy and Fatima went to bed.
Around 00.45 we called Fatima and Amy and said that they should start their journey
to Humlekärr, because the waves had come for an hour pretty much every five minutes. Before we called, I had, around 23.00, interrupted a game outside that the children, Lars and Anders, were playing. We needed help to set up the birth pool in the living room. So everybody downstairs began to boil water like crazy.
At 01.00 Sadie went down to the living room and into the pool. Sara and her family had gone to their summer house, just a ten minute walk from Humlekärr. Amy came around 02.00 and Fatima 02.40. The waves kept on coming and, after a while, Sadie changed position to a bed, which was temporarily placed in the living room. After a while in the bed, Sadie went into the pool again.
In the bed, Sadie wanted to listen to her favourite band The Cure,
so we did. I stopped the hypnobirth tracks and put on some Cure. When Sadie went into the pool again, she didn’t want any music. Amy and Fatima did their job and they worked hard. They helped Sadie relax in all sorts of ways — acupressure, acupuncture, sterile water injections and massage. Linda was boiling water and helping Sadie with her breathing, and kept an eye on us to make sure that everything was calm.
Lars took care of the dogs, who were surprisingly calm, helped Sadie with his healing hands on her forehead, made some tea for those who wanted, and inserted more air in the pool when it was necessary. Lars also fell asleep when Sadie screamed at most in the hall when she was hanging in my arms.
I was close to Sadie all the time; hugged her, kissed her, and tried to encourage her.
Sadie got up from the pool for the second time, which was going to be the last time. We then were in the hall, the stairs and the bed in the living room. She tried different positions like hanging around my neck, hanging in the rebozo, kneeling on all fours, sitting on her knees, sitting with her back to mine or Fatima and so on.
Then she told everybody that she wanted to go outside.
We all went out in the morning, and it had started to rain a bit. It was nice to come outside but I don’t know what the time was at this moment. Sadie was struggling a bit now. It seemed to slow down, but the waves kept on coming pretty rough on her.
In the middle of this, I could smell newly made coffee and asked Lars if I could have a cup. Everybody laughed for a short while because it sounded like I was in a cafe placing an order and not struggling with my wife to become a dad. I placed the coffee on the grass but Sadie flipped it over when a wave hit her. She was very sorry, though I was more concerned if she got burned, but she didn’t get any coffee on her. Phew…
Fatima said that if Sadie wanted to deliver in the pool, we oughta go inside now. But Sadie’s answer was solid. We stay outside.
I placed myself on a chair facing the house entrance and Sadie sat with her arms on my legs half-sitting, also facing the entrance. Amy stood beside and spoke calmly with Sadie and did acupressure. Fatima was crawling in the wet grass and told us that soon it would happen.
There was a short discussion about who should take the baby when he or she would meet the world. Sadie told me that she wanted me as support so we decided that Linda should catch the newborn.
Then, at 10.15 sharp (exactly like our favourite The Cure song ”10.15 Saturday night”),
a new person came out. It went really fast from Linda’s arms to Sadie’s breasts, and I got a hand on him. We welcomed Rufus to the world. After a while of kisses everywhere, we lay on a blanket in the grass with another blanket over us. The thunder sounded far away in the distance, but the rain had stopped and Lars came out and sat close to us and played guitar for a short while.
While we were left alone outside, the rest of the group ate breakfast in the kitchen. After a while, Sadie felt some tension in the stomach. Me and Fatima helped Sadie to the bathroom. There Fatima told Sadie to push and the placenta came out. We placed it in the bowl that Hedvig and Linda had prepared with the water lilies.
When the placenta was out, Sadie went to the bed in the living room and we all sat around her. After a couple of failures with breast feeding, Fatima and Amy helped once again and Rufus got a good grip. He had his cord between his toes, probably just as he had inside Sadie’s tummy. And the placenta was in the bowl close to Sadie and Rufus.
Fatima and Amy went to the lake and skinny dipped and said goodbye to all of us.
Lars called my mother and she said that she would come to Humlekärr the next day. Around 4 pm, Sadie’s sister and family came over. They stayed the whole evening, and at 10 pm, we had a cord-burning ceremony, 12 hours after Rufus came out. It was delayed cord clamping, just as we wanted.
Rufus was quiet and charmed everybody. At the same time, we weighed Rufus in the eggbasket on a small kitchen scale. We estimated the match weight at 3800 gr.
After a few weeks ,we buried the cord in the garden and planted a magnolia tree over it.
This was all Hedvig’s idea, so we hope the tree grows just as big as Rufus.
The birth of Rufus was just as we wanted with the best team around us.
We thank Amy for the support from the beginning even until today. We still speak and we hope that everybody can have the possibility and knowledge to birth at home with a team of wonderful people.
I couldn’t be more satisfied with the birth of my son.