Dad saves baby born on lounge floor by tying umbilical cord with shoelace

Marie Claire Dorking

A quick-thinking dad saved his wife and newborn after delivering the baby on the living room floor then using a shoelace to tie the umbilical cord.

Going into labour unexpectedly early is something many pregnant women fear and that’s exactly what happened to Vicki Sparrow, 28, who started to feel contractions when she was around 36 weeks pregnant.

After experiencing some complications with her pregnancy, she had been booked in for a c-section in hospital due to a suspected placenta infection.

But 12 days before she was due to have the operation, her baby Kayden decided to make an early appearance, on the family’s living room floor.

Dad Dan saved his wife and newborn after clamping the cord with his shoelace [Photo: SWNS]
Dad Dan saved his wife and newborn after clamping the cord with his shoelace [Photo: SWNS]

Having phoned 999, a call handler warned the dad-to-be that he needed to act quickly to deliver the baby safely.

While waiting for paramedics Vicki’s waters broke and Dan was forced to act as a make-shift midwife.

Kayden’s cord was wrapped twice around his neck and doctors suspected Vicki’s placenta was infected, so they were both in danger.

READ MORE: 'China doll' baby born with bones so brittle a sneeze could cause a fracture

But, thanks to his quick-thinking in using a lace from his work trainers to tie off the placenta, both Vicki and Kayden were fine.

Having been told by doctors that Kayden wouldn’t survive a natural birth in hospital as it would be too traumatic for him to go through, when Dan realised the baby was going to be born at home he started to panic.

“Then when I realised it was all down to me I was absolutely terrified,” the a building and landscape company owner, from Pontypridd, South Wales explained.

“When Vicki's waters broke he just shot out.

“She was just silent and I was scared I would see my son die in my arms.

“The operator was telling me to grab anything I could cut the umbilical cord with.

“That's when I caught sight of my work shoes in the hallway.”

Dad Dan was praised by doctors for his quick actions [Photo: SWNS]
Dad Dan was praised by doctors for his quick actions [Photo: SWNS]

Having grabbed the shoe and removed the lace, Dan tied it around the cord making sure he it was tight enough.

“He cried for a few seconds but then he was quiet.

“He was still breathing but I was so scared.

“I didn't want to see him die in my arms and for it to be something I did or didn't do.”

Vicki and Dan found out they were expecting their second baby last October, but at their 20 week scan the couple were told their baby was too small and would need to be monitored with weekly scans and regular doppler monitoring.

READ MORE: Mum gives birth to healthy baby boy 10 weeks after her waters broke

Vicki said: “He was a twin but unfortunately his twin didn’t make it. The doctors ran some tests but they weren’t entirely sure what the problem was. Only that he wasn’t developing.

“They said his lungs wouldn’t have developed properly so would have trouble breathing.”

The mum-to-be was booked in for a planned c-section at 38 weeks, due to doctors fears over a natural labour.

But Kayden had other ideas - and 12 days early Vicki woke up in the middle of the night with shooting stomach pains which she mistook for Braxton hicks.

She says she doesn’t remember much about the birth.

“I just went into shock,” she explains.

“This just wasn't meant to be happening.”

Baby Kayden is now four months old and doing well [Photo: SWNS]
Baby Kayden is now four months old and doing well [Photo: SWNS]

Having called for help once Vicki’s waters broke, a call handler talked the dad through the birth and 45 minutes later their baby was born safely.

The paramedics arrived 17 minutes later and the family were rushed to Cardiff University hospital where hospital staff praised the dad for his actions.

Having spent two-and-a-half weeks in the neonatal unit, Kayden is now four-and-a-half months old and doctors say he is growing at a “healthy rate.”

Dan said: “When we tell people they always say just how special it is.

“At the time you don’t think it, you’re just in survival mode. ‘I’m just glad he’s defied the odds and he’s here now and doing great.”

Vicki, a former hairdresser added: “For Kayden to defy the odds and for Dan to step up and save the day was one of the happiest days of my life.”

Guidance around cord-cutting is varied, but it has long been believed delaying cutting the cord can increase birth complications, especially if there is risk of infection.