(This is truly a heartfelt letter that this dad has penned to his son about his birth.) Read on… Dear Son, I hope this letter finds you well and in good health. I have been tasked to tell you the story of your birth, in the hope you will find it amusing as you grow and read it on your birthday every year. Since I have had no idea of my own and have had no one to tell me about it, this does come as something unique for me. Your birth is a story of the hard work, effort, pain, patience, and unrelenting faith of three ladies, your two midwives, and your mother. I might have played my role in it too, largely as a bystander. I still remember that day when your mother tested positive as if it were yesterday. You came to us after much effort, hard work, and prayers. That day was very, very special for both of us. Since I would be away with work a lot and your mother would be on her own at home, I thought it prudent to send her back to her ancestral home instead. It was there that she had the mother of all brain waves. Through some means or the other, she came to know about a natural birthing center nearby. After enquiring about the place with her friend, she decided to go pay the place a visit. The meeting went well and she called me to discuss the issue. Here is the first lesson for you, that you always trust a woman’s instinct. Especially that of a mother. There was never any doubt in my mind that she would choose the very best possible for you, even though I was looking forward to ways more conventionally followed. The choice of Birthvillage as a natural birthing center for you has been a truly endearing experience for both me and your mother. Not only did that make your birth all the more special, but the entire process also made me realize how much I love your mother and brought us even closer together. My work commitments meant I could attend the various informative classes only towards the very end. Your mother, however, had the full course comprising workouts, meditation, singing bowls, the whole lot of it. And she enjoyed every one of them. I am sure she must have felt the whole duration of pregnancy as something magical. Here was an institute educating women about their pregnancy, preparing them for both physical and psychological changes that come with it. It was very unique in the way in which it approached the very phenomenon of pregnancy and birth. In an era where the sacred oath to care and heal is supplanted by an obsessive need to make more money, they were a breath of fresh air. And so we learned, we worked out and we waited. And we waited some more. Apparently, you got a little too comfortable in your mother’s womb. The due date came and went, and our patience started to ebb slowly and tensions started to mount. your midwives were having none of it though. She was confident in your mother’s ability to bring you out on time. The ultrasound scans were fine. The biophysical readings were steady and good. Nothing to be anxious about. However, with each passing day, your mother grew more anxious. When the final scan showed her fluid levels as the lower limit of normal, we decided to go proactive about it. Your midwives were again influential in the way she handled the whole situation. Thus we move to the evening of 19th June 2016, your mother’s water had broken and her contractions were coming in steady and evenly spaced out. We called our midwives and the battle was called. The labor to bring you into this world lasted well over 26 hours. 26 hours of intense physical and mental stress. But, you never batted an eyelid all through! You always knew that with such loving arms around you to protect you, there was never a need to worry. Even when we faltered and doubted, neither did your midwives nor your mother ever think of giving up. The strength of their conviction and belief in your mother was far greater than her own. As for you, you were like “whatever”! Never a reduction in heartbeat rate. All you wanted was to get it over with! You showed your head at 2:13 pm and you came through at 2:16. Even that was dramatic. You were lying around thinking “the hell’s goin on?” instead of coming out. So your midwives had to give you a nudge and pull you out. There were tears of joy and hugs all around. Welcome to the real world son! Your birth was not exactly conventional son. And if the conventionalists had their way, you would have born in a regular institution and your mother would have gone under the knife. This is the thing then son, that norms being norms doesn’t always mean they are right. Have the courage to challenge the norms and the strength to hold on to your beliefs. Faith is a funny thing son, couple it with hope and you can achieve things that truly remarkable. Trust your instincts, seek counsel when you should. Surround yourselves with good people. Believe in the necessity of doing things right and the ability of providence to guide you through it. Go forth in confidence my son. Go forth in pride and joy. You truly are a gift to us. And whatever the hurdles and obstacles you have across your path, you will always have someone to pull you out with gentle care and affection. With much love and affection, Dad. Bv notes A birth that brought us to your knees. We are humbled by how this couple stuck it out even in the most trying situations When labor did not hit until mamma crossed a good two weeks after date When labor was challenging and how dad pushed mamma to give it her all and stood by thick and thin How mum willed up her courage and determination to hold on despite a good labor of 26 hours AND to a strong strong baby despite having a tight cord and nuchal hand decided to wait for his entry into the universe with a very strong presence throughout labor and birth! (and for those who work in the birth world and for parents alike despite being 42 plus 3 not a trace of meconium!) You guys are super duper awesome!!! congrats again!

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