A unique birth, not part of a production line

The Women who come to Birthvillage to have their babies have reasons that are each as unique as they themselves are! Aiswarya did not want to be just another person in the ‘production line’ in an institution, waiting for her ‘number’ to be called. Read about how this wonderful mama committed to all of the aspects of healthy birth to make her wish come true.

“My birth story:

My husband and I were in Germany when we first heard of natural birthing in one of our prenatal classes. I had already decided to come home to Cochin for my delivery and we were pretty sure such a concept did not exist in India, let alone Cochin. We were afraid my pregnancy and delivery would be just another in the ‘production line’ in one of the institutions in Cochin.

How wrong we were!! An initial Google search revealed the existence of Birth Village (BV), a natural birthing centre, run by midwives, in Cochin! Never were we so happy and excited to be proved wrong. On reading their birth stories and reviews and additionally, asking around, we realized this was what we wanted. A Skype interview with Priyanka cemented our decision. It was during this interview that I realized the importance of healthy food, of regular exercise and of cutting back on sugars and processed food during pregnancy. This led to a complete overhaul of my habits and routine.

On arriving in Cochin during my 35th week of pregnancy, I visited BV and committed myself completely to the program. My appointments, Lamaze classes, the recommended daily walks and prenatal yoga/workout (Led by Dona, this prenatal workout sessions were invigorating and fun) kept me on my toes the next 4-5 weeks.

What really impressed me was the level of dedication shown by the midwives and the support staff at BV. The appointments were always well organized and on time, which not only freed the rest of my day for something productive, it also eliminated the discomfort and irritation of waiting endlessly for my ‘number’ to be called in a waiting area.

“Contractions are my best friend. I love strong contractions. They help push my baby out”. When Dona made us repeat these words in our yoga class, I thought that was a little strange. I was to know the full significance of these words very soon.

On the 29th of October, I noticed that I lost my mucus plug and informed Priyanka. She asked me to relax, sleep well and inform her of any contractions. Unfortunately, relaxation and sleep were the last things to be that night. It started with irregular contractions during the night and the following day, on the 30th of October, I went into early labor. By evening, when my contractions were 5 minutes apart, I checked in to BV with my husband. I was asked to “try to sleep” as I hadn’t slept or rested the night before. Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep at all.

The contractions grew stronger with time. With a lot of help from my husband and the midwives, I was barely able to breathe and sway through them. Within a few hours they were coming one on top of the other with no break in between and I was taken to the water pool where I was finally able to relax. After several hours in there, my labor progressed to the stage when I finally felt the urge the push. I came out and started squatting while pulling at the ‘rope’ attached to the ceiling (Later, it was Priyanka whom I was pulling at, to help me with this position). I was disoriented after my session at the pool and I was ordered to “Pull yourself together. You need to focus”.

A cup of strong tea, and my water breaking at this point encouraged me to gather my remaining resolve. I soon realized what I was told all along about loving my contractions.

Until then, I was not able to fully welcome them. I had developed a mental block because stronger contractions meant more pain. But it need not be so. Once you learn to welcome them, everything becomes so much smoother. From this point, it took less than half an hour until the birth of my baby.

In the wee hours of the morning on October 31, my little baby boy was born. We heard him cry and nothing else mattered anymore. Now, more than a week later, it still feels like a miracle. If I were to mention what I loved about BV, I would have to mention their dedication, personalized care and support, the way they empowered me through information (8 sessions of Lamaze classes!) and how they treated my worries and anxieties in the prenatal and postpartum period and their continued strong support during labor. I will always be grateful to Priyanka, Dona, Amy, Bincy and everyone else at BV who made this journey memorable for me and my husband.

A few words from the BV team: This mama really committed to the diet, exercise, the classes, and worked hard to make this happen. Her husband who was not able to attend classes did a super job of supporting and being present at the birth. We are alwasy glad when couples work together during labor and birth but more impressed when hubby rises to an event he knows little about.
Congratulations Aiswaria! Enjoy mamahood! ♥

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