Against All Odds

Modern medical practice is technology-driven. Hospitals are equipped with a variety of devices and tools which are a boon to diagnostics and treatment – provided they are used judiciously. The problem comes up because of their improper use, mostly motivated by financial considerations. Human beings, or for that matter all living creatures have been giving birth to little ones since the beginning of time. There was never any felt need for multi-specialty hospitals with their expensive gadgetry. As we enter a phase where we are rediscovering the innate greatness and effectiveness of traditional systems in every walk of life. There is relevance in looking at traditional options in the area of pregnancy and childbirth also. In this context, I have some personal experiences to narrate. The journey of my son into this world started in Chennai where I was employed at the time of my marriage. 3 weeks after my wife Sharmila had tested positive on a pregnancy test, we noticed some blood spottings and rushed to a leading multi-specialty hospital in Chennai. After 4 hours of wait, an ultrasound scan was done. We were informed that the fetal heartbeat was low and she has to be admitted for monitoring and treatment. Since we felt that things were not on the right track we came right away deciding to take a second opinion. The second opinion given by a senior gynaec of a super specialty hospital was diametrically the opposite. This got us thinking….. We shifted care to Cochin. However, we were dissatisfied with all our options, with so many questions unanswered, difficult experiences, the most difficult being told over and over again Sharmila was too small to birth normally ( pre-pregnancy weight 39 kgs). Meanwhile our Ayurvedic doctor had mentioned this place called ‘Birthvillage’ where they encourage natural birth. Since we were totally out of options, we decided to go and try this last resort. We went to Birthvillage and met Priyanka and she patiently listened to all the wonderful experiences that we faced elsewhere Then she gave us a brief about Birthvillage and what all they do to encourage natural birth. Then she told us to take our own time and decide what exactly we wanted. Hence, we were impressed by the entire concept and decided to convince our families and go ahead with Birthvillage. Then the actual journey starts… By then Sharmila was 31 weeks. We went for our first prenatal check-up at Birthvillage. This experience was really different from what we had experienced earlier. They palpate bellies and feel the baby inside and they also tell you the position of the baby, listen to heart tones, and check maternal vitals. Our appointments were an hour long. All our doubts were addressed immediately with proper explanations by our midwives. Sharmila was not treated as a patient, she was indeed treated like a mother and myself a father with equal responsibilities. The Lamaze classes were very informative. We came to know about various aspects of birth. The due date for my wife as per her LMP was September 14th. On September 16th at 3 AM my wife started getting her contractions but it was not active. We immediately activated the contraction timer and the gap between each contraction was 10 mins. I called up Priyanka at 4 am, she told me to bring Sharmila for a check-up at 9 am. When we went there at 9 am Priyanka did a vaginal exam and Sharmila was 4 cms dilated already. Now that was a shock! Priyanka asked us to go home by walk since the child’s head had to come down a little more and with the pain, Sharmila and myself walked back. At around 12 pm, the active contractions started and waited till 2 pm at home. Then we again went to Birthvillage keeping our minds clear that today evening we are having the baby. She shifted around, walked, and finally assumed a squat position, and powerfully birthed our baby with dignity And support Hurray!!! We did it!!!! At 6.30 pm we welcomed our little prince into this world. 3 miracles took place upon his birth 1. Sharmila is generally thin by nature and our friends and relatives kept telling us that the baby will be underweight and won’t cross 3kgs. but our little prince was 3.4 Kgs. 2. No vaginal tears and stitches. 3. Baby was born with the cord around his neck but experienced no difficulties during the birth So with this a new life has started. A new journey has begun…

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