I came across a birthing centre online many years ago when I did not have any plans for a baby. I thought it was such a warm and comforting environment to birth in. Then few years back in Canada, a close friend of mine had a natural birth at home with a midwife and doula. She shared her experience and I thought to myself I would seek a natural birth when the time came. After we found out that I was expecting, I immediately looked for a birthing centre in India, and landed at the Birth Village page. After speaking to the midwife I was convinced this was our calling. My mom was very supportive as she had me at home with a village midwife and cherished that experience. My husband Tenzin and I discussed it and planned our travel accordingly to Kochi all the way from the north east. (Arunachal Pradesh )which would take a good 3 days to reach via train -(this little bit of geography is for those of you who are not familiar with India and it’s states) My first prenatal appointment at the birth centre was with one of the midwives and I felt so relaxed that one could have a check up in a home like environment with a very supporting midwife. Her workout classes were amazing, my mom and sister attended one of them and they were totally inspired by her. After two months of living in Kochi, on 14th April, my contractions started. I informed My midwives and as discussed in Lamaze classes, I was waiting for the active labour stage to hit. Early morning around 2 a.m on 15th April, I felt the contractions come closer. I was a bit tensed that we would not know when active labour hits. So around 3 a.m we headed to the centre. After examination, We were told it was a little early but we could choose to stay at the centre if we wished. We decided to stay back as I felt more secure knowing My midwife team were close by. Little did we know we had a long labour ahead of us. It was 19 hours of labour at the centre. My progress was very slow, baby was taking time, my bag of waters yet to break was nowhere in sight. And to add to that, I was nauseous and throwing up after every intense contraction. What helped me get through this uphill never ending experience was my faith and trust in my midwives, getting coached by them every step, my husband’s continuous love and support and the spiritual energy. I was praying with every contraction and all the prayers from our friends and family helped us get through this. Finally at 10:50 pm, our dear son arrived.For us it was close to a miracle, and the experience we shared that day will be etched in our minds forever. My husband and I are both amazed at the work that midwives actually do. We are in deep gratitude to them for helping us get through this with success. Thank you dear midwives for being so patient, kind, strong and inspiring. You all are amazing at what you do. Special moments: My midwife telling me to go with whatever I was feeling, I was screaming Hername with every painful contraction. My other midwife’s presence always gentle and reassuring, telling me to push on and reminding me how well I am doing throughout my prenatal appointments, labour and post partum. My third midwife arrived when our baby was making his entry. I was in the right runner’s pose, my favourite pose from The workout class. My baby weighed a whopping 4.5 Kg and that I birthed without an episiotomy or a tear HUSBAND’s notes: Initially, I thought this whole travelling to Kochi for a birth did not make practical sense. I am all for birthing naturally, but this was too much work, living in Kochi for three months, being away from family support and the business. But I didn’t want to kill my wife’s dream of giving a natural birth. She felt very strongly about it and so I decided to trust her instincts and we made this long journey together. After attending Lamaze classes, meeting the midwives, I realised that this was a very organised setup and made a lot of sense. I started feeling positive about our decision to come here. When the final day arrived, it was nothing like I vaguely imagined. I saw my wife working so hard though all her contractions, the midwives coaching her and supporting her every step and yet we made little progress. I am awed by the midwives expertise, their moral support and their energy throughout the labour. At one point, I was thinking we might need medical intervention as my wife was losing energy throwing up and losing body heat too. It was such a big relief to see our baby finally emerge into this world. The support that The midwives gave her kept her focused throughout. After being through this birth journey of our son, I have nothing but the deepest respect for my wife and the work that midwives do. Midwives are angels in disguise helping us to bring our precious one into the world. My sincere thanks to my midwivesfor all their guidance, support and care. Tenzin Bv notes Though both kerala and Arunachal Pradesh are both bound in the same country two states that are like chalk and cheese and it’s not easy when you decide to leave your home state /culture to a different one to follow your dream birth but that’s what this mum and dad did. Long Labors are hard by themselves and even harder when you are battled nausea and throwing up for all those hours Never did this mum or dad question their ability or loose their trust in their body or baby. Towards the fag end of labor with repeated chants of ‘om mani padme hum ‘ she just kept going with undivided support from her husband. Such a beautiful birth. You guys were out of this world and it was such a honour to have served you .

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