Annie Rachel, Arun Jesuraj
Ramya L , Gopinath P
Nishana AM And Sayyed Surush
KIRUTHIKA VISHWANATHAN, M.V. VINOD
Nazila Muhamed Nizar, Hisham Hyder
Nimmy Abey, Abey Paulose
Anna Sebastian, Job Abraham
Neethu Krishna, Sreejith Venugopalan
Razia Saveen, Saveen
Sumi, Tharu Kollanur
Aathira, VED Manuel Alex Thalachira
Sonia Indigo, Jayan
I was totally broken when i heard the word c section. I always stayed positive and imagined a normal delivery all throughout my pregnancy.
The intern came back and said your baby's heart rate is fluctuating. We need to bring the baby out soon but when i saw the reading it was between 155 - 162 and i said 160 is normal right and i think baby is doing good . She kept quiet for a while and said you got pregnant only after 2.5 yrs of marriage life so it will be better for you if c section is done and kept telling if baby swallows then we have to shift the baby to NICU . We waited 2.5 yrs for this little one so i wanted her safe in my arms and went into operation theatre. After few minutes i heard her cry only then i got my life back. She was completely fine and healthy. Thought it was a C-section i got up same day to feed her and only thing which kept me happy was her face. I was totally down with Csection depression for months and then after an year i searched more on natural birthing centers, vbac institutions and then came across Birthvillage . I started following the page in FB and whenever i read vbac stories i would think 'when i get pregnant again this will be the place i will be birthing.'
When my daughter was 1 year old i joined CPN Coimbatore Parenting Network and i was a silent follower. On May 2017 CPN conducted heart in tummy program i was so happy that something i wanted to know more about was happening in Coimbatore through CPN - but unfortunately i couldn't attend the event because of personal reason... i felt so bad for missing it. Then started attending events happening in CPN.
In 2019, February i confirmed my second pregnancy.
CPN conducted heart in a tummy 2 and i met Priyanka in the event and discussed about my birth plan in BV. When she asked about my first delivery, i was in tears for the csec i had. She hugged me and said this time you will have an successful VBAC. I was so happy after talking to her. Around 12th week me and my husband had a Skype call with her. She said all my blood reports and scan reports are normal and insisted me to be in a healthy diet. We had regular Skype calls and she encouraged me to walk and exercise every day. Around 5th month i joined Shara's Active Mamma's workout in Coimbatore. It is all about Pregnancy yoga ,aerobics , labour exercise and dance. Enjoyed each and every class. Never felt I was pregnant when i was doing all these workouts. These workouts made me even more stronger physically.
@36 weeks me and my husband attended Reba's birth education classes . She discussed about stages of labour, medical interventions and comfort measures during labour. The whole day was so informative and fun filled. Around 37 weeks , 13th Nov i had a pernatal appointment in BV. My midwife welcomed me with a smile and did prenatal checkup . She asked me can i feel your baby?? None of the careproviders ask us before doing any check up. She ensured that I was ok with all the examination done. After checking up she said " Baby is very happy inside" and told me the position of baby's head back and legs . She asked my husband - 'Do you have any question ???' He said, 'i will be back only after a week in between when she is in need will u arrange things??' My midwife smiled and said "don't worry, we are there for her at any time" and told us to come next wed for check up. In meantime i joined Donnas Active Mamma workout class. I went with my elder kid for the workout classes . My elder one is 3 years old she was the one who accompanied me every where in Cochin . I can never forget labour preparation exercise that we did in Donna's class. The way she motivated everyone in preparing for labour was awesome.
My next prenatal visit , was with her. She said baby is good and its in same position as it was in the last week and told me to walk regularly. It was Saturday, my husband came to Cochin . My daughter was super exited when we took her to Lulu mall, Cherai beach . It was like a vacation for us in Cochin . I Enjoyed my weekend so much with both my loved ones. Next two days had a post natal care and infant care classes by Bincy . Very informative sessions. Around 4 pm on 27th wed had an weekly appointment. With a smile she asked me how are you Annie? I said I'm good, but i do feel slight contraction on my lower belly. She replied 'i'm not considering the word slight and told me this time you will come to BV only when you are 6 cm dilated. I smiled and said 'yes i will come here only to push the baby out' and after check up we went back home. Slight contraction shifted to mild pain on lower belly... i was trying to ignore it by playing with my daughter. Around 10 PM it was so severe, i was doing all exercises to comfort the pain . I was recording the contraction time it was 45 seconds every 2 minutes My husband was massaging my back when i couldn't tolerate. Around 12 AM i couldn't control the pain anymore... i told my husband i can't manage and called my midwife. In the first ring she picked up my call and asked me how frequent is your contraction? I told her its 45 sec 2 minutes apart. She asked me - 'are you sure you want to come?' I said 'yes, i couldn't manage' Then she said if you are not 6 cm dilated i will send you back home. We took our bag and reached BV by 12.30 AM. Ani was waiting for me she took me inside and made me rest for a while. The my other midwife came and did internal examination and said last time u were only 2 cm dilated this time ur 7 cm dilated. I was super surprised when i heard a word 7 cm and she said your next progress will be after your water breaks. She told me you can do anything you want here. Do as your body wants you to do. I tried all possible way to push. My midwives were guiding me with breathing pattern while i was trying to push. My birth team kept motivating me telling you're doing it right, go head. I was finding it so difficult to push my baby as i wasn't able to control my breath for a longer period. My midwives kept telling me 'breathe easy, you can do it.' I was losing energy while trying to push my husband was beside me supporting. Then they told me -lets go out and try on the stairs. I held the stair handle and pushed so hard but still i couldn't push it down. I tried the same with few corrections with the team guiding me for few times. Finally after 2 hours of pushing my water broke. Once water broke we found even this baby has passed meconium, but Ani was monitoring baby's heartbeat every half an hour and baby was doing good. I completely lost all my energy breaking my water. My midwife lept telling me - keep your eyes wide open do high marches. My husband hydrated me with tender coconut and dates and he was my pillar of support during my labour.
I said i wanted to rest for 5 minutes and then will try to push . And we went in to the room, but every time when i got the contraction i was having an urge to push so i held the rope inside the labour room and pushed with a sound. That's when my midwife said - 'you are almost done... check where your baby's head is. When i kept my hand down, the head was half way out. With three hard pushes my little one was out at 4.20 AM. As soon as she came she was placed on my chest and i was taken to bed with my baby and we had skin to skin for a long time. I was in a great joy to see my little one coming out. Before stitches were done i was given hot chocolate drink. After the golden hour of skin to skin and smooth breast feeding we got time to sleep for a while.
My husband too had a skin to skin with the little one and after then he cut the cord. We missed our elder daughter she was the one who was so eager to meet the baby. Later around 8 AM i was served with tasty kanji . Around 11 Am i was given a fresh herbal by Sudha chechi and i was all set to go home by 12 PM. Before leaving home, my midwife came to our room and asked how I was feeling and she spoke for a while. I felt so happy for the love and care she has for every one. Heartful thanks to Ani , she visited my place every alternate days to check whether me and my baby are fine. After every visit she gives me a hug and kiss. 5th day after delivery i had a massage bath by Rema chechi - it was so refreshing. Thanks to Ginju for fixing appointments and clarifying all our doubts.
Special thanks to my 80 yr old grandma who took care of me and my daughter in chocin. Had a lovely and memorable birth 😍
I was unconscious one whole day post delivery. My baby was formula fed for the first two days... I was totally upset about the whole experience and it took me a very long time to accept whatever it was... The calmness in my baby's face gave me some peace and a beautiful phase of motherhood began...
Fast Forward to Oct 2019 - My Natural Birth Experience at BV
Even before we decided to have second baby, I started reading about the possibilities of having a natural birth after C sec... Also my search for natural birth took me to various new terms like VBAC, lotus birth, water birth, delayed cord clamping, skin to skin, golden hour etc... That's when I realized how much I missed in my first birth.. Then I started searching for places in India where these kind of birth services are offered. When I was talking about these to my cousin, she shared about a birth story she had seen on Instagram, where the mother had a natural birth at a birth centre in Kochi. I read that story and was very happy to know that this kind of birth is possible in South India near my place.
From then on my journey with Birthvillage started. I read each and every bit of information available online about this birth centre. I used to visit their FB page frequently to see if any new birth stories were available to read.
I continued updating my knowledge about natural birth, healthy pregnancy, healthy natural lifestyle etc. I was feeding all this information to my hubby now and then. Though he never showed any deep interest I just made sure, he was hearing these again and again. A few years passed by.
We started discussing about having a second baby. On October 2018 we both took 6 days sasti viradham (6 days fasting). It helped to cleanse our body and mind. Then I got my health checkup done to check my vitamins and other vitals.. I was low in Vit d3 and Vit b12. I started taking vegan organic supplements... (heartfelt thanks to Luke Coutinho, nutritionist for all these knowledge and guidance). I didn't want to miss anything required for natural birth this time. So I was carefully keeping myself healthy and active in all aspects.
We confirmed our second pregnancy in Feb 2019. All three of us in the family cherished that moment and my first son Iniyan was very excited to know that he was going to have a sibling soon. Though I knew that this journey would be difficult for me without my mother, I made my mind strong to take it up and finish successfully.
After the first visit with a careprovider, I sent a mail to Birthvillage with so much excitement and sent the first blood test and scan reports. After the third month scan, I had an online Skype appointment with the midwife Priyanka ma'am. I had read a lot about her and Donna ma'am in every birth story. I was very happy and also a bit nervous to meet and talk to her first time. My hubby was with me for video call. We spoke a lot and she explained everything about the birth centre and Vbac possibilities. She also told me to be very active with workouts and follow strict diet. That call gave so much confidence to me and cleared my hubby's doubts. Though he respected my decision to have natural birth, he was very reluctant. His main concern was how to manage in case of emergencies during labour that too in an unknown city. Priyanka mam clearly explained about the hospital shifting process in case required. He was bit convinced... and I too had ample time to convince him and make him ready for the process After this appointment, Ginju sent me the diet chart and other details about birth options, accommodation details etc.
Also I took online pregnancy class from Happy Motherhood centre. From then on, I followed workout and breathing exercises daily.
On the seventh month, I traveled from Muscat to India... Landed in Kochi to visit Birthvillage before leaving to my home town Erode, Tamilnadu. Though I didn't get an appointment - as my arrival time was not during working hours, I just wanted to visit that place once. Reached Birthvillage and felt so much positivity there... With the dream of having natural birth, I headed to my native place.
Online appointments were going on.. I started exploring places to stay in Kochi with the list from BV. Slowly started talking to my family back home about my Kochi delivery plan. As I expected, no one supported immediately. I too never bothered to convince them. Their only mantra was first Csec means second also will be a C sec... No other way. I didn't want to hear this statement again and again. So I stopped discussing with everyone. Only to a few people, I shared about BV and went on with my plan. I was consulting a careprovider in my native place to get the checkups done every month. Everything was going normal.
At the 36th week, I traveled to Kochi with my brother, sister in law and father leaving my son with my in-laws back home. It took sometime to settle down in the new place. Every single day in Kochi was very unique and unforgettable throughout my life. I started with the Active Mamma workout classes by trainer and Midwife Donna. Totally enjoyed the workout class, and I didn't want to miss any session. Was very regular and this improved my stamina and mental strength to handle labour. She used to always talk about mental strength and she focused mainly how to cope up with contractions, rest between each contractions and handle labour. She also insisted that we should not to sit on chair or sofa at home. Instead always choose to sit on floor or birth ball.. Also 300 squats a day... Lots of walking and stairs.. She registered this in every single class and it helped a lot during actual labour. I felt my early and active labour was easy at home only because of this. My hubby joined me on the 38th week and we had a couples workout class. It was fun to dance and workout with him.
We had weekly appointments with my midwives where my vitals were checked, birth plan was discussed in detail and they wrote down all my expectations and wishes for birth. That was very new to me. I felt like a princess when they asked about my requirements in birth room, birth options etc.
Lamaze classes by Reba, Bincy and Priyanka were very helpful in understanding about stages of labour, comfort measures during labour, partner help during labour, medical interventions, post partum care etc. This kept us informed about every single process of birth at BV. My hubby was aligned mentally and confident enough to handle me during labour after these classes.
We started exploring restaurants, malls and theaters nearby. My son also joined us in the 38th week as I wanted him to be with me during labour and birth. He also accepted and joined us happily. We had yummy kerala style lunch at Dhe Puttu Restaurant. Visited marine drive and Fort kochi along with my brother's family and had a great family time. My brother's family left to go back home. So only three of us now and that kept me active and busy in cooking, cleaning and other household chores. Also, I was very conscious about my diet each and every day. Had lot of iron rich foods as my hb was slightly low. And then, I started having irregular contractions.
We had taken appointment in the nearby hospital and registered with a careprovider... This is a standard procedure followed at Birthvillage for vbac mothers to be on a safer side in case of emergencies. I had to undergo a few tests there at hospital.
I started witnessing false contractions from the start of 39th week. Slowly vaginal and thigh pain and discharges also started. I was very happy that my body was getting ready for labour and kept myself calm and relaxed. I welcomed all the changes my body was going through to start the labour. Continued workout class.
At my 39th week prenatal checkup with my midwife, we discussed about contractions and pelvic pressure. She said that my body is progressing good, baby is happy and moving down. She told to continue walking and do 200 stairs a day. I also did birth ball exercises regularly. I always opted to sit in birth ball than sofa / chair at home.
We had a pregnancy photo shoot with Birthvillage photographer Rachel. It was fun and we had a great shoot at Kakkanad and Subhash Park. Thank you so much Rachel for the memorable and beautiful pics ♥
I took a prenatal massage at Birthvillage by Rema chechi with ayurvedic oil, herbal water bath and herbal face pack too. It was very soothing and relaxing.
The next day on 24th October, had workout class in the morning, and in the evening went to a restaurant for snacks and there started losing mucus plug. I was a bit nervous after seeing mucus plug but equally happy that my labour has started. We walked from the restaurant to home that evening. The surges continued in an irregular pattern.
The following day, we went to see the movie Bigil, and surges continued in the same irregular pattern.... And they were very much manageable.
The next day we had couple workout class.. and I had fun dancing with my hubby. I couldn't do a few workout positions as contractions were picking up and i expected more intense contractions that day night..
Labour day: 27th october 19... Diwali day... the whole night I had regular surges as expected. Now the pain was from my back to the front lower abdomen. I used a hot water bag to soothe the pain. In the morning we planned to go for a movie and also lunch outside. I felt intense pain in the theatre and tried changing positions to manage pain during contractions. It was 15 mins apart, lasting 40 secs but regular. Now I know that true labour has started. Later, we roamed in Oberon mall for sometime and reached back home in the afternoon. I spent the rest of the day at home. Checked our hospital bag and kept everything ready. Now the gap in between contractions reduced to 10 mins. And by midnight reached 8 mins gap... I could not manage pain in lying position. So I was leaning against the wall - and swaying my hips helped a lot along with rhythmic breathing. The birth ball too helped. I didn't disturb my hubby and left him to get some sleep. So that he could help me with comfort measures in the later stages. At 3.30 a.m. I sent a message to my midwife that surges are 6 to 7 mins apart. My hubby spoke to her and she told us to stay clam and wait till the contractions were 4 to 5 mins apart. Then I had a warm shower which was so relaxing and relieved the pain. We got ready, woke up my son too. Had dates and oranges to get some energy. All of us were ready by 4 a.m. and the gap between surges also reduced to 4 to 5 mins. We started to Birthvillage, using a hot water bag to soothe pain while traveling as it was getting very intense. Though it was becoming unmanageable, I managed to remain calm throughout.
We reached BV in 15 mins and my midwife was waiting for us.. We greeted each other with a smile and she did an internal checkup to check dilation (with my permission). She asked me to guess the dilation.. I was hoping that I was in active labour!! To our surprise, I was 10 cm dilated already (as I visualized daily...) .. And ready to push! That moment I felt very powerful and my hubby couldnt believe that I managed so much pain easily at home without any chaos.
Now comes the main part, pushing! It was noweher as easy as I thought... It continued for the next 4 hours in various positions .. Yes 4 hours! My senior midwife's
calm, inspiring words during contractions were so soothing.. She told that you are strong, you can do it! Keep breathing deep...
The rest of my birth team and midwives also joined us... It gave me such energy to have all the midwives talking to me continuously... The birth room was so calm, dim and peaceful... I felt safe... Hubby was beside me all the time holding my hands and supporting my shoulders... I felt his love and support throughout... My son Iniyan slept for a while and got up.. He was very calm watching me in labour and waiting to see his little brother... I was told to climb stairs... With my hubby's help I climbed stairs and when contractions picked up, my midwife told to squat - and push only if I felt the urge to do so... We tried all positions like rope, birth chair, squatting, warm water pool etc.
The water pool was so relaxing and mam told me to rest between contractions to get some energy. Also, they kept reminding me to breath deep during contractions... Ani was continuously feeding me warm jeera water, cold water, moong dhal kanji, dates, banana etc to keep my energy levels up.
Hours passed by, I lost all the energy ... My only motivation was my Midwives encouraging words, support and hubby's love... Whenever I got contractions, my midwife kept saying - take it ramya take it! go with it! only you can push your baby! all these days you were waiting for this moment! it's your time! go with this! I can still hear those beautiful words whenever I think about labour... That gave me so much energy... It was nothing to do with physical energy there... All we needed was our mental strength...
At 8.30 am, I was almost done with pushing... The water bag s yet to break.. I started losing hope... why am unable to do this? What's stopping the baby fromm coming out? Why is it not happening? So many questions started popping up in my mind.. But my midwives stopped my thoughts right there and told me to touch and feel my baby's head.. It was miraculous.. Baby's head was right there.. I touched and felt my little love's head who was trying hard to come out... He was waiting for amma's help and support to meet this new world.. My midwife told me - 'don't feel that you are not progressing.. Keep going.. Each and every push is making some progress.. You are right there... Take it..' And those encouraging words gave me so much courage.. Also she added that baby's heartbeat might fluctuate if it stays in birth canal for too long. That gave me a shock and I really can't explain from where I got that energy to do the last few pushes! The water bag broke just before the last few pushes.. 'I should finish this off even if I die..' This was my last thought and I pushed hard with a high, intense animal like sound...
My baby boy popped out like a jelly bag at 8.52 am... Yes he was born.. Yay!!! celebration time begins!!! ..all these pains are totally worth it!!! .. Hubby was too happy and all I could see were smiles and happiness in my birth team's face... My son was excited too, to see his little brother... In a minute this little soul has transformed the place to the whole new world of happiness... All my pains are gone now.. I felt all free!!! That feeling cannot be explained unless we experience it. There was a single cord around the neck.. My dream come true moment was unbelievable... Even now, I am not able to believe that I did this... Yes I did it.. My baby did it!!!! I felt so powerful at that moment.. That high feel... All this was possible only because of my beautiful midwives and incredible birth team support...
Post delivery I was moved to bed and had skin to skin with baby, gave first feed... Hubby and son too had skin to skin with baby... Delivered the placenta in a while... I literally celebrated the golden hour... This is called as uninterrupted birth... Once the cord turned colour after an hour or so, it was cut by my hubby with the help of Ani. I was given a yummy, delicious chocolate drink.. Enjoyed drinking every bit of it post delivery... We were left alone for some time.. Had a great family time with new baby... Then my midwives examined my tears and told me that I needed few stitches.. Ani was with me through out the time post delivery care.. I couldn't even walk to the toilet because of the stitches.. She was so very kind and lovely.. She patiently took care of me.. I felt my amma was blessing me through my midwives.. I felt that motherly care after delivery... I badly missed my amma, I wanted her to see my baby, I wanted her beside me, I wanted to see her smile and I hope she is watching us from somewhere in the universe and blessing my baby....
My midwife spoke to me post delivery while doing stitches... She asked about my family, vbac experience and we had a lovely talk for long time.. I felt so much care, love and kindness in her eyes...Donna mam, powerful and energetic midwife, has transformed my strength to a different level and her motivation in each workout class gave so much confidence and strength to handle labour peacefully... She always insists to take good rest between contractions and this was trained beautifully in her workout class.... A 'Thank you' isn't really enough for midwives and I see them as God sent angels...they made me feel powerful, strengthened, determined, confident and more importantly proud....
Chechi gave a warm moong dal kanji for breakfast... Meals with lots of veggies was served for lunch.. We stayed there till 4pm and started back home.. The whole BV team was there to say goodbye and I felt like I was leaving my mother's place after delivery.
Bincy, the postnatal care expert, visited us every alternate day to check myself and baby vitals. She patiently cleared all our doubts regarding breastfeeding and newborn care. Also, she beautifully guided me how to handle my elder son with newborn...she insisted not to make him feel left alone and pour extra care and love at this stage.. Thank u mam.
We stayed in Kochi for two more weeks post delivery, went to BV for postnatal checkup before leaving to our native place. My stitches and other vitals were checked and my midwife met us to say bye and she also checked if I had any doubts regarding labour to be cleared.. she also asked about our birth experience.. I was so excited to explain how I felt about the whole process..later we had photo sessions.. Took photos with midwives which will be my lifetime treasure.. Met the whole BV team again to say bye.. I was very emotional during the last visit to bv.. Still emotionally connected to that beautiful place.. The next day, we left Kochi with all the beautiful memories...
My sister in law Jayasri (leaving her 3 yr old son Inban back home) was with me throughout my stay in Kochi and she was my huge support next to my hubby throughout this journey.. Thank u so much dear.... I owe you a lot 😍 ♥ love to my cutie Inban ♥ he was so excited to see his little brother... I am grateful to my whole lovely family, cousins and sister in laws for being there for me to support when needed and also for accepting our decision to leave us alone in Kochi during birth. This is not easy for a family to do.. Thank you dears....
My love to my dear friends back in Muscat for pampering me during pregnancy.. Means a lot to me beautiful girls... ❤
Special thanks to Kalai, Balaji Anna, Devi Shrinivas, Boornima (vbac mom), Priya, Dhana😍.. Love u all...
Special love to my bestie Indu ♥ .. She gave me strength and always there to support and pat my shoulders..
I have got bunch of beautiful friends in BV.. We all had fun doing workouts and lamaze classes together... All delivered one by one in the same month... ❤ We still are in touch.. Thank u everyone for giving good times, memories and support...
I would like to convey my sincere thanks and love to the whole Birthvillage team.. I should thank BV moms (Andal, Mohana Priya, Kalyani, Ramya Natarajan) for answering my queries about birth village and guidance for accommodation and other details.. Also, my sincere thanks for all BV moms who shared their birth stories.. Each and every birth story added hope and helped me to stay determined and positive throughout my journey... ❤
Last but not the least, my hubby... What else can a wife expect from a husband... True love, care, support... Most importantly the Respect... ❤ Thanking the universe for giving him in my life... My first son Iniyan was so calm in labour room and till now he talks about how baby came out, how he was exited to see him and how amma was struggling to bring baby out.. More than a girl child, parents have huge parenting responsibility for boy child.. First and foremost, they should know about a woman's body, how child is born and how to support woman.... I never denied his presence while breastfeeding.. Now he knows breast is just a milk producing organ..
Every woman has the right to have informed and respectful birth experience... There is nothing more beautiful than giving birth to a new life.. Every woman should celebrate their pregnancy and childbirth journey... More importantly they should be allowed to celebrate... Trust your body.. Also husband presence in the birthing room plays a very important role.. Institutions should encourage husband presence during birth, delayed cord clamping, skin to skin, movement during labour, calm labour room, encouragement and support from birth team etc... Midwifery model birth centers should be encouraged more in our country along with mainstream careproviders.
Almost daily, I visualized what I wanted during birth and most of them happened in the same way... Visualization s powerful... Also, regular workouts, breathing exercises, diet, positivity, good supportive birth team, Knowledge about healthy birth, lovable family every thing altogether helped me to achieve this... I always thought about what I wanted and ignored thoughts about what I don't want.. This helped me big time... Universe is beautiful... Thanks to this beautiful universe for answering all my thoughts and positive feelings..
My best wishes to all the expectant moms... ❤ Stay happy and healthy..
To be frank, the things we felt bad about our care provider was, she didn’t like us asking questions especially about what she does, she won’t tell us what she is going to do. But as I was healthy and we read a lot to clarify the doubts we ignored all these. One of the main points was she didn’t touch my belly even once in the whole nine months. In all checkups, she saw the baby only through a scanner, but we thought it is ok as the touching and feeling baby may be an older practice.
The experience that was even worse than the C section was the internal examination (vaginal). In 39th week checkup, she told me to lie down as she always used to at our appointments. I was surprised when the nurses told me to remove what I was wearing as the bottom wears. When I asked why they replied that it was to do PV. But I was completely unaware of what a PV was. When the doctor came, she told me to put my legs in a position in which knees are up. She put on the gloves and put her fingers into my vagina which made me upset and I moved. She told me to lay down relaxed. I remember thinking - when a person who didn’t even touch me till that time does this even without asking my consent - how can I be relaxed???
The most disappointing thing in my first pregnancy was the unnecessary C section. Six days before the due date (2/5/16) once again she did an internal examination and said - there is no dilation, so you come on 5th and let’s do induction. Then I asked her why and she told there’s no chance for dilation in the coming days, so the only way is to induce.
Even at that point, we were thinking positively that after inducing, it will end up in a normal delivery. On 5th morning I got induced and 6th morning moved to labour room after enema. Inside that room, they won’t allow us to eat or drink and when we ask for water, they will give only a sip. Above all, the internal examination that happened every one hour was the worst - and it is the thing which helped the doctor to speed up my C section. At around 1.30 pm the doctor spoke to the outside waiting people (Achan, amma and Varun) that water has broken and there is no progress till now, so it is better not to wait and go for Caesarean after which she comes to me and told to be prepared for an operation. (But the fact is that my water didn’t break, I didn’t see a drop of water all the while that I was conscious. I don’t know why a doctor is lying for a matter from which she doesn’t have any benefit). After that, everything happened very fast and at 2.20 pm our bundle of joy came out (I won’t say the word delivered because it was not delivered to me).
Even though I was happy in his arrival, the thought of C section leads my mind to a depression which made my desire for a normal delivery much more intensely. Then only I came to understand that a normal delivery will remain as a dream for me as it was a C section for the first delivery. But I was determined and searched and finally came to know about the concept of VBAC which is unfamiliar to India especially Kerala. My desire for a normal delivery led my husband and me to find BV through their Facebook page. Since then we started following them, reading the birth stories, seeing the happy faces of moms and dads and very soon we decided it is BV next time.
That happy news came in December 2018, when we found that I had conceived for the second time. As early as possible we contacted BV, but they told us to be in touch after three months of pregnancy, which was quite disappointing. So till completing three months, we consulted a doctor at another institution, where the experience was worse than the first one. From four months onwards we were at BV, where the attitude of the staff made everything much better. Priyanka was the one who heard all my previous bad experiences and assured me that I was in the correct platform now, leave the past and be prepared for welcoming the new one. Both my midwives have attended us for checkups. At BV, the check-up of belly was by hand which was extremely new to me and also they always ask for our permission whenever it was done. Most importantly, Varun could be with me at all times.
Workouts by Donna and Reba and Lamaze classes by Reba and Bincy, were awesome and extremely new to us even though we were not new parents. We learned so much about labour, which helped us to be prepared for a healthy natural birth.
By 39 weeks we moved to Ernakulam by which time we were completely ready for labour and the baby. I had already attended some workout classes before that during off days - and after reaching Ernakulam I attended the classes in full swing. The travel to the workout class was very fun and healthy because it was by metro. I would climb all the steps in Edapally and Kadavanthra metro stations - and people would be staring at me like what she is doing? Once a girl told me that “chechee, the escalator is there which will be better for you” and my reply was a smile. Every day by evening Varun and me would go to Lulu mall at around 8’o clock after dinner which was only 500m from our home and would be back by 11’o clock. There at Lulu, we would be climbing all four floors at least 5 times. On days when we already had a workout in the morning, the number of steps will be more than 500 and walking more than two hours. for the first few days our son Kunjunni was also with us, but we stopped taking him as he was also climbing all the steps and becoming tired. On 30-9-19 my 40 weeks were over and next check-up was on 40+4 days. After 40 weeks Varun was with me for workout classes as my mom was very much afraid of letting me go on my own. On 40+2nd day I was feeling small contractions since early morning. But I didn’t consider it as I had the same before also. But the frequency and intensity of pain increased as time passed. During workout that day I was tired, but due to the fun and energy, I didn’t feel it much. At night we went for the outing, came back, had a hot bath and slept. That time also contractions were there but not very painful.
Contractions became painful by 12’o clock from when I was unable to sleep. My midwife had told me to sleep whenever possible to save my energy - when Varun had called her in the morning, but that was impossible. By evening 6’o clock he again called her, and this time she said - you come whenever you feel so. By 8’o clock we left to the centre, achan also came with us and Amma and kunjunni stayed at home. After reaching BV, Achan went back home. When we reached Bincy was there at the doors to receive us. My midwives came to our room and checked my dilation. The interesting fact is - I had told my midwife during our first BV visit that I hate internal examination. She remembered that and made me comfortable before doing the same. I should say this internal exam was definitely not the same as my previous experience, it was pretty easy and comfortable. I was seven centimetres dilated and they asked me to do whatever I felt like - resting or working with the contractions. I chose to rest and they left the room saying that whenever you need us please call we are right outside.
After resting sometime I decided to walk, and Ani helped me to work with the contractions, but I was so slow in working. By 12’o clock again my midwife checked dilation and I was surprised to hear that I am fully dilated (this is the thing that won’t happen to me - according to my first doctor) and by this time my other midwife also joined the team. At this time I experienced what it was like when the waters break- it was like a gush which actually splashed on Ani. My midwife encouraged me to push with how my body was urging me, but as time passed I became more slow and tired. Then we laboured in the water in the tub, but then also nothing happened. As I came out of the water, my midwife told me- “Sayana, if you need, you can finish the labour within half an hour or you can extend it up to any time you like”. That was a trigger to my mind, I started working hard and within no time, baby’s head was visible. My midwife helped me to touch my baby’s head which leads to a miracle. I don’t know from where I got energy, my body decided it is the time and by 1.38 am I delivered my baby so easily. After 10 minutes placenta also delivered.
In the happiness of a successful normal delivery, we both forgot to check our baby’s gender. After some time when I told Varun to call amma and tell her the baby was here- and he said - is it a boy or girl? I asked my midwife and she told us to check that on our own. It was a baby girl, just as we had wished, a little sister to our Kunjunni. Then a chocolate drink was served which had an amazing taste and gave me lots of energy. Following the post-delivery work, they served a kanji which also tasted so good. I was lucky to have the golden hour, I don’t know whether I got that in Kunjunni’s case. Also, we had the opportunity for delayed cord cutting and skin to skin (for Varun, Kunjunni and me) which is impossible in other institutions here. Then it was our own time, Varun, baby and me and we got a sound sleep. Then my midwife came to our room and spoke for while about how we felt about the whole experience. After which my amma, achan and kunjunni came. Then I got a warm bath by Sudha chechi and we were ready to leave the centre. By 3’o clock in the evening, we left BV.
It is my immense pleasure to say a huge thanks to BV team especially Priyanka, Donna, Reba, Bincy, Ani, Ginju, chechees and others.
My Achan, Amma and Kunjunni; without them, I cannot go through these situations this much easier. I saw the real father in my Achan, he was crying silently when I had unbearable contractions and he was closing his eyes as he cannot see me suffering. As always my Amma was with me in each and every second encouraging me and doing whatever she can to make me strong and relaxed. Without Amma and her prayers, everything that happened in my life was impossible.
Last but least Varun, I don’t have words to tell anything about him. He didn’t experience contractions I know, but he also experienced everything whether it is good or bad that happened with me. I saw his power, courage, supporting, caring, understanding and everything these days. I can surely say all BV mothers are lucky to have a husband like him, otherwise, we cannot be at BV ( I have seen so many husbands who are loving but simply sitting and letting the wife do everything on her own, no matter if it is housework or labour or anything).
Thank you all for helping me to make me understand the power in me and to make my dream possible....... 🥰"
Here is Nish's story - in her brave, powerful, honest and uncompromising words!
I had the most traumatic experience of my life during the birth of my first child. Hubby and me had gone to an institution for a regular checkup at 36 weeks. I had some pain the night before, so we thought we might as well get that checked by the careprovider.
The careprovider took me to the inner examination room and without even asking for my consent or at least telling me what she was going to do, did a PV. It was so very painful that I literally cried. Then she informed us that the baby's head is already down and asked us to get a scan done. We did the scan and they told us the baby's heartbeat was on the lower side and asked me to get admitted immediately. We asked whether we could go home to get the hospital bag and they refused and I was admitted there. I was kept in the pre-labour room with a fetal heartbeat monitor attached to me. I was induced via an IV but I did not get any pain, neither did I dilate. The whole night went by uneventfully and I kept asking the nurse if the baby's heartbeat was fine and she told me yes it was all fine.
Next day morning I was given breakfast at around 8 and then the careprovider came for rounds. In the name of checking, my water bag was broken, yet again without my consent or even informing me what she was going to do. Then before I could fathom what was happening, I was being prepared for the surgery. The reason I was told by one of the nurses was that the baby's heartbeat was low.
I was dead scared and started crying hysterically. I was wheeled to the OT and on the way, I met my husband, who also was super tensed by now due to the sudden dramatic turn of events.
In the OT I was asked to bend forward and the nurse told me I will be given spinal anaesthesia. I was super scared and was still crying. One of the male nurses there told me there's nothing to get scared and told me to hold his hand and all will be over very soon. That kind of gesture by the nurse is the only good thing I remember about my whole birthing experience.
I was given the spinal and I must have fallen unconscious because I did not remember a single thing after that till I woke up in the recovery room. I was shivering very badly and was told that was probably the side effect of the anaesthesia.
I met my family and had to ask them what baby it was because I had not seen the baby till then and was told the baby is kept in the NICU for monitoring.
I was kept in the recovery room the whole night with no one around other than occasional nurses coming in. That was one of the most horrible nights I have ever experienced, and I just wished for morning to come so that I could go back to the room and be with my family.
The next day morning I was shifted to the room and the baby was also brought in. The baby was kept in a phototherapy machine in the room and after 3 days was again moved to NICU due to high bilrubin levels. The thing was a nightmare - with us not knowing what was coming our way next and there was absolutely no peace of mind, let alone the joy of having a baby. But there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and we were discharged after 7 days from the hospital.
The c-section left scars not just in my abdomen, but in my heart as well. It took a lot of time for me to accept all that happened and I was almost under depression.
The next time around when I got pregnant, we decided to be at a medical college, where the csec rate was much lesser. I was already a part of many groups on fb and was very well informed, unlike the last time.
The initial checkups/scan went fine. After the 5thmonth anomaly scan, I asked the doctor about my chances of having a VBAC. The doctor, who was initially supportive of a normal delivery, did not seem very sure about a VBAC and was explaining the risks of uterine rupture due to scar opening.
It was then that I told my hubby seriously that I wanted to consider BV. Although I had spoken to him about BV earlier, he was not convinced about midwifery based care and hence we had shown in the medical college. He had contacts with some doctors and none of the doctors gave him a positive response for a VBAC.
However, I went ahead and scheduled an appointment in BV. I was asked to bring the reports of my current and previous pregnancy. I was also asked to jot down my diet for the last 2-3 days.
Me and hubby went to BV and found the place to be extremely serene and full of positive vibes. The waiting hall had like this wall of fame with the most adorable pics of the babies who were birthed there. Unlike in an institution, we did not have to wait much. Our midwife welcomed us with a warm smile. She checked my reports and told us that a VBAC is definitely possible.
She also glanced through my diet chart (which was basically rice in various forms, 3 times a day) and told me I will have to make serious alterations to my diet(very less rice and more leafy veggies, salads, soups etc.) and will also need to add exercise to my daily routine. She suggested that I join the workout classes conducted by BV.
Our midwife explained the midwifery model and also patiently answered all the questions we had. Next was time for listening to the baby's heartbeat. I was asked to lie down and my midwife asked me permission before touching my tummy. That was the first time in my life I was asked for permission before a seemingly routine examination-Not once was I asked permission for invasive/non-invasive examinations in any of my visits to any other institution. My midwife examined and told me that I have a very interactive baby inside me. It was one of the most heartwarming consultations have ever had.
I joined the classes but could not go regularly due to various reasons but I kept my walking and stairs regime on. Finally it was 36 weeks and I started back on my workouts and this time I was regular. Donna’s classes were so much fun that it was almost impossible to miss a class. There was no sign of any contractions other than random pain in the lower abdomen due to the baby kicking or changing positions.
The checkups were now weekly and my midwives assured me that all was well with the baby and the baby will come out when it is time for the baby to come out.
Week 38- I started getting pain every 10 mins or so and that resembled contractions. I called up my husband who was in Bangalore and asked him to come as I thought I was going to go into labor soon. I went to BV for a checkup and my midwife checked me and my cervix was still closed and the baby's head is not yet engaged, so this must be the body preparing for labor.
My husband came to the city, and he decided to go back after the birth, as we were expecting the labor to happen soon. The workout classes kept me busy, active and happy.
But it took more time....It was 40 weeks already and still no sign of labor. I had relatives call -in and ask me whether I was admitted since it was due date already! There was a lot of pressure from everyone over the next couple of days and my mother was so worried that she asked me if we should go to the hospital now since labor has not started on its own. I was starting to get stressed with all this, but my midwives assured me that all is good with the baby and that the baby will come out when it is time.
My body will open, my baby will come...
My husband wanted to go to Bangalore for an urgent meeting and this time I did not want to hold him back here. He promised me he will be back asap in case my labor starts. He left in the night bus to Blr and next day early morning at 3 a.m I had the bloody show. Never in my life, I was so glad to see a bloody show, By then I had almost given up hope of going into labour on my own. I started getting contractions in 7-5 mins apart, but they were not that painful and definitely manageable. I called my midwife at 6.30 am when my contractions were 5 minutes apart. She asked me to come to the centre to get checked and I went by 9.00 am after having breakfast.
As always, I was welcomed with a warm smile by my midwife.
In my last pregnancy, I never dilated in spite of being induced and I had this fear that I might not dilate with this pregnancy. I overcame one more fear when my midwife told me after checking me that I was 2 cm dilated.
I was asked to go back home and come back again once the contractions are strong and 3-4 min apart.
Back home, the contractions were regular but not very painful and were 5-6 min apart. By night 9 p.m, the contractions started getting stronger and by 9.30 my husband reached back from Bangalore and we headed back to BV. This time I was 6 cm dilated. We were again asked to go back and come back later when the pain is more intense.
By around 12 am, the pain started to become unbearable and I asked my husband to take me again to BV. We called up BV and our midwife was there to receive us with a warm smile even in the middle of the night.
But something weird happened the moment I stepped out of the car in BV, my contractions became less intense and began to space out.
My midwife checked me and told me I am 6 cm dilated. I did not want to go back home and they let us stay there. I was stressed about the contractions spacing out and my midwife assured me that it happens sometimes due to shifting of place etc. My midwife gave me some pain management tips and I did exactly as told but could not sleep much in between the contractions the whole night.
The next morning I woke up and was back on my feet doing most of the exercises we learnt in the workout classes. After a while, I started feeling totally tired and exhausted. I was asked if I needed drips and I agreed. This was going to be a really long day and I had no idea. By afternoon I was feeling much better and was having the lunch served to me. The contractions were not progressing well and my midwives suggested me to go out and eat whatever I like.
I decided on Falooda and called my hubby in to take me. I was missing my son too much and we thought of taking him too for the sweet treat. But by the time we got home, he was already sleeping and I was feeling tired, so I decided to get some rest there. Then, my husband got an urgent call to go to a place that was a few hours away...and I told him to go ahead - as I thought the baby was not going to come anytime soon. He left promising to be back as soon as possible.
By 6.00 pm my contractions were getting really strong and I was not even able to talk properly. I found myself not able to tolerate the pain and asked my brother and mom to drop me to BV. After reaching BV, my midwives checked me again and told me I was a good 10 cm dilated!
My water bag did not break and I felt the labor was not progressing well. To add to that, I was starting to get exhausted. I checked with my midwives if it is possible to break the bag. They checked me and told me to wait for little more so that the position of the baby becomes apt. After a couple of more squatting and climbing stairs, the water bag was broken as requested.
The contractions started to get more intense.
I started using the rope and squatting each time a contraction came. After sometime my hands hurt by pulling down on the rope and I tried pushing by holding the edge of the stair and squatting. I started feeling dizzy and completely exhausted. I also started feeling pain in the front side and not the back. To be honest, this freaked me out and I started thinking that my scar was acting up.
I lay down on the bed and gave up.
I told my midwives that I don't think I can do this and that I wanted to go to the hospital. I called up my husband and asked him to come and take me to the hospital. I Quit.
I was again given an IV so that I can get some energy while waiting for my husband to come. The baby's heartbeat was monitored after each contraction and the baby was doing good.
My husband reached there in 15-20 mins and had a word with my midwives downstairs. Then he came to me and told me that "We are going to have this baby here".
Sometimes all you need is that extra push and support and you can do wonders. I was back on my feet and this time there was no more looking back. I was asked to walk around and come to the rope when a contraction came. My husband supported me from the back while I was at the rope but my hands started to hurt and I started trying various positions taught during our Lamaze classes.
After each contraction was over, I was asked to get up and walk, even do the High March (which I did!) I kept chanting "My body will open, my baby will come" in my mind (I had seen the quote written on the wall of BirthVillage while parking the car during one of the appointments). It made a huge difference in boosting up my spirits.
Then my midwife asked me to go on my knees with hubby on the front and my hands on him. One more push and the baby was crowning! My midwives made me touch my baby's head and I was now determined to do whatever it takes to bring my baby out. A couple of pushes and nothing was happening.
My midwives asked me to go into the front runner pose. One push and I felt the baby was stuck. But I did exactly what they said. Took a deep breath, closed my eyes and did the next push and I felt some wiggling and Alhamdulilla she was out. I heard a small sneeze and a cry. I could not believe my eyes that the baby was out!!
Soon after the baby was born, my hubby wanted to know what baby it was and the midwives told us to find out ourselves. It's a Girl!!!!! I exclaimed with tears of joy in my eyes. My midwives supported me and moved me to the bed and the baby was placed on my chest.
Shortly after, I gave birth to the placenta without any problems and later on my husband with the able guidance of my midwife, cut the chord. It felt almost like inaugurating a new life ...
I was given the yummy chocolate drink and some wholesome kanji-payar for regaining some energy. Soon after, my mother and brother brought my son and he was so excited to see the little one
He was the only one who said all along that it was going to be a girl and Indeed it was )
I had some tears and it was time to get the stitches done. I was so very scared and was asking my midwives if it's going to hurt. All they could do was smile since this was no way going to be anywhere close to the pain I just went through. The stitching up part was literally painless due to the hearty conversations with everyone in the room.
After the stitches were put, we were left to ourselves, just me, hubby and the baby.
We were still in a complete state of trance, still overwhelmed by the extremely intense events. In spite of all that, we felt so much peace at heart that it was almost unbelievable.
We talked and talked and did not know when we fell asleep. Bincy was available just a phone call away, so were the midwives. Both of us slept literally like babies, with the baby in between of course
Next morning, my vitals were checked and I was given a totally soothing and refreshing bath by Rema chechi and was pronounced good to go soon after.
The Postpartum experience...
My post delivery experience has been so amazing, eternally grateful to everyone at BV!♥
• I was back home after 7 days of my Csec whereas I was back before noon the next day after delivering the baby the previous night at BV.
• I was scared, traumatised and alone in the recovery room at the institution after the csec, whereas in BV I was always amidst my near and dear ones, always.
• For my first birth, I hated the catheter inside me but the staff would not take it out until the next day; but in BV I did not have any of that.
• At the first birth, I was so thirsty, but they would not give me water post surgery. In BV I was given my favourite chocolate drink and then a wholesome kanji and payar.
• At the first birth, I was not even able to hold my baby coz the baby was given to us only after I was back in the room. In BV, I had the most amazing experience of doing skin to skin, breastfeeding and breast crawl even while the placenta was still attached.
• With the first borth, I was severely engorged since the baby was in NICU or in the phototherapy unit and I was asked to feed every 2 hours. We had to struggle to wake him up for every feed.
For my second one, I have had zero issues in breastfeeding and she has been feeding on demand since birth.
• I was on pain medication and antibiotics after the surgery with my first one but after birthing in BV, I have taken 0 medicines till now.
• My first one had to go through so many medical interventions in the institution including so many blood tests and sugar tests, but my second one did not go through any of that. The only pricks she got is a Vit K shot and then the vaccinations 2 weeks later.
• I felt violated physically and emotionally after my Csec experience whereas now I feel so empowered at so many levels after my powerful birth experience at BV.
• I was an emotional wreck for so many days after my Csec but this time I am so much in control of my emotions – AND IT FEELS SO GOOD!!!
Thank you Allah for this tiny little bundle of joy. My son has aptly chosen her name as Ivana( gift from God).
Thank you dear hubby for supporting me and standing by me strong as a rock. This would not have been possible without you.
Thank you mom for supporting me inspite of not being completely convinced. (Things have changed since my daughters birth and now she is the biggest advocate of BV in our friends and family circle)
Thank you bro for cancelling your biking and backpacking tours indefinitely while waiting for the baby to come. Means a lot!
Thank you Informed birthing India Admin and team for creating such a wonderful forum. Special thanks to Shyami Sathiaseelan and Minu Bevin for all the detailed responses to the posts on the group.
Thank you Ramitha and Deepti for sharing your birth experiences with me. Helped me tons in my decision to go ahead with BirthVillage.
Thank you Priyanka for supporting me throughout my pregnancy and helping me overcome so many of my fears. Having you beside me always was like having a friend, a sister and a mother. You have very gentle hands, MashaAllah! I never felt any pain during any internal or even while getting the stitches done.
Thank you Donna for being the rockstar! Your workout classes are the best with so much of fun and positivity. Nothing could lift my spirits as much as the workouts!
Thank you Bincy, for taking care of me and the baby so well. You were always available for me and the baby even at the oddest hours, you are a God-sent Angel for us
Thank you Ginju and Smija for the smooth scheduling of appointments and for accommodating the last minute changes.
Thank you Rema Chechi for the super rejuvenating postpartum massage sessions. They literally helped me get back on my feet.
Thank you Reba for being so warm and welcoming. I did not feel like I did not know you, even when it was the first time I met you.
Thank you so much BV for supporting me in letting my baby come out when she was ready, even though it was 1 week past due date and in spite of me almost giving up She is doing really well and a happy baby.
Not a single day goes by without thinking about my birth experience and how life-changing it has been for me and my husband. Eternally grateful!
Choosing the right path+Trust=Empowering VBAC
Just to get to know if I'm really into the labour, we thought of visiting the institution I was consulting at, by 8 pm. To my surprise, they told me I'm in labour and I could deliver within midnight. I was left for natural progress, but I didn't progress to a shorter time interval than this 7 mins apart till 10 am the next day. I was induced and many more interventions were done without my consent. By 4.30pm, I was checked and told they suspect a CPD and I can opt for a Caesarean. I was so exhausted with the pain, interventions, unable to move around freely. We finally agreed for a Caesarean and delivered our healthy first baby who was a little on the upper side in the weight.
I was so stressed out about ending up with Caesarean and was very much depressed. Then after a week of my first delivery, I came across the "informed birthing India" group in FB, where Coimbatore parenting network's event with Priyanka Idicula was shared. Only then I got to know there are natural birthing centres in India. I felt a sparkling feeling as soon as I came to know that I still have a chance of having a natural birth. I immediately messaged Birthvillage about the minimum gap required to have a VBAC for which I got a reply of 18 months.
We left everything to God's hands and I got conceived again when my daughter was 10 months old. Our pregnancy journey was very beautiful from the beginning. We'd our first appointment with Priyanka during my 12th week of pregnancy where she told the facts clearly. We followed the diet and the exercise plan, attended Lamaze sessions, checkups (they get your consent even to touch you which I haven't experienced in my first birth) and we moved to Cochin at the last month of my pregnancy.
Attended Active Mamma sessions with Donna whose body moved like a fluid! I was so motivated and attended the sessions with great enthusiasm.
I started having mild contractions (pre-labour) from Dec 1 which were 10 mins apart each. We waited and it never progressed further till Dec 21, during which we learnt why our 1st pregnancy ended up in Caesarean. When I reached 40 weeks, the baby started floating which was not the case in the weeks before where it was at least into the pelvis. Pressure started building up when week 41 also got over.
On Dec 21, the contraction pattern and intensity got varied with irregular intervals. I couldn't sleep through contractions like how I did previously. Had a water leak on Dec 22 and around 4 pm, the contractions got intense: 3-4 mins apart. We went into the centre at 6.30 pm and found that I was only 1 cm dilated. So we came back home. My midwives were in contact with me through messages and calls whenever we needed them. The contractions didn't give a break and it was 3 mins apart till 1 am after which I started getting a double peak in a contraction with 2 mins apart. We reached the centre by 5.15 am and got to know I'm 8 cm dilated and the head is also in +station. My contractions now had bigger intervals and I started having pushing feeling during contractions. My midwives asked me to flow with the body urges. I was moving, sitting, lying down and in whatever positions, my body wished to. My amazing midwives motivated me during every contraction whenever I was exhausted.
I started having heavy pushing urge and throbbing back pain around 7 am and I tried various positions to push as suggested by my midwives. When I felt the baby crowning with my hands, I started feeling enthusiastic and I remember asking my midwife how many more pushes do I need to and answering myself as 100!
I went on to hands and knees, runner pose as suggested by my midwives and started pushing the baby out. With few pushes, our second baby came into our hands at 7:51 am (41weeks, 2 days) and there are no words to describe the moment.
We'd a lotus birth, my husband did skin to skin while I was stitched up (had a minimal tear in spite of the bigger baby<bigger than my 1st one> because my midwives quickly suggested me to change the position as soon the head crowned). The birth felt magical and it felt so good to go along with nature.
My husband was my biggest support without whom this journey wouldn't have been possible. He stood with me right from the beginning till the end and supported each phase with his best. I'm so blessed to have him!
I would like to thank each and everyone in BV for being constant support all time.
Priyanka for being there always like a confidence booster and building empowerment.
Donna for the awesome workouts and your words "this one contraction will never again come in" helped me to manage during contractions.
Ani for always being so supportive and I'm still unable to believe that you told me I progressed faster.
Reba for being full of positive vibes and you definitely mark a place in getting through the toughest phases of contractions.
Admin team and chechis for being available throughout the journey.
CPN and Informed Birthing India group for the constant support and efforts the members put into.
" My body will open, my baby will come"
The line written in the walls of BV is etched to my heart.
- Kiruthika Viswanathan
birth naturally and I am indebted to Birth Village - the natural birthing centre, that gave wings to my belief ...
How I met Birthvillage?
My birth story started when I read a post of my friend's (Razia Saveen) birth story who had birthed at birthvillage. We shared somethings in common ...we both had unwanted c-sec at the same hospital, the same care provider and we both were deeply crushed and crestfallen by the experience we had there...
What happened in birth no.1?
I had gone off when the pain started and expected to be waiting before they got me into the labour room for induction and other medical interventions....but everything happened fleeting fast ....they induced me without my approval, broke my water and then said I needed an operation....when I denied it they simply told me to find another place. There was no freedom to move or get into a comfortable position during labour. They just waited for 2-3 hrs and then that was it.... I had my first ever incision and suture on my body....all just because my doctor couldn't wait.... after being physically wounded and emotionally remorseful by all this, I asked the hospital whether we could have our 2nd baby vaginally and they gave a definite no as an answer.
Am I going to repeat the mistake again?
No way ....I came across the word VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and I researched more on it...I was quite saddened by the fact that most gynics viewed VBAC as dubious and risky ......when I read about birthvillage, I felt strongly that this should be the place I should go to for my second baby .... as we were in UAE, I had my Skype appointment in my 2nd trimester and it gave me a positive confirmation on my decision to birth there....I reached Kerala on June 5th in my 34th week and immediately went for my 1st consultation.....I had a long chat and felt ready for what was to come.... then attended the Lamaze classes and few workout sessions which were all very interesting and informative.... though I didn't have any strict diet and exercise regime, I knew I had to keep myself healthy and active throughout my pregnancy and birthvillage was making sure that we followed it....
When labour started :
Following my routine check-up and some scans on 28th June, I was exhausted and weary when I reached home in the evening.... next day morning my contractions started at a slow pace (for 20-30 secs at 45 mins intervals) and woke me up but I wasn't sure if they were my true labour contractions or not...as I was expecting my husband on 6th July, I was hoping that it would go away but it didn't.... by evening the pain had gone down a bit but by night it again resumed and at the end of each contraction I felt like pressure.... felt it was time to call My midwife ..... she was very supportive and gave me clear instructions ....so I just let it be and went for a hot shower and tried to get some sleep which was quite difficult with the contractions coming in.... but even at this time my mind wasn't sure if I was truly laboring or not as the contractions were bearable and not very painful....
Next day by around 6 am the pain was more profound and coming at shorter intervals (for around 60 secs at 10 to 15 min intervals)....by now I was sure that I was in true labour.... informed my midwife again and she
decided to wait till it went to 5 min intervals ....but I was heavily disheartened when she gave me the news of her leaving for a meeting in Bombay and that she would only return the next day....(And when she left her last few words were the walls at the birth center know my strength and the bears the struggle of so many women and their power will be with you come what may) from then I was in touch with my other midwife who was also of support.... I took an appointment at 2 pm to check the dilation.... but in the meantime at 10 am I had some vaginal discharge) and soon after that I lost the mucus plug and the contractions were coming at closer intervals... my sister who was to be my birth support as my husband couldn't make it, was traveling to Ernakulam from Thrissur to make it for my birth ....... by 11.45 am I felt that when the contractions came, leaning against the wall was the position working for me.... I was also trying to lean against my birth ball and swirl around.... I felt drowsy in between the contractions and I recognized my endorphins that were soothing me (learnt from the Lamaze class).... so I badly wanted to go to sleep but the lying down position was excruciatingly painful ...so while my mother and sister were packing up I was trying to get some catnap in between the contractions and me lost track of myself and the time soon .....I was not in a mood to get ready and go for the appointment....I just wanted to doze off ....finally with great difficulty I got dressed and we could reach birth village only at around 4.15 pm ...all this time I was using a birth ball and a hot water bag during the contractions....the contractions were now at 5 minute intervals for 60 seconds and not unbearable and fortunately, with no back pain....even after reaching there ,My midwife was very patient and assessed me and the baby heartbeat and then gently checked the dilation ....my happiness knew no bounds when she announced that I was 8cm dilated which meant I was progressing well and didn't have to be sent back home....after this i felt the pain rising and very frequent and she guided me to lean forward on the birth ball and I tried to swirl my pelvis ...the pain was getting more intense and I realised that I was entering the pushing stage .....at this point though I was in a lot of pain ,O was excited and happy that the labour was progressing easily and that my dream was soon going to be accomplished....but I was also anxious about what's to come ....With both my midwives along with my sister were supporting and encouraging me ....finally I squatted against the bed and started pushing ....the contractions gave me the natural urge to push but in between those urges I felt an uncomfortable pressure on my bladder ...as I was in a laborious position, I wanted to end it soon and so just pushed hard at the urge and felt my baby coming out .....as I was squatting leaning on the bed I couldn't see the baby but I blindly trusted my midwives who were sitting in front of me ready to receive my baby.....she was born at 5.30 pm ....they passed her to me directly and I felt elated at that moment....a sense of achievement and atonement....I was soon taken to the bed and she was put on my chest for the skin to skin contact which is so essential for the mother-baby bonding ....in spite of the intense postpartum pain ,I felt triumphant over the ambiguity and skepticism that gets linked to something like a completely natural VBAC especially in these times....after some bonding time the cord was cut by my sister who flew down especially for me......almost a week of postpartum convalescence and I felt great already as compared to my previous birth.
All thanks to the Almighty for gifting me an uncomplicated and easy natural birth that I so badly wanted ...I thank the entire BV team who set the stage for my birth ....I thank my parents ,in-laws ,my sister and my husband who all supported me through the frivolous yet apparent ambivalence that prevailed when I chose to birth at Birth Village and lastly let me thank my sweet bundle of joy, Aysha Maryam and my first born Eshal Fathima for all the natural processes of birth they allowed me to enjoy ..😊
This VBAC mamma is super brave as she had to deal with labor and its turbulence on her own.
Laboring over 35 hours using all the knowledge that she had took it on herself to make her dream come true
Her sister was there by her side when she needed her.
Amazing work done !!You deserve a strong pat on the back for your perseverance.
Final notes for other vbac aspirant mums
A vbac is one who goes against every grain and its not an easy path and it's important for those women to feel that they have been given a full chance and then that is when they feel at peace . It May Also be that everyone may not understand you or your path and honestly it doesn't matter as long you know yourself and a have a team that trusts and believes in giving you a chance without thinking about the outcome .
Lots of power to all of you .
She came to this world on My Birthday and it was our Midwife Priyanka’s (Baby was born into her hands) birthday as well. We were at the height of happiness as it was Abey’s wish to deliver our baby on my Birth Day. The baby was placed on my chest immediately after the birth and Abey cut the umbilical cord.Our son also was there with us to welcome his little sister to this world. Not once was he separated from us and he was quiet witness to my power and strength while I birthed his sister.
I could do this only because BirthVillage respected my choice of Birth. In my words, they are the angels of birth. My midwives words instilled a new hope and positivity in me that became a support system in itself during my entire pregnancy and during labour. The workout sessions helped me to be physically strong and prepared my body for a natural birth. My midwives motivated cared and supported me throughout the labour. Thanks to Bincy for the excellent postpartum care. Thanks to BirthVillage team for making our birth a memorable event and thanks to both of our parents, siblings and friends for their immense support and prayers.
P.S. It all happened when we followed our mind and dream. Every step we took in this journey went well with God's grace. I am sure that, it wouldn’t have happened without the enormous support from my husband. He made tasty salads when I felt bored in my cooking. As a mother of four-year-old school going child, it was difficult for me to manage all the household work along with workouts. During those days he took care of our son Oliver, more than me. When we shifted to Cochin, he accompanied me to “Marine Drive” every day in the morning for climbing steps and walking before he goes to the office. He encouraged me day by day with simple but very strong words “we will do it”. Sweetheart, I am pretty sure without your love and support, I couldn’t have done this.