My story, in brief, was a Cesarean with my firstborn and when pregnant with my 2nd, heard about Birthvillage to find out the possibility of VBAC. I met 2 beautiful ladies, Priyanka and Kate. Changed my outlook entirely, and, Sunil and I made a decision right there. The Lamaze class we took with you made me think that VBAC in a positive environment is possible after all. I loved the prenatal visits, too. I always felt rejuvenated on my way home. What you really gave to me was myself again. I didn’t fully realize how the cesarean had undermined my soul and heart. Now that I birthed (at Birthvillage) I feel like I can really be myself – strong and powerful again. You have given me such an incredible gift that I can never really thank you in words. Your love and faith in my ability made the whole thing possible. I was thinking that in our culture women turn to drugs during labor because they don’t feel enough love around them. In this sense, you are a true midwife, acting out of your heart. I am so glad we found you! Coming to the most unforgettable moment of my delivery. My due date was on August 13, 2013, and on 29 July after having dinner I started getting mild pain. They would just come and go every 20 minutes or so. It was late at night so we went to bed. After few hours, we just called Priyanka and informed her about the pain and she asked me to relax and sleep well and also to keep track of my contractions. At around 4 am contractions were coming every 10 minutes. She asked me to come to the birth center if you are not able to manage the pain. So around 5.30, we reached the Birthvillage. I was actually feeling bad troubling Priyanka in the middle of the night and updating the contractions through SMS but she responded to all my doubts. The moment she opened the door I told her sorry for the disturbance and she gave a huge smile and took me upstairs to the birthing room. I was given a hot water bag to ease my pain. Priyanka, Abby, and even my husband gave me a good back massage due to which I was able to manage my pain. Donna examined me and said everything is good. Priyanka insisted I eat breakfast and after a while, my water broke. The midwives were constantly monitoring the baby’s heartbeat. Everything was just fine. By 11 am, we welcomed Tia into this world and she gave us a cute smile and I was thanking God for this wonderful experience and the marvelous gift. My husband has called every last member of our family to brag about our birth and they were quite surprised. By 4 pm, we were back home. My elder daughter Nia welcomed us with lots of excitement. My heart swells and I feel the deepest respect, pride, and honor whenever I utter your names (three beautiful ladies Priyanka, Donna, and Abby) You helped me to take a stand for what I wanted and to stand on my own two feet and experience a birth that I would do all over again (even in the midst of the strongest surges the team kept me focused and cheered me on). If only I had the privilege of delivering [my first born] in your presence as well. You made a dream come true for me. The people that were so opposed to me having a VBAC are now shouting it from the rooftops. May God continue to bless you. You have changed our lives. A final note on the postpartum visit to my home. Follow-up calls daily (for almost a week) and regular check-ups for both mom and baby were so good. In spite of the bad climate (heavy rain), you have made yourselves available. Priyanka, Donna, and Abby, Once again thank you for your care, love, and concern every step of the way. Thank you for your devotion. Thank you for your amazing midwifery skills. But most of all, thank you for believing in me. We almost gave up hope in finding the right person to attend our childbirth, but you were clearly a messenger from God, and we thank Him every day for this wonderful gift. —

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