From the United States to the birth pool .

I had always wanted a Water Birth ever since I saw its videos on YouTube. And then I came across the Birth Village page on Facebook. As soon as we found out we were pregnant, we wanted to make informed decisions regarding where and how to birth. Our search for the perfect place lead us to at least 5 different institutions all of whose methods and protocols didn’t match with our view of birth. And then we visited Birth Village. Our 1hr appointment made us realize how misinformed we were about various practices with respect to birth.My husband Alfred and I did not even have to discuss. We had both decided that Birth Village would be our care provider. My husband already had his tickets booked and had to leave to the US a week later. I continued with my regular appointments where I was free to ask any number of questions, even silly ones. I started going for regular workouts from my 3rd month on, and added swimming from the 5th month. Workouts were a chance to meet other women like me and most importantly to prepare my baby and my body for birth. The lamaze classes were helpful as it helped me unlearn a lot of myths and in turn learn about birth based on evidence & facts. I would call hubby at the end of the week and discuss and pass on all the information I gathered.

My due date was on 8th March, so I asked him to be here by 20th Feb so we would have a buffer space incase the baby decided to arrive early. My husband decided to give me a surprise since I had missed him so much through out the pregnancy and decided to come a week earlier on the morning of Valentines Day ♥ He was scared I would go into labour due to the shock and excitement.

I remember my labour in only short snippets. My contractions started on the 18th of Feb just before midnight. I went through the motions without waking him up not knowing that this was the beginning of labour. I figured they were braxton hicks as I was still about 2 weeks away from my due date. Moreover there were so many things left to do on our list like to go for a babymoon, photoshoot, a lamaze crash course for hubby, eating at our favourite restaurants in cochin. Little did we know that our baby was fully prepared to be out very soon. On 19th evening the cramps (as I called them) started to get more intense. Just to be on the safe side I asked hubby to time them, and surely enough they were at equal intervals.. I still kept brushing them off as the usual aches n pains of pregnancy. As night approached we began to accept that this must true labour as contractions began getting more frequent and intense. Alfy, and my family helped me breath through them while packing our bags and getting ready. I was so glad to have the support of my entire family during this time as I was grabbing whoever was next to me to get through each contraction. We gave our midwife a call and got to Birth Village in half an hour.. But after an exam we realised that though my contractions were very close, I had not dilated yet. We went back home, I rested and slept in between contractions, ate and drank as well. When the pain got unbearable we left to birth village again. This time, dilated to 7cm. My midwives helped me rest as I had barely slept since the 18th and would need every ounce of energy later on. We walked the stairs, rested, squatted; my husband holding my hands and supporting me throughout.

Once my body was ready, we were asked to move to the pool. It was the best thing that happened to me in what seemed like forever. One of the things I remember clearly is getting into the pool, sitting down, breathing a sigh of relief and saying “Oh my God! This feels amazing!! “. Everyone laughed and breathed a sigh of relief as well. Things seemed to move quick from there on, or maybe it was the warm pool playing tricks on my mind. I squatted in the pool with Alfy holding me from behind, went on my fours did the runner poses just like Donna taught us so many times in our workout classes. I had Alfy, And my midwife team cheering me on, asking me to push with everything I had. They had had faith in me and never doubted even though I doubted myself. The end was finally in sight when My midwife said the baby’s head was less than an inch away. I drank few sips of water, took couple of deep breaths, and a few pushes later, the head was out…along with the hand, and amniotic sac still intact over the head!! I was asked to stand up to birth the rest of his body. Our baby was born half in water and half on land!! The feelings I felt right at this moment, I will never forget. A surge of love, adoration, strength, fierceness, confidence, peace, calm, happiness, excitement, amazement all at once. The husband, baby and I burst into tears. Our little baby boy continues to be most precious thing we’ve seen.

I would love to say that I sailed through the labour like many stories on this page. I would also love to say that I was positive n confident throughout. But in all honesty, there were times that I thought this is it, it can’t be done, I don’t have the strength. If it weren’t for my midwives telling me that I was strong, reminding me that I was a Birthing Godess, my husband kissing me, holding my hand, telling me I could do this, that we were this close to holding our baby, I would not have been able to birth in this life changing way. It made me realise how important a support system is, and I will be ever grateful for the amazing one that I had. Reading this story, I hope women realize that our bodies are stronger than what we give them credit for. I also hope husbands/partners realize how much influence their support and encouragement has during pregnancy and labour.

Even though I questioned myself during the process, looking back, I wouldn’t have done it any other way. It makes me appreciate life even more. It makes me appreciate my husband for supporting my decision to have a natural birth, my family for taking care of me during the entire pregnancy, my friends for keeping me sane and most importantly, Birth Village and all the people I’ve met through Birth Village for guiding & helping me through this journey.

Much love ♥

Hubby’s Input:

I hated having to miss out on 6 months out of the most exciting period in my life. I especially hated the fact that I had to leave my wife behind, less than 2 weeks after finding out We were pregnant, that I couldn’t care for her myself and spoil her in ways only a husband could. Unfortunately, I had to leave and so I did.

While I was away, the one thing that put me at ease was knowing that she was in safe hands at BV. Like any expecting parents would, we had visited the best hospitals in cochin alongside our consult with Priyanka. BV offered to us everything we had been wanting in our pregnancy process and more. One appointment with them was all it took to know that they’d take excellent care of my wife.

Still, there was always a slight apprehension as to whether when the time came, they’d be able to deliver on all the promises.

Now that we’ve been through it, I can honestly say, the BV team has exceeded our expectations. Every single one of them all our midwives and the support staff always treated us with utmost care and most importantly, treated us with the consideration that Aimie is going through a life changing experience (unlike most institutions here). Even the chechis who cleaned up the bloody trail Aimie left behind, did so with a smile on their faces and were so nice to us.

And to the men out there reading this, words cannot do justice to the sheer joy I felt in the moment that our baby came out. Being involved in the birth was an absolute no brainer for me. I wanted to be there to welcome our child and I wasn’t gonna let anyone (any institution ) make me a spectator in my own life.

Witnessing the birth of your child would be the most amazing moment of your lives and all you have to do to experience it, is Want to be there. Each one of us should know what our women go through to bring our children into this world. Who knows, it may even change our perspective on certain things.

I’ll put it in a way most of you might be able to connect with. You played a major part in setting up the chase for your team, so don’t throw your wicket away at the last moment and let someone else swoop in and score the winning runs. Stay in the game and see it through! Believe me, it’s worth it.

So to wrap this up, I may have been a tiny bit skeptical, but I’m an absolute believer now. We may not be in India for much longer, but no matter what part of the world we may be in, I think it’s safe to say we’ll be back here for our future births, cuz we can see that they’re not doing this (primarily) for the money. They’re doing it cuz they truly believe in the process they advocate and boy, do they Deliver! (Pun intended 😛 )
Love
Aimie ,alfy and the little King
Bv notes
This mamma had been with us right from 6 weeks
She has worked hard in informing herself and pushing herself physically in keeping herself fit and has worked hard on her diet cut down on sugars and all other cravings that women would wolf down in an instant
Her husband amazing man that he is just slipped into the birth role effortlessly with no classes as there was barely time from his arrival into the country
Both of you guys worked so hard together and the connect was so evident despite being away the whole pregnancy
Also a special mention must be made of the grandmother who worked hard on keeping her daughter on her toes. We need more you your tribe mamma!
Congratulations to one and all!!!

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