Many had it special at Birthvillage, but mine was special-er. This place and its people have made the classic happy climax of my long, not-so-happy story. In 2007 I had conceived a child on the day I broke up with my then-boyfriend. I was depressed, even to realize that I had conceived which I did after 5 months and 3 weeks – many things including my directionlessness had broken my heart. Everyone including those who loved me was confused about the situation and everything together made the pregnancy a nightmare. It all ended in an ‘eclampsia’, a condition that kills many women. It took years to come out of the physical and mental trauma, but one thing good about it was that it made me take myself seriously, and it made me a strong woman. From then on, I slowly but definitely made sure I wouldn’t let wrong decisions take control of my life. Thankfully, I got the best partner in the world who made the best (and the worst 😀 ) of me, and after about six years, we decided to have a baby. As I conceived this time, everything was going fine, but the only thing still scary was the hospital scene – I was in a huge labor room during the previous delivery with many women crying from pain. I remember feeling totally lost and lonely when I could really do with some emotional support. And I had no confidence to say let’s deliver at home this time. And this time around I was a much happier person, way healthier, exercised, and ate right compared to my previous pregnancy. When I was about seven months, a good and kind friend told me about her sister’s birthing at Birthvillage. Till then even though we were familiar with the name, we were not sure about if and how they would handle my case after my special condition, but our friend said, why don’t you just talk to them. I had already sent in my reports on the eclampsia etc before our first meeting at Birthvillage. Surprisingly, although I had met many care providers and such during and before pregnancy, no one ever asked me how this happened. They perceived it as an isolated physical condition which I knew it was not. On my first appointment, they asked this very question of ‘how come?’ which I had wished to be asked, by someone who would accompany me to my labor room. They were ready to take ‘stress’ for an answer. It was like taking a bag off my back and was very reassuring, kind. After that, I knew this was the way I wanted to get things done. In the 36th week, I moved to Eranakulam, and Latheesh joined soon. We went to the classes enthusiastically and I was very excited about the whole thing. My water broke on 24th Sep in the night at 2 am and I went to labor at Birthvillage the next to next night. (evidence-based care states that it is perfectly safe to wait for 24 hours after waters are broken for labor to progress without intervening but the rule of the thumb is that no vaginal exams should be done as this increases the chance of infection-and I hadn’t even received one)The lovely welcome smiles on my midwifes’ faces felt like homecoming There everything progressed soon. From Lying on the bed I quickly moved to labor on the birthing ball and then to the pool where I saw my lovely boy Kabir for the first time. The whole laboring time I was encouraged to eat and we talked about every other thing in the world. I can never forget Priyanka’s kind hug and Donna’s encouraging words during the process. Many things would have prompted a C-section at any hospital, such as the water breaking and the cord winding on Kabir’s head, and I can thankfully say I was spared. With the two amazing midwives and Latheesh’s wonderful presence of mind, the delivery was my dream come true. And with the whole of my heart, I can say that this experience has made me a person calmly confident about my body and self, and it has erased the years of unspent hurt from my being. Thank you.

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