This story is mainly from Anesh, the dad/husband’s perspective – their reason for this is stated in the first line.
Maria (my wife) and I had read countless BV birth stories and it was always the wife’s account first (and rightly so). After thinking a while, it was Maria who said that let’s have a role reversal of sorts, partly because she wanted a change and mostly because the last few moments of birth were very hazy for her!!
I first heard of BV way back in late 2013 when my sister, Deepti told me that she was planning to have her second child through a natural birth minus the hospital procedures. My first reaction was “Are you crazy? You should go to an institution” (now I know it was because of ignorance and also of being too acquainted with the institutions all my life, my parents being healthcare providers). It also didn’t make sense to me that my father, who had been a HOD in a prominent institution, didn’t seem to have an issue. And I clearly remember, the first thing Maria said was, “Anesh, when we are gonna have a baby, I would also like to come to BV!” Though I thought she was being crazy too, I very diplomatically said that we would think about it.
Fast forward to January 2017 when we decided to have a baby. Though I had been comforted by the fact that my sister had had her second son, Kevin in an amazing water birth in BV, I was beginning to come to know more about BV and to be honest, I was clearly taken aback when I heard that husbands had to be present all throughout the labour and birth. It gave me the jitters as I had nearly fainted when I saw my pet dog bleeding at a veterinary hospital. And now they expected me to actually witness the person I cared about the most, to go through pain like she never had. And on top of that, they were relatives who kept scaring me by saying that I wouldn’t be able to take it adding to my inexperience with babies (I had hardly held them for more than a few minutes at a stretch!!)
But all that changed when Maria did a test in an institution even before being pregnant. She took more than two weeks just to recover from the trauma and I had slowly started gravitating towards something more personal for her sake, even though I was still wondering if I was cut out for all this.
As soon as Maria got pregnant in March 2017, I began reading more about natural childbirth and as I read more, I kept going back to what my late mother, who was a gifted healthcare provider and had conducted countless deliveries, had once told me. ‘Deliveries happened even before hospitals ever came into existence.’
In the month of June, when Maria was 20 weeks, we had our first BV appointment and were met by, who else but the great Priyanka Idicula! I kinda bombarded her with questions and doubts and she patiently answered them all. Through it all, Maria just sat there with a look which said that she was not going any place else! And I understood.
The next 5 months just whizzed past us. I had begun warming up to the fact that I would get through everything. And Maria got so addicted to her exercise classes that nothing would stop her from missing even one class! I went for a few Couple Exercise Classes and came back gasping for breath and in awe of Donna each time!! And also admiring the real strength of a woman.
I have to say that the Appointments and Check Ups were amazing. Even more so were Ginju and the rest of the staff who very thoughtfully and sweetly would alter the timings so it would suit my work timings and heed to all of our requests.
The days went past but, thanks to the wonderful Lamaze classes and our midwives’ instructions, we didn’t panic and waited patiently for the due date which was on New Year Day though we were told not to expect before the 6th. Both our families got together in Cochin and we had a lovely Christmas.
And then as our midwife famously wrote on her wall, just as the first bell tolled for ushering in the New Year, and the first firecracker burst heralding 2018, Maria’s water broke. Her contractions hadn’t begun and I called Priyanka right then who, very matter – of – factly told us to go to sleep !
By morning, Maria began having very irregular contractions and we went to BV to satiate our curiosity. Priyanka was waiting for us and she informed us that Maria was hardly dilated and we had to wait till the contractions were much stronger. The irregular contractions continued and it was only in the forenoon, after I had made Maria walk up and down the stairs of our flat, that it became 10 minutes the evening, it was 5 minutes apart. Both our midwives , just having finished a birth, but waiting for us with warm smiles. Upon inspection, Maria was 6 cms dilated and we were told to stay the night as they expected the baby to make an appearance the next day.
And so, we began. Maria climbed the stairs two at a time and would take deep breaths every time she had her contractions. I kept giving her back rubs and forcing her to drink as much water as possible and finally they prepared the birthing pool. I thought it was all happening but little did I know that our baby had no plans to come out anytime soon! For one, the water felt relaxing for Maria, actually too relaxing for her to even push! And I kept thinking that she was gonna sleep right there in the pool! After about an hour and half of pool labour, Maria came out and feeling tired, lay down for a while. And then, like a bolt from the blue, at 4 am, Maria shot up from her sleep due to the contractions!
So, we again started climbing up and down the stairs, walking all around all the rooms in BV and in between all that, our midwives would be constantly livening up things, regaling us with stories and what not.
By early morning Maria was 9 cms dilated and it was time to get ready to push. We first sat on the Birthing stool and each time Maria pushed, I pushed with her, feeling so very helpless and also filled with emotion at seeing her in pain.
Maria got the famous coffee at BV, and after having a few sips, she shifted to the Birthing Rope. I supported her from behind as she began pushing in earnest. I channelized my energies to help her push down and then, came the words from the midwife, “your baby has crowned!!” She asked Maria if she wanted to feel our baby’s head for the first time to which Maria said no. She was way too afraid! And then she asked me. I had no hesitations and just jumped at the opportunity. I couldn’t see her as I was behind Maria but I felt something soft and wet. Such a thrill..!
I could sense Maria was feeling weak to stand up and I lifted her. Where I got the energy to do that I still don’t know. And then came the final pep talk. “Who are you? Are you the Super girl?” Maria nodded her head. “Yes. I am the Super girl” she said and in 3 strong pushes, our baby was out into our midwife’s super efficient hands, accompanied by a cry which sounded like music to my ears.
And yes, I hadn’t fainted !!
Rather, in spite of not sleeping three nights at a stretch, I was so overcome with emotion (they were tears of joy and the fact that I had witnessed something so overwhelming and beautiful) that when the midwife asked me if I wanted to know whether it was a boy or a girl, I said that it really didn’t matter. Though I always pinned for a girl, it really didn’t matter to me at that point. I just said a silent prayer to God and thanked him.
We all lifted Maria onto the bed and placed our little sunshine on her which is when Donna told us that my mom had come back into our lives. I didn’t realize what she meant and then the realization set in. I was a father to a Girl. Then, it was as if a dam had burst and the emotions were a flood.
After some time, I cut her umbilical cord (a very surreal moment) and my little precious was placed on my chest. Life had become complete.
What followed that night was almost nearly overwhelming. Maria was advised to spend the night at BV and take complete rest and a person with zero experience (me) was told to take care of the newest entrant that whole night! Under the watchful eyes of Our midwives (she never came to my aid whenever Tessa cried, instead she gave me a look which said I had to do it all my on my own) and initial guidance of Bincy, I pacified her and cleaned up her meconium (never in my wildest dreams had I imagined I would manage that, I used to feel nauseous when I used to see other kids puke!). As the morning rays crept into the room and I cradled her to sleep, I realized that there is truly something known as Paternal Instinct deep within us Men. It is a lot of work and involves changing your very nature and behaviour. Is it worth it? Definitely.
Thank you Priyanka, Donna, Bincy, Ginju and the rest of the team at BV for opening my eyes and making me believe.
And Thank You God and Amma. The way You watched over us was indescribable and unbelievable.
As a new mom and a Super girl (the name my midiwfe gave me!!), the only thing I can say is a big Thank You to certain people from the very bottom of my heart.
First to the Almighty. HE was my faith and hope in every sense of the word. I felt His guiding hand through every difficult stage of my pregnancy and birth. To my parents, Mummy and Pappa. And my lovely sisters, Treesa and Ochu. For all the love and help. To Deepti Chechi. For being the elder sister I never had and for everything she has done for me. Also, to Appan (Anesh’s Dad), Joju and the kids. To all my friends and relatives. For the support and encouragement. To the kindest and warmest care providers I have ever known. The true Rock Stars of this world. Both my midwives – one a Super Mom of 9 children sweating it out was an inspiration to me every single exercise class, pushing me and encouraging me. She used to tell me to “Love my contractions” and those words stayed with me all through the final stages of my labour when the contractions used to hit me like tidal waves. My other midwife – Mother, Sister, Friend. All rolled into one. To Bincy whose post-natal care and checkups were friendly & super warm.
And lastly but most importantly, to my love. From the time we got married, Anesh has been my pillar of support through all my ups and downs. Ever since he knew that I was pregnant, he hid his sadness at not having his mom, and was everything and much more that I ever wanted him to be.
And when I thought I shouldn’t be expecting more, he was there every single second with me from the midnight of 1st January when my water broke to the 3rd of January when he cut the umbilical cord of my baby encouraging me and supporting me. And continues to be so.
The only thing I clearly remember during my last stages of birth was how after Tessa had crowned, and I had no strength to stand up anymore, he just picked me up from behind and supported my full weight (he was only 200 gms heavier than me at that point!) and encouraged me to go past the final 3 pushes. Thank you to the entire team of BV for 9 months that I will never ever forget in my whole life..!
Bv notes
One of our most powerful births and what a way to ring in the new year.
We walked talked climbed all through this one .
The love strength and confidence was such a treat to bear witness too.
Immense work and courage should sum this labor with all its twists and turns .
Thank you for choosing us to be there to welcome your little one .
Congratulations again .
Love Bv

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