We have always wanted to have a natural birth free from interventions and we were firm about it right from the start and have been searching for the perfect place for a long time. We have also experienced a miscarriage early on which was very traumatic for both of us considering the treatment and drugs that we went through. Being a professional dancer and running two dance schools with hectic schedules did not deter me from my dream as I was determined to go to any extent to birth the way I wished. I am also blessed with an equally supportive partner who believes in my life’s goals with equal if not more fervor. One of the things that worked for me is that I have followed a very healthy diet in pregnancy and have not taken any allopathic supplements and it has helped me in having a very healthy pregnancy, birth, and postpartum Relocation, finding a temporary place to stay were all worked out and I settled in Cochin around 35 weeks. I enjoyed all my workout classes, there was so much information that we worked on together at Birthvillage Lamaze classes preparing for birth, absorbing all information, listened to others birth stories………. At 40 weeks and 4 days during a prenatal, I asked my midwives “How will labor pain feel like? Will I know and realize which is which?” And the answer”you will know when it’s your time” With that I left and they gave me a knowing smile “let’s see if you will come for the next appointment or not”(There is so much that needs to be said for a midwife’s wisdom) I was also told to work on better positioning on the birth ball at home , leaning forward and other moves which I worked from that point I reached home and by close to 5:30p.m there was that unmistakable feeling of my body beginning to work bringing my baby out(And I knew exactly what my midwives were talking about) At around 6:30 p.m my contractions were coming every 2-3 minutes and though I felt I could stay on longer my midwives felt it would be better that I came into the center/ On reaching the birth center I had the most amazing birth experience ever. My husband constantly encouraging me to relax, and to breathe. My midwives were at my side throughout, helping with positions massaging my back(This is an all true godsend as I cannot imagine how women manage as otherwise) I was checked around four hours later( which was the only vaginal exam done)and found to be 9 cm. At around close to 10:30 i started feeling slight urges to push. I used the birth stool, birth rope, worked on squats using all my force and energy, and finally birthed my princess at 2:56 a.m. It was the most mind-blowing experience as we felt we were in the hands of angels. We would again like to specify that pregnancy is not a disease and that the right diet, exercise and most importantly good evidence-based support is what a woman truly needs. I trusted my midwives 100% and that’s what worked for me. I also have to thank my childbirth educator Amba in Chennai for teaching us about all birth options in India wherein I learned about birth village-the natural birthing center in Cochin. Hats off to the entire support that the entire women-led- team provided at birthvillage. Bv notes When a woman is confident in the powers of her body and is able to make decisions intuitively she always steps in the right direction and thats where this mamma gets full stars. When the man equally stands with and does not hand over responsibility and burns the midnight oil along with her he gets a gold. Well done on the hard work and congratulations again!

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