My birth story goes back 3.5 yrs when I was pregnant with my first baby- I had a very healthy pregnancy. right from my first prenatal appointment, I made it clear to my care provider that I wanted a normal delivery. Monthly I used to have a big shopper full of medicines and there were a lot of tests and scanning being done. And after all that …I ended up having a c section. The discharge summary said that was an elective cesarean. ### (ie. I asked for a c section…)I felt deceived! Fast-forward two years: I’m pregnant again. This time around I researched all my options regarding VBAC went through all the pros and cons through a lot of information across the world. I found Birthvillage through Facebook in fact right after the birth of my first child. I read those birth stories over and over.I kept pace with the page so well that I knew BV so well and whoever kept it running on its toes even before I reached there. My husband, Sreeji was very skeptical about the whole Idea. But somehow I convinced him to get to the first appointment After the first long appointment he said.. yes we will do this! Now There was no turning back. Sreeji was my power all along this journey I stayed active throughout the pregnancy. Watched my diet.we attended the Lamaze classes. There was so much energy around. The classes were so informative, practical, and interesting. Myself and my husband are based in Thrissur as we both work from there however we made it a point not to miss a single appointment/ class as our outcome was highly dependent on the care that we received. My due date came and went without a whisper.And finally, on 6th Jan my labor kicked in. The day we dreamed of. I was on my maternity leave at this point and was based in Kalady and we left close to midnight to my cousins’ place in Ernakulam. and we waited for labor to progress. We reached Birthvillage in the morning. Listened to the baby’s heart tones which were fine. My midwives then advised me that I needed to walk and climb steps. My contractions at this point were probably every 6 minutes but were at an intensity that was very manageable And climb I did!I went back to my cousin’s apartment and did the 14 flights of stairs thrice.At this point they became, even more, stronger probably every 4-5 minutes We headed back to Birthvillage. it was quite clear that my body still needed time as my cervix was still posterior though the baby was quite low. We were given a cozy room, and we were left alone undisturbed except to listen to heart tones as I think that helped to speed up the entire process. I walked..lunged and walked went hands and knees and worked hard with my body and my baby… At around 6 p.m or so I was checked and found to be 8 cm dilated!1My midwives hugged me and I wept with joy. I felt so energized and buoyed up!! As we entered the last stage of labor, my beloved midwives were there near me…. encouraging me and cheering me throughout the process. With each surge I would call out to my husband, he would keep motivating and whispered phrases and encouragement all throughout. That was probably the most intimate and powerful experience that we shared and I cannot but say that I fell in love with him all over again! I used the birth stool and worked with deep squats which really helped my baby to descend all the while leaning back against my husband for support. All I could remember with each push that I felt I kept saying Vava! I am not leaving without you..! And at 8.09 I birthed our second baby, a baby boy, who weighed 3.9 kg.(My previous child was born at 3.6 kg) As they placed my baby boy, on my chest immediately, every thought of pain and hardship left. I felt as if the stars descended down on me. He was never separated from me. All newborn checks were done with me beside him. There was no comparing this birth to my first. I couldn’t believe how fast and easy it was, and I couldn’t believe how amazing I felt. I was so proud of myself and Sreeji, for having an unmedicated VBAC, so in love with this little one, so happy to have my husband by my side throughout my labor, and so thankful for having such wonderful, kind, and loving midwives who gave us the confidence to succeed. Finally, I don’t know what I would have done without my team.I felt humbled by your dedication commitment and kindness. Thank you team Birthvillage for this wonderful experience… My take-home points Eat healthy and stay fit Take some time and invest in attending research-based classes as I did at Birthvillage. It’s worth the effort and time GET INFORMED TOGETHER WITH YOUR PARTNER!! His support is all that matters the rest is irrelevant Research all your options. find out about minimum of three births and see if it is close to what you want. With respect to VBAC yes there are two sides to every coin and it is your choice and responsibility and not anyone else’s Most importantly, believe in yourself!!

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