We were in real heaven when we heard our cutie pies first cry, its been a very dramatic journey of ours, to this magical place called Birthvillage (BV). Once upon a time on a Saturday………stir inside, I was very eager to tell this to my hubby, but I was in Chennai for official training. During these times, unknown to me my hubby had required about the natural birthing centers in Kerala and found out BV in Vyttila, which is the only natural birthing center in Kerala. in fact there are only two In India out of which one was in our very own home state. My best friend Gopika Mohanan recently had her birth there and she insisted that I have an appointment there.We were very impressed by their approach to the birthing process and their personalized care and support from the first prenatal visit itself. I joined their workout classes, which were so refreshing and helped me release the stress and made me active and enjoy my pregnancy. Later I attended LAMAZE classes in BV which was helping me a lot to clear all my doubts regarding natural birth and what evidence-based practices are with respect to childbirth. but I still wasn’t sure about natural birthing for me at Birthvillage as I doubted my own strength and capacity to choose such a bold step. I thought I will gain knowledge on pregnancy from Birthvillage and adopt it at my favorable hospital to have a normal delivery. After that, I had appointments at various hospitals(I can probably write a thesis about this separately as I went to minimum 4 different highly reputed hospitals- all recommended by friends/Facebook, google you name it) to find a care provider who would consider our suggestions, on our choice of labor. But on each appointment with the doctors I consulted, I realized that I was totally unaware of the practices and preferences of the hospital and none of my plans are going to work. I am not here to criticize hospital policies but it’s just what wasn’t for me and that’s what self-realization was and it may work for others but I knew my path was different. I began to realize that my wish could be satisfied by one and only one place…..but I was too late to make up my mind.The birth slots at BV were full as they are quite clear about working with specific numbers every month so that they can focus and offer full care and support and rightfully so if you don’t want to be on an assembly line.. and I was the unlucky one.I really felt a deep sense of loss and did not know what to do.It even affected my confidence to have a normal birth.I informed BV to let me know whenever a slot is available. I had appointments with 4 different hospitals in Cochin during my pregnancy, all of them were treating me like a patient, but I was sure I am not a patient, pregnancy is not a disease it just a passage whatever be the outcome which I have to face boldly, this courage and confidence I had obtained only from Lamaze classes at Birthvillage only One of these hospitals directed me to admit for labor on 21/5/2016 which is exactly one month before due date wherein I was just 36 weeks, they told me that I have gestational diabetes and high blood pressure, wherein none my medical reports said so. as I had passed my GTT and blood pressure reading were always normal. After hearing this I decided to go to another hospital where the doc said since the baby’s head is too big, we need to medically induce pain and deliver the baby immediately. With the knowledge we got from LAMAZE classes, we knew that baby’s head size is not at all a reason for medical induction and convinced the doc to wait for natural pain to occur for at least another week. still, she was not ready to extend it beyond 38 weeks.I agreed upon it hoping to naturally induce pain before the d date doc has fixed upon their convenience. I began to realize that my wish could be satisfied by one and only one place…..but I was too late to make up my mind.The birth slots at BV were full as they are quite clear about working with specific numbers every month so that they can focus and offer full care and support and rightfully so if you don’t want to be on an assembly line.. and I was the unlucky one.I really felt a deep sense of loss and did not know what to do.It even affected my confidence to have a normal birth.I informed BV to let me know whenever a slot is available. June 4th Saturday.I was feeling quite tired My husband even suggested taking a rest but it was my last workout class and decided to go. It was after the workout one of my midwives called me and asked me about my commitment to birth in Birthvillage..also they had a quick succession of 3 births at the center which enabled them to take one more client on… Immediately a ray of hope popped in my heart. I told them I was still waiting for that slot and she asked if you are 100% committed to taking an appointment. As I had to get admitted to the hospital the next day I managed to get an appointment on the very same Saturday evening. During the appointment, I explained to them how much I was fed up with various centers and their smart ways to trick us into c section and how much I wanted to escape from them and to have birth here. My slot at BV was confirmed and I finally felt at peace and as I about to leave one of the midwives said “now you will relax and will be able to sleep well tonight” She was absolutely right. I was no longer under any pressure, I completely relaxed and let go.I was in the best of hands the very same Saturday at 11:30 p.m my water broke and my contractions started with a bang a couple of hours later I was ready to move to the center with contractions every 5 minutes lasting a full 60 seconds Even though I dilated quite fast, my baby wasn’t descending down, I tried all the positions for labor .squatting, birth stool, birth rope, hand, and knees and finally I held on to midwife arms in the front with my husband holding me from behind all the way through my final hour of birth. He was my pillar and rock throughout. Never once did he doubt me or my strength. After 6 hours of a tug-of-war of pushing my precious little came out at 7.15 am on the 5th of June, my happy Sunday. I still thank that day my faithful Saturday..my last workout class which made all this possible.By God’s grace, and destiny my wish came true instead of lying flat on my back with pain-induced at my 37th week for others’ convenience and ending up in a c section. Earlier we had fought for guessing the gender of the baby, but when he came out, we both were in tears without checking his gender.Later We two had a good sleep with our baby at BV.Even the love and care, they gave us after the birth made us realize that choosing Birthvillage was a blessing for us. and yes I gave birth to a chubby 3.5 kg solid boy which was considered big by a lot of care provider, by their standards My final points Eat healthily and exercise right from the beginning right prenatal care is important, and yes it’s different at the center that I chose Attend the Lamaze classes WITH YOUR PARTNER at Birthvillage Do your research even the unconventional ones early on -it pays… You cant birth with the fancy wallpaper you need to check whether the policies in place match what you want for your birth. Birthing upright in the position of your choice matters and I know that better than anybody else..you may think can u have a baby standing, trust me, yes you can!!!My midwives followed me everywhere where I stood, and knelt… Believe in yourself trust your baby – that’s what matters the most Bv notes This mum had all kinds of twists and turns in her pregnancy, and it was hard declining her as we had reached full capacity when we had watched her leave the center in tears. However, a couple of weeks down when a couple of other mums decided to have babies quickly and we had a bit more space we thought why not as she was extremely diligent in all the workout classes never missed an appointment, and followed everything down to T. Chance always favored the prepared… It is hard to beat a strong-willed woman who was willing to go out of the way and a husband who is very attentive and willing to go out of the way. Mind-blowing birth with lots of changes of positions and hard work…. well done. You guys deserve this and much more…. we are proud … Congratulations!!!