April – December 2014(Rewind)

The birth story of my second child – the ‘story’ actually starts with a regular institutional birth I had for my first child. Though I was informed about some things related to birth, I never really did enough research and just followed whatever was told and by the elders in the house.Despite Being a Bharatanatyam dancer, I stopped dancing as well. I had a healthy pregnancy throughout but at 40 weeks (my due date – 12th December), and like most women, I was induced. And due to continuous electronic fetal monitoring, I couldn’t move around for comfort or better positioning for the baby. My membranes were ruptured to hasten labor, and I was unable to bear the pain ( and after 6 hours of labor and only dilated for 3cm with induction), I took an epidural. Though my husband was allowed to be with me till that point, he was sent away when I had the epidural and was asked to come back only when I was fully dilated. Throughout my labor, I wasn’t allowed to eat anything, just had some fluids which I vomited and hence fell so low on energy. After pushing for around 30 minutes, I had an episiotomy and finally I delivered my son, Dhruv. He was placed on my tummy for a minute, his cord cut and then he was taken away for bath and routine checks in the hospital. It took more than an hour for the doctors to stitch me up and finally they sent me to room. Dhruv was brought even later, more than an hour after he was born. I fed him only then. This is how it is to have a ‘normal delivery’ in a hospital and I was considered lucky that I didn’t have a c-section. It was the same time that a close friend of mine delivered her son at home assisted by a midwife. As any first time mother, I was worried about consequences and didn’t have the courage to try natural birth. When Dhruv was around 4 months, a friend suggested Facebook support groups for parenting. They opened a whole new world to me. I learned a lot about babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding, gentle parenting and so on. That was when a new group called ‘Informed birthing’ was formed and I got to know a lot about natural birthing and other related topics like delayed cord clamping, water birth etc. And that was when I came across BirthVillage. I read a lot of natural birth stories in their Facebook page and they inspired me. I also watched a lot of natural birth videos, unassisted and assisted by midwives and realized what I had missed the first time without doing proper research. So even before conceiving second time, I had decided that I will have my deliver only in BirthVillage.

February – October 2017(fast forward to the current)
When I found that I was pregnant for the second time, my initial visits were with my previous care provider at coimbatore while I tried convincing my husband, Vikranth and family about natural birthing and going to BrithVillage. It was around that time that a group of parents from Coimbatore Parenting Network (a group in Facebook), organized a talk by Priyanka, the founder of BirthVillage. Viky and I gained a lot of information from the meet and he was convinced that we would do this together – the natural way. Next I contacted them and had a Skype appointment . They gave me a lot of diet and lifestyle changes. She also told me to keep dancing which I feel kept me active and happy throughout my pregnancy. I even performed on stage twice during my first trimester and once during my 7th month. So I was dancing, teaching dance to kids, walking a lot, taking stairs often, doing prenatal yoga, driving etc knowing that these would keep me occupied and active. We traveled to Cochin twice for the Lamaze classes and we learnt so many things about pregnancy, labor and parenthood that we would recommend these classes for every couple who is expecting their child. Our midwives – Priyanka and Amy were so experienced and shared a lot of information related to these topics. We also had our monthly check up with Priyanka. I used to note down a lot of doubts to ask her and she would patiently explain everything till we are satisfied. She also encourages us to read and research a lot about each thing to make an informed decision. We moved to Cochin when I was around 37 weeks and I started attending the workout classes – again amazing to see how pregnant women sweat it out with dance and stretches and bond with the baby. Donna, the midwife who conducted these classes motivates everyone and the classes were so much fun. Ever since we moved to Cochin, we went around exploring places there and so my last few weeks of pregnancy went on peaceful with a lot of new experiences.
Now about my labor experience. I had been getting lower abdomen and groin pain for a few days after week 37 and my midwife had told I was getting closer. Viky was shuttling between Coimbatore and Cochin all these days and had decided to move in finally on 5th October. On 5th morning, I woke up with severe abdomen pain and back pain which went away after a few seconds. I started getting ready for the workout class but I felt the pain resurface again. At first I dismissed it as the usual pain but when it happened thrice with equal time gap, it got me worried. If this is actual labor pain, as we had been taught that second time mothers usually labor for lesser time compared to the first so I was worried if Viky would make it on time! I called up BirthVillage and Priyanka asked me to come over because I had my appointment scheduled that day anyway. I met My other midwife around noon and she told me to eat well and get enough rest and sleep as I was getting closer. I left BirthVillage with positive thoughts. I called Viky and asked him to come to Cochin as soon as possible. Then at home, I kept timing my contractions and they were 30 min apart and lasted for 30-40 sec. I used the birth ball and hot water bag during the contractions and they were such a relief! Around 4pm,my midwife called to check upon me and she told me not to time the contractions and worry too much. She told me to relax and inform her when the contractions are much closer, about 10 min apart. At about 7pm, Viky reached home and finally I could breathe in peace! We had an early dinner and tried to sleep early but Dhruv had other plans and kept playing till 12am. I can never forget that night – it rained so heavily and the thunder was so deafening! It was so scary that I kept wishing I don’t have to go to the centre in that rain! Through the night I kept getting contractions once in 20-25 minutes. I would sleep with a hot water bag stuck to my back and jump awake with pain, run to sit on the birth ball and sway in it till the contraction stops. Around 6am, we decided it was time to go to the centre so we called our midwives and informed them. I was relieved once we reached. Amy and Priyanka were already there – they had been in the centre from 1am as there was another woman in labor. I settled in the labor room with a birth ball and hot water bag. I munched on some fruits and nuts and then Viky and I went for a walk in one of the narrow lanes near the centre talking about random things to distract me from the pain. It was then that I started feeling a vomiting sensation. We got back to the centre and I threw up – that was when my energy started to drain. Viky and my midwives encouraged me to keep going, asking me to drink fluids, massaging my back and giving hot water bag massage during contractions. my midwives kept checking my baby’s heart rate intermittently, assuring me that all was fine and I was progressing well. It was around that time that I had a bloody discharge and it got me worried but they assured us that it was a sign that things are moving the right way. My midwives suggested various positions to try which might help in coping with the pain and it really helped. Our initial plan was to include Dhruv during labor but since it was early morning and he was sleeping, we changed our plan. So the clock kept ticking and I was so tired so I slept, waking up during the contractions which were getting more intense. I kept concentrating on breathing throughout – being constantly reminded by Viky to relax and save energy for the final stages. As my contractions got a lot closer, frankly I have no idea of the time and I sure Viky doesn’t too, I moved to change my position. I got into my knees and put my head in Viky’s lap (he was on a chair supporting and massaging me) while my midwife was massaging my back. It was then that I heard the sound of water and knew that they were getting my birth pool ready. And then all of a sudden I had a very strong contraction and the urge to push which I really couldn’t control and I screamed pulling onto Viky’s neck (I had been very calm till then) and there she popped out! My midwife caught her and placed her on my chest. Even then we didn’t know if it was a girl or a boy. I asked Viky and he said he doesn’t know then my midwives joked that they don’t know either and that we’ve to only see! And we were happy to know it was a girl. They helped me to move onto the bed and we waited for the placenta to deliver while I tried feeding her. She wasn’t interested though so we waited for a while till she was ready. Later Priyanka told that my water broke just before she was born at 11.08am. She was 2.6kg – tiny as we had expected because Priyanka kept telling me to eat more and put some fat on the baby! Then they examined me and said that I don’t need any stitches but I’ve to be on complete rest for 6 weeks so that I heal naturally and can concentrate on her feeding and weight gain. After holding her skin to skin for an hour and a half and feeding her, Viky cut her cord and then he carried her skin to skin for a while. I was given hot chocolate milk and ginger juice and rice porridge all so that I could gain some strength. And then I slept along with her – finally after having a blissful birth experience. And another important thing that impressed us about BirthVillage was the amazing post partum support that we received. My midwives clearly explained to me on why I should be completely resting and concentrating on recovering. Bincy, the nurse at BirthVillage was so helpful – visiting us at home often when we needed support and clearing all our doubts. They created a whats app group for postpartum support so any help or doubts we have, we text them at any time of the day and get expert advice. I’m sure none of the regular institutions could provide such support. I wonder how team BirthVillage can connect so personally with every client who approaches them! Deciding to have my birth at BirthVillage despite moving from one state to another is one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life! I will recommend natural birthing to everyone I know – a peaceful birthing experience with experienced midwives which no else can ever offer!

Bv notes
strong committed families can pretty much weather any storm and thats what this young family is about
Mamma was strong fearless and knew exactly how she wanted to move she just needed that peace and quiet
Dad was fabulous as labor support, was always at her side and knew exactly what his woman wanted .
Births do bring us very close to many families and needless to say this one did too for many many reasons .
Congratulations again

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