Mohanapriya’s Story:

“My mom dreamt of having natural birth at home like good old days. But she neither had the awareness nor the support to do so. That was a time when most of the parents were convinced that a mainstream institution could provide a much better service. She had bitter experiences with the birth of me and my sister – even though we both were delivered vaginally. When I told her that I wanted to have a natural birth, she supported me completely. Thus began my journey.

Since my first trimester (I am based at Salem)I had been searching for a place that supported natural birthing. But couldn’t find even a single one. I was kind of fed up and frightened that I would have to go to an institution I didn’t want to be at. But then, during my 24th week I read and watched the experiences of people who had delivered naturally at home. Seeing them made me even more determined to birth my baby naturally. After a long search I stumbled upon some people who had a miraculous experience with Birth Village, The natural birthing centre. This made me so excited and to my surprise one of them lived close by our place who had just returned from Birth village with their baby boy. We decided to call on them.

My husband was initially a little skeptical about this whole thing but willingly came with me for my sake. There we got to know that this was their second baby, and their first baby (boy) was delivered normally in an institution. So they knew the difference between natural and normal deliveries. We asked them all our doubts and that was a lot – as it was a foreign concept to us. After an evening full of discussions about inductions and relieving injections, episiotomy, umbilical cord cutting, prenatal and post natal health, I was determined to pursue it and even my husband was a little convinced.
A few days later we had planned a trip to Kollam. So we decided to visit Birth village as well and booked an appointment with them. They just asked us to bring the reports that we had so far. Once we got there, the home like serene environment and the warm, friendly smiles of everyone there made me feel at home. It was more like a friendly meeting rather than a usual appointment scenario. There we met Priyanka who patiently explained all about the birthing process and cleared all our doubts. She explained the scan reports (which most careproviders fail to do). Then she palpated the baby’s position and that showed her expertise and experience. With all our doubts clarified we left with a clear mind. At last my husband was convinced and we decided to have a natural birth for our baby.

From the Lamaze classes to workout classes everything seemed different. Learning about birthing in the Lamaze classes with my hubby beside me was an enlightening experience. In the classes we also got to interact with people with a variety of birthing experiences with their first child. We were also surprised to hear they once birthed a baby who weighed 4.5kg, naturally. They also encourage the woman to take the position of her choice during labor, snacking on whatever we like and listening to our favourite songs – which is not allowed in most of the institutions. They also allow my husband to be with me the whole time of labor. My husband being my birth partner learnt about birthing better than me. They also stated that child care has to be shared among both the parents. My mother, husband and sister were my pillars of support.

We finally moved to Ernakulam at the beginning of 36th week and I started to attend Donna’s work out classes which were exciting and full of positivity. We also did some gleeful Zumba and lightening Yoga practice. They played some soothing tones which made me relaxed and I had serene completions to the brisk workouts. This made me eagerly wait for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. These classes made me to stay active till delivery. Apart from that we were also advised to climb stairs as much as possible (about 200 a day), 45 minutes of brisk walking and 50 squats a day. These practices helped me a lot during labor. The prenatal care was also too good.
On 7th morning I had workout class. And as my due date in the scan report was on November 12th we had planned to visit Cherai beach on 8th noon after the prenatal appointment. I asked my midwife’s opinion about the plan since my due date was near but she told me to go and enjoy as I won’t get time to visit after delivery. That day I had my first Braxton and Hicks Contraction and on the same night there was mucous discharge. So I called my midwife and informed about this, she told me that there was nothing to worry about as this was normal in the eve of labor. On 8th during the prenatal appointment my midwife asked me to rest well that night. I was pretty excited as I felt that I was going to have my baby soon.

That evening I felt irregular contractions. When asked, my midwife told me to use hot water bag on both the sides of the stomach & sleep well. Its intensity increased with time and by 11.30 pm the water leaked and the contractions became severe. My husband called Birthvillage and we were asked to come in. when we reached, everything was ready in the birthing room and everyone was there. I started pushing the baby during contractions. My husband massaged my back to reduce the pain. Whenever I felt sleepy or tired my midwives cheered me. They also suggested me to use the most comfortable position. After a couple of slow hours I could finally see my baby’s hair. That was a miraculous moment and I got all energized to see my baby. We together slowly worked her out. With a final push she was out and I felt a mix of bliss and awe while we held her in our hands.

Then they laid her on my chest and within a few minutes she crawled and latched. I have watched many breast-crawl videos but experiencing that made me wonder about the spontaneity of nature. In the institutions, they cut the cord as soon as the baby is out but here we also had options for Delayed Cord Clamping(clipping off the cord only after the whole cord blood is transferred to the baby) and Lotus Birthing (letting the cord to fall off on its own . But we have to be careful around the baby until then). In both the cases the extra oxygenated blood which has high RBC, stem cells and immunity cells benefits the newborn. We decided on Lotus birthing; so Bincy safely packed the placenta in a cloth bag. After a rejuvenating herbal bath, the vitals were checked for both of us and after clearance we left from there that evening. We stayed in Cochin for about 2 more weeks during which we had three wonderful postnatal visits from our nurse from Birthvillage. We also took our princess to the birthing centre the day before we left Cochin. We left from there after a warm hug. It was indeed like an exciting family trip to Cochin.

Finally our dream came true. I experienced a complete natural birth – no pain induction, medical intervention in the labor, not even a vaginal exam. Still it’s like a dream. I am very thankful to everyone at Birthvillage for their support and love. Love you and miss you all…

Mohanapriya – Home Maker
Sathish Thiyagarajan – Engineer, Bangalore.

Bv notes
This mum had the inquisitiveness of a a child and would often questions and doubts that she gathered from her friends and near ones.
Her mother was her biggest supporter and was behind her every step of the way.
It such a mazing difference when we see grandmothers truly supportive if their children choices whether they are similar or dissimilar to their ideology.
Her husband too was able to clear and ask questions to decide whether this would be right for them or not.
When your team is all set together you have it all worked out.
Needless to say a beautiful birth with zero stress.
Well done !! and congratulations again.

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