My Solo Power Packed Vbac
I believe that every woman who desires should be given the chance to labor and
Nazila Muhamed Nizar
birth naturally and I am indebted to Birth Village - the natural birthing centre, that gave wings to my belief ...
How I met Birthvillage?
My birth story started when I read a post of my friend's (Razia Saveen) birth story who had birthed at birthvillage. We shared somethings in common ...we both had unwanted c-sec at the same hospital, the same care provider and we both were deeply crushed and crestfallen by the experience we had there...
What happened in birth no.1?
I had gone off when the pain started and expected to be waiting before they got me into the labour room for induction and other medical interventions....but everything happened fleeting fast ....they induced me without my approval, broke my water and then said I needed an operation....when I denied it they simply told me to find another place. There was no freedom to move or get into a comfortable position during labour. They just waited for 2-3 hrs and then that was it.... I had my first ever incision and suture on my body....all just because my doctor couldn't wait.... after being physically wounded and emotionally remorseful by all this, I asked the hospital whether we could have our 2nd baby vaginally and they gave a definite no as an answer.
Am I going to repeat the mistake again?
No way ....I came across the word VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and I researched more on it...I was quite saddened by the fact that most gynics viewed VBAC as dubious and risky ......when I read about birthvillage, I felt strongly that this should be the place I should go to for my second baby .... as we were in UAE, I had my Skype appointment in my 2nd trimester and it gave me a positive confirmation on my decision to birth there....I reached Kerala on June 5th in my 34th week and immediately went for my 1st consultation.....I had a long chat and felt ready for what was to come.... then attended the Lamaze classes and few workout sessions which were all very interesting and informative.... though I didn't have any strict diet and exercise regime, I knew I had to keep myself healthy and active throughout my pregnancy and birthvillage was making sure that we followed it....
When labour started :
Following my routine check-up and some scans on 28th June, I was exhausted and weary when I reached home in the evening.... next day morning my contractions started at a slow pace (for 20-30 secs at 45 mins intervals) and woke me up but I wasn't sure if they were my true labour contractions or not...as I was expecting my husband on 6th July, I was hoping that it would go away but it didn't.... by evening the pain had gone down a bit but by night it again resumed and at the end of each contraction I felt like pressure.... felt it was time to call My midwife ..... she was very supportive and gave me clear instructions ....so I just let it be and went for a hot shower and tried to get some sleep which was quite difficult with the contractions coming in.... but even at this time my mind wasn't sure if I was truly laboring or not as the contractions were bearable and not very painful....
Next day by around 6 am the pain was more profound and coming at shorter intervals (for around 60 secs at 10 to 15 min intervals)....by now I was sure that I was in true labour.... informed my midwife again and she
decided to wait till it went to 5 min intervals ....but I was heavily disheartened when she gave me the news of her leaving for a meeting in Bombay and that she would only return the next day....(And when she left her last few words were the walls at the birth center know my strength and the bears the struggle of so many women and their power will be with you come what may) from then I was in touch with my other midwife who was also of support.... I took an appointment at 2 pm to check the dilation.... but in the meantime at 10 am I had some vaginal discharge) and soon after that I lost the mucus plug and the contractions were coming at closer intervals... my sister who was to be my birth support as my husband couldn't make it, was traveling to Ernakulam from Thrissur to make it for my birth ....... by 11.45 am I felt that when the contractions came, leaning against the wall was the position working for me.... I was also trying to lean against my birth ball and swirl around.... I felt drowsy in between the contractions and I recognized my endorphins that were soothing me (learnt from the Lamaze class).... so I badly wanted to go to sleep but the lying down position was excruciatingly painful ...so while my mother and sister were packing up I was trying to get some catnap in between the contractions and me lost track of myself and the time soon .....I was not in a mood to get ready and go for the appointment....I just wanted to doze off ....finally with great difficulty I got dressed and we could reach birth village only at around 4.15 pm ...all this time I was using a birth ball and a hot water bag during the contractions....the contractions were now at 5 minute intervals for 60 seconds and not unbearable and fortunately, with no back pain....even after reaching there ,My midwife was very patient and assessed me and the baby heartbeat and then gently checked the dilation ....my happiness knew no bounds when she announced that I was 8cm dilated which meant I was progressing well and didn't have to be sent back home....after this i felt the pain rising and very frequent and she guided me to lean forward on the birth ball and I tried to swirl my pelvis ...the pain was getting more intense and I realised that I was entering the pushing stage .....at this point though I was in a lot of pain ,O was excited and happy that the labour was progressing easily and that my dream was soon going to be accomplished....but I was also anxious about what's to come ....With both my midwives along with my sister were supporting and encouraging me ....finally I squatted against the bed and started pushing ....the contractions gave me the natural urge to push but in between those urges I felt an uncomfortable pressure on my bladder ...as I was in a laborious position, I wanted to end it soon and so just pushed hard at the urge and felt my baby coming out .....as I was squatting leaning on the bed I couldn't see the baby but I blindly trusted my midwives who were sitting in front of me ready to receive my baby.....she was born at 5.30 pm ....they passed her to me directly and I felt elated at that moment....a sense of achievement and atonement....I was soon taken to the bed and she was put on my chest for the skin to skin contact which is so essential for the mother-baby bonding ....in spite of the intense postpartum pain ,I felt triumphant over the ambiguity and skepticism that gets linked to something like a completely natural VBAC especially in these times....after some bonding time the cord was cut by my sister who flew down especially for me......almost a week of postpartum convalescence and I felt great already as compared to my previous birth.
All thanks to the Almighty for gifting me an uncomplicated and easy natural birth that I so badly wanted ...I thank the entire BV team who set the stage for my birth ....I thank my parents ,in-laws ,my sister and my husband who all supported me through the frivolous yet apparent ambivalence that prevailed when I chose to birth at Birth Village and lastly let me thank my sweet bundle of joy, Aysha Maryam and my first born Eshal Fathima for all the natural processes of birth they allowed me to enjoy ..😊
This VBAC mamma is super brave as she had to deal with labor and its turbulence on her own.
Laboring over 35 hours using all the knowledge that she had took it on herself to make her dream come true
Her sister was there by her side when she needed her.
Amazing work done !!You deserve a strong pat on the back for your perseverance.
Final notes for other vbac aspirant mums
A vbac is one who goes against every grain and its not an easy path and it's important for those women to feel that they have been given a full chance and then that is when they feel at peace . It May Also be that everyone may not understand you or your path and honestly it doesn't matter as long you know yourself and a have a team that trusts and believes in giving you a chance without thinking about the outcome .
Lots of power to all of you .
Viking Life Saving Middle East
My Precious Vbac With A Special Coincidence
The best birthday gift I could have asked for!
I strongly believe that birth is a natural process of life and every woman’s choice of birth should be respected during childbirth. Like all other VBAC birth story, our story also starts from our first birth in a hospital where I have undergone for an unwanted C-Section and Guinea Pig like treatment as it was a well-known Private Medical college. We got admitted to the hospital during the 39th week on a Friday when we went for our weekly checkup. They induced labour through all the methods available in the medical system. At last, they induced Pitocin through IV against our consent, which restricted my movements and contractions became unbearable. They forced us to opt for an epidural which we denied initially but availed later due to severe pain because of the induced labour. I was 10cm dilated within 10hrs of labour. At 5 pm on Monday, they told us that the baby’s size is big and I can’t deliver the baby vaginally and the option remaining is to go for a C-Section. At 5.45pm they took out the baby through C-Section and baby’s weight was just 3.17Kg. We left the hospital unhappy with a wounded mind. That awful experiences created anxiety whenever I go to any Hospital. I struggled with strong PTSD ( post-traumatic stress disorder ). I do know that this is something that afflicts women in maternity care but we all choose to suffer in silence. And I, for one, would like to break as I would want more women to come out in the open so that we can talk about it. None of the things happened on the day of my delivery was mentioned in the discharge summary and it was a completely manipulated one. I have started reading articles related to childbirth after this incident, and my husband Abey was passionate about the idea of natural birthing than I. We googled about normal delivery after cesarean and we came across the term VBAC.
In January 2017 I realized a little soul is soon to be added to our family and I did not want to go through whatever had happened last time. I have had enough during my first pregnancy and an unwanted cesarean that left me so lost for some time. We searched for hospitals and doctors who support VBAC in Chennai. Some of them said no to VBAC and others said they can wait until 38 weeks for the baby to come out through normal delivery or will go for C-section.
It was on 26th Jan 2017, I had my second appointment with my doctor. I was totally frustrated after talking to the doctor about my questions on VBAC. After reaching home Abey opened the Facebook page of Birthvillage and dialled to Birth Village. Our call surprisingly connected to Priyanka. She patiently listened to our story and the call lasted for more than one hour. Her words made us strong enough to follow our mind. We decided that we are going to deliver our baby at Birthvillage. We started our monthly consultation over skype. I have followed BV’s diet plan and exercises (walking, climbing the staircase, swimming etc.). On the 28th week, we visited BirthVillage, the attitude of the midwives and the ambience gave me positive energy. We attended couple workouts and Lamaze classes during the visit. After returning to Chennai. I added an extra workout to make my body fit. During the 35th week, we travelled to Cochin by car and it was one of the greatest car journeys in our life. We got to our cousin’s house for our stay at Cochin. I started following BV diet more seriously, increased the time spent on exercises, started exercises with Birthing Ball, added Squats to my exercise list and attended workout sessions with other mammas. We enjoyed the last 5 weeks of Pregnancy at Cochin, visited most of the places there during weekends and tasted food from various restaurants and it was such a wonderful experience that we recommend. This is the best babymoon ever !!!
On 8th sept 2017, my mucus plug came out. Yes, labour is going to start naturally! On 9th, we went for a movie and spent the rest of the day at Subash Park and Marine Drive during irregular contractions. Next 2 days contraction were irregular and 10/20/30 mins apart. On 10th we spent the whole day at Fort Kochi Island. During each contraction, I hold his hand and smiled. On the 12th evening, the contractions became regular and the time between contractions was coming closer from 10min at 5 pm to 3-4mins at 10 pm. We were in frequent touch with our Midwife over the phone. She told me to take rest in between each contraction so that I can preserve energy for the pushing stage. At 10 PM we told her that we are coming to BV. She told us to start after another 15mins. My husband was very calm during all these time and we started to BV only after 30mins. We reached BirthVillage by 11.05, our sweet Midwives were waiting to receive us with a smile. They checked my dilation, told me that I was 9.5cms dilated and it was a surprise for us. Then we tried different positions to push the baby out. My water broke in the Birth pool. We moved out of the pool after some time, the birth pool helped me to relax and preserve energy for pushing, I felt a strong urge to push and I felt hungry too!!! I just grabbed a 'Cadbury Fuse' from our Bag had 2 bites. Then I held onto Abey’s arms for support and our bundle of joy “Paulina” arrived at 2.13 am on 13th Sept 2017(40 Weeks + 1 Day).
She came to this world on My Birthday and it was our Midwife Priyanka’s (Baby was born into her hands) birthday as well. We were at the height of happiness as it was Abey’s wish to deliver our baby on my Birth Day. The baby was placed on my chest immediately after the birth and Abey cut the umbilical cord.Our son also was there with us to welcome his little sister to this world. Not once was he separated from us and he was quiet witness to my power and strength while I birthed his sister.
I could do this only because BirthVillage respected my choice of Birth. In my words, they are the angels of birth. My midwives words instilled a new hope and positivity in me that became a support system in itself during my entire pregnancy and during labour. The workout sessions helped me to be physically strong and prepared my body for a natural birth. My midwives motivated cared and supported me throughout the labour. Thanks to Bincy for the excellent postpartum care. Thanks to BirthVillage team for making our birth a memorable event and thanks to both of our parents, siblings and friends for their immense support and prayers.
P.S. It all happened when we followed our mind and dream. Every step we took in this journey went well with God's grace. I am sure that, it wouldn’t have happened without the enormous support from my husband. He made tasty salads when I felt bored in my cooking. As a mother of four-year-old school going child, it was difficult for me to manage all the household work along with workouts. During those days he took care of our son Oliver, more than me. When we shifted to Cochin, he accompanied me to “Marine Drive” every day in the morning for climbing steps and walking before he goes to the office. He encouraged me day by day with simple but very strong words “we will do it”. Sweetheart, I am pretty sure without your love and support, I couldn’t have done this.
After we saw 2 pink lines in our pregnancy test kit, Nimmy started developing a lot of worries about going to a Hospital again due to our bad experiences which led to caesarian during our first delivery. I always wanted to call it as “our pregnancy” and not “her pregnancy”. When I called BirthVillage on a Holiday, I never thought that the call would be attended by Priyanka and it will make our mind Enlighted. Consecutive appointments at BV helped us to burst all the pregnancy-related myths, to enjoy the pregnancy and to give birth as per our wish.
I saw a completely new Nimmy after the 1st Skype consultation at BV. She followed BV diet very seriously, started climbing 240 steps, and walked daily for 45 minutes. She gradually increased it to 500 steps, 1Hr walk, and 1Hr swimming after a couple of months.
We were staying at Nimmy’s cousin’s house when we moved to Cochin. The biggest challenge we faced was that there was no staircase in that house. The solution we found to overcome this was to go to the Rainbow Bridge at Marine drive in the morning to climb the steps before I go to my office. Apart from the workout at Me-Met-Me, she started climbing single steps at rainbow bridge 22 times and double steps(Climbing alternative steps) 20 times to make total steps climbed to 790 per day. She continued her 1+Hr walking with additional 50 Squats. Also, we have roamed around other places with lots of steps such as Vallarpadam Church Tower, Hill Palace and Malls. Her determination helped us in realizing our dream.
Lamaze classes and workout sessions by BV helped us to clear all our doubts and prepare our mind and body for the birth. Thanks to BirthVillage team for all the support throughout the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care.
A lovely couple who was very determined from the start.
They worked hard in overcoming worries, obstacles and we were able to discuss many issues openly and honestly. You guys are a testament to hard work, patience and love
Well done and congratulations again.
Former Assistant professor
Madras Christian College
Traffic Jams, Intuition And VBAC (water Birth After A Caesarean).
This mamma found her calling to us through her heart. Another late-to-care mum,who was clear when asked why she wanted to do a VBAC, said “Simply because, that's the way births should be". Her husband stood by her, respected her choices and began to see her personal growth as she worked through her journey. Many a class later, this confident couple was all set to go back home. However, labor always knocks unexpectedly.
When her older boy proclaimed he would like to see "vava", the younger sibling in the womb, proceeded to listen by breaking the bag of waters. As they put their labor bag together , so earthy was this mamma that whenever asked whether there was discomfort she would say “No”, though she had contractions every 7 minutes or so. And you know a seasoned second time mum when even as she hit active labor, she asks her husband to shave first! Only then will she leave. After making the decision to hit on bad roads but shorter routes as mamma felt to push in the car, this fun couple was here by 8 and their baby girl was born in water one and half hours later. And there was sudden calmness that prevailed in the room as both parents fell quiet as our man reported, “He now felt complete”.
They were amazed at how awake their baby was and how she nursed straightway. Births such as these do not happen because they are lucky; it's purely out of listening to your instincts, hard work and preparation. And these parents get full marks to their credit for that.
Way to go, guys!!!
Anna Sebastian And Job Abraham
Owner. Managing Director, House of Soaps, Quantacare Technologies
My Long Awaited VBAC
After 5 yrs of long wait we were blessed with our princess daughter.However the birth experience was not at all pleasant as it ended up in a C-Section .I had a very happy and healthy pregnancy but it all ended up in a disaster as my gynecologist ruled out that my fluid level was low and advised an immediate C-Section. My entire preparations and anticipation to have a normal birth just got shattered and within few minutes I was in the operation theatre. I can still feel that cold strange room.
I could just touch my lil baby girl and kiss her once before she was taken away for other examinations and all. That night was the worst night of my life when she was not there anywhere near me and I was lying cold in the Intensive Care Unit. After all these we got pregnant again a year later. This time I was determined to do something to save myself and my baby from the trauma of another Caesarean.
I found about Birth Village from the internet when I searched for centers which can help me birth my baby normally. VBAC in regular hospitals is just a dream. So, we met our midwives when we returned from Dubai. They were such an inspiration to me. The next issue was in our homes where nobody could understand anything I was saying. It was another big hurdle to cross. But we were determined to have our baby only at Birthvillage.
We shifted to Kochi during my 34th week. Regular workout classes, prenatal classes, Lamaze classes…. Everything was so much motivational and inspiring. Every class made me more and more positive and confident. My hubby flew down on 14th of April and we had few couple classes which was more informative and that was a very different experience.
We did lot of workouts and walks followed by a healthy diet. Went out for movies, had relaxed joyful times walking thru the malls and made a small trip to Kumarakom too. Then finally on 21st, when we had our regular appointment with our midwife, (must say such amazing individuals to meet in my whole life), we found out that our baby is engaged and is ready to enter our world. By noon, I had a feeling that this is The DAY. I knew that keeping active can help me cope with the big day to come. So I went out to meet friends that evening. By late evening, strong contractions had kicked in.
Both my hubby and I were fully aware about managing through the early labor from our classes. He was my strength. He did everything possible to help me through the pain. Massaging, giving me lots of coconut water and all. When we called Birth village, they asked to time contractions. Then when contractions were 5 minutes apart, we called the center at 1.30am. My midwives were waiting for us when we reached. Seeing their welcoming smile made me feel light and happy, ready to cross the bridge.
I was 6cms dilated when we reached the center. We opted for water birth. I went inside the pool in half an hour. Every time I felt low, Rainikka (my husband) and my amazing midwife picked me up with their words and care. She reminded me to breathe through contractions and relax. To our surprise, it started to rain heavily. I could feel a holy ambience there at that moment. Our baby was born and was placed on my chest still with cord connected to the placenta inside. Tears of joy rolled on our cheeks... it felt magical. The whole pain vanished.
We had an amazing golden hour after birth. Rainikka cut the cord once it stopped pulsating. My desire to have a natural birth was finally satisfied. Felt like a new human being. More confident and more empowered.
I wish more moms would try VBAC and be informed that “Once a c-section, is not always a c-section). When we have wonderful people to help, it’s worth a try. I will always cherish my time at Birth village and my amazing Midwives. No words to thank all the staff there, as it was an amazing experience
Sales Consultant,Alshaya Enterprises,Dubai
My Ecstatic VBAC
My birth story goes back 3.5 years, 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 it was an elective cesarean. (I.e. 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 a lot of information, through all the pros and cons, 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 Birthvillage 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. Classes were so informative, practical and interesting.
I 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 cousin’s place in Ernakulam and we waited for labor to progress. We reached Birthvillage in the morning and listened to 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 flight of stairs thrice. At this point, they became even 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 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 on hands and knees and worked hard with my body and my baby...At around 6pm or so, I was checked and found to be 8 cm dilated! My 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 me and whispered phrases of encouragement all throughout. That was probably the most intimate and powerful experience that we shared and I cannot help 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 was 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 feeling 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 am so proud of myself and Sreeji, for having a non-medicated VBAC. I am 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 before 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 like 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. Talk to at least 3 couples and see if it is close to what you want. With respect to VBAC, yes, there are two sides to every coin and it’s your choice and responsibility and not anyone else’s
Most importantly believe in yourself!!
Assistant Manager, Oriental Bank of Commerce,Chalakudy
Assistant Manager,South Indian Bank,Thrissur
My Power Packed VBAC
Everything in life is destined and so goes the story of my power packed VBAC.I had my first boy 21/2 years ago, via C section and the reason given was that baby had passed meconium. Everything was over so quickly before I could even bat an eyelid and I could hardly understand what it was all about. I was so confident that I could deliver vaginally that the aftermath hit me hard and it is then and there that I decided that my second will be VBAC.
I was blessed again and was pregnant with my second child and consulted again at the same place for a VBAC, and they agreed with lots of conditions. I simultaneously went in for Siddha and Varma consultations. I also knew that a VBAC was not 100 % possible but I was determined to give it my best shot.
I sensed something was amiss when I was at 36 weeks and was told that VBAC may not be possible as my baby was 3.1 kg as per the ultrasound. I started searching again for all my options and came across Birthvillage. I spoke to a couple of families who had babies there and knew this was where I was meant to go. After speaking to the midwives at Birthvillage, it took me another two weeks to talk to my hubby about my new set of plans and he completely stood by me as he realized that this might be my last ray of hope.
My midwives are my angels as they patiently answered all our queries with complete truth and honesty. We went to Lamaze classes together, got thoroughly educated and listened to another couple give their natural birth experience story. It was so inspiring and so much fun! Again to be honest, it was like our second baby moon and we enjoyed a lot, exploring Cochin and gorging on Kerala delicacies. After the open house that day, I went to the mall, watched Bahubali, had dinner and headed back home.
Close to 1am, on the 27th of September, my baby decided inside it was time as I moved into Labor land. They say that a successful VBAC needs to have a straightforward labor, quick dilation and a very short pushing phase. My labor was anything but THAT! It took me a good 38 hours with steady contraction every ten minutes and followed at every 6 minutes for just early labor alone, after I which I inched towards active labor. On 29th morning at 3.00am I decided it was time to meet my midwives. The next 16 hours and 50 minutes I was in active labor with strong contractions. It took me a whole day of support, food, rest, active movements, diligent monitoring... as I was supported by 4 pillars of strength – my husband, my midwives and most importantly my baby inside. He was steady throughout with strong movements and good heart rate. I was comforted as well as encouraged to take different positions to bring my baby down. I walked, squatted, and climbed the stairs, the whole wheel over and over. After another good 3 hours of pushing my brave warrior was finally born. It was such a magical moment when I held onto him on my chest, skin to skin, nursed him after which Arun cut the cord. It was such a beautiful journey where I realized my abilities as a woman and I felt so beautiful, confident and accomplished.
Was it easy? It wasn’t. But I cherish all my moments with me and my son and my team through my 58 hours labor, and it was totally worth every second! Was it not tough to leave my home town at 38 weeks? It was, but sometimes to realize our dreams we have to step out of our comfort zone. Would we not travel if we had specific ailments to specific hospitals? We would, as we want the best chance possible and that’s exactly what we did.
Some pointers that I would like to give any future aspirants who would like to opt for a VBAC:
Make sure you and your partner are prenatally educated well. Stay healthy with good nutrition and exercise every single day
Research all your options even the unconventional ones. (You have nothing to loose)Make sure that the place that you choose does truly offer VBAC. (You should get to know minimum 3 VBAC mums who had their babies there in the past two years, as paper and words are one thing and reality another) And most importantly NEVER GIVE UP and once you have made your choice trust your care providers completely. They will show you the way as well be open when things do need more assistance and help. And yes forgot to mention my son was 3.5 kg!
Feeling Out of this world....
My Dream VBAC
Although it’s 3 months since we birthed at Birthvillage, my husband and I just love to reminisce our birth.It fills our hearts with joy and gratitude whenever we look back at our birth. This is our birth story, the story of that period of my life, which transformed me in many ways, the story of the most fulfilling experience of my life.
Being a caesarean mom, I was left with two scars, a physical scar, which is inevitable and an emotional scar – memories of a traumatic first delivery. So we were very sure that we wanted a normal delivery this time. We started planning for our second baby after 4 and half years. Because of the prevailing myth in our society –‘Once a caesarean always a caesarean’ I wanted someone who will support us wholeheartedly. That’s when I remembered an article in Vanitha about Birthvillage and midwifery. We thought of meeting the midwife. We straightaway blocked an appointment and met her. We three spoke for about one hour and it was a huge eye opener for us. We were educated about VBAC (Vaginal Birth after c-section), its pros and cons, etc. She said two things which always stayed in my mind throughout my pregnancy and birth, that we will not find many people supporting our decision to do a VBAC and so we have to be very sure before taking the plunge and also the fact that I will have to work really hard for a nice birth. We returned being doubly sure, VBAC it is!!! In the following months, we read a lot about VBAC and prepared our minds. We always knew we are taking a path less traveled and we will find it difficult to convince our families.
After conception, we came back to Birthvillage and thus started our beautiful journey of our birth. We cherish every moment at Birthvillage, the appointments, workouts, Lamaze classes, every single thing. We used to look forward to meeting our midwives, Priyanka and Donna for our appointments. We talked and laughed, checked baby’s heartbeats and felt our baby by palpation. My husband had a hands-on experience this time, and I thank our midwives for their policy that husband have to be there with the wife, in the whole process. In the 9 months, he has not missed a single appointment or Lamaze class which in turn helped him to be completely in sync with me and the baby. I was blessed with a healthy pregnancy period (Masha Allah). Throughout my pregnancy, I was very active as advised by midwives, walking briskly for 45 minutes, climbing stairs, doing squats, lunges and prenatal yoga. I enjoyed doing all of it. This exercise routine helped me in a big way to build my stamina and bring the baby into optimal position.
Time flew and we completed 39 weeks. I was in pre-labor for two days and on the ‘D’ day my mucous plug went off in the morning at 8 am. My husband took control of everything and knew exactly what he had to do because we were educated on all these things in the Lamaze classes. He spoke to Priyanka and she asked us to come and see if the labor is progressing. We had already packed our bags. We left our elder son with our parents and started for Birthvillage. By 9:30, we reached and our midwives were there welcoming us with their smiles. We checked baby’s heartbeat. Everything was fine. For the labor to progress, I was asked to walk. Throughout my labor, my husband and midwives kept motivating and nourishing me. They were so kind, gentle and patient with me. At around 11 am, labor started progressing well and soon they set the birth pool for me. The moment I entered the warm water I felt more relaxed. I felt the urge to push and within 4-5 pushes, our baby was out and on my chest. That moment of pure bliss!! My husband had the privilege to cut our lil girl’s umbilical cord. I had been through all this without any medication or episiotomy. Natural is the way to go. That feeling is just wow. We had just experienced ecstasy, unmatched!!
In my post-partum recovery, everything went fine by God’s grace, unlike my experience with the first delivery. In fact, nothing was like the first. This birth was a very positive experience. To birth at your pace, with dignity and being supported by people who respect you and are kind & patient with you, is definitely a blessing.
I am very grateful to the Lord for Birthvillage. My bestie, my husband who stood by me through all the tough times (I absolutely know, Ikka, that without you we wouldn’t have done this). For all the times you motivated me, guided me, supported me and showered me with love and also for being the doting father. Alhamdulillah! My midwives , my angels for your reassurance when I felt unsure, for changing my perspective about birth, for saying yes to us when the world said no and our families for their love.
I hope women and our society as a whole change their attitude towards pregnancy and birth. Births should be remembered as a lovely experience and not a painful one. I don’t remember the pain at all. As our midwife always says, instead of running away from pain, learn to embrace it. And all those ladies who want a VBAC and do not have any support in their decision... please go for it. You will be frowned upon and do expect hurdles but just do it. If I can, you also can. And if a woman is supported by the right care providers, every birth will be beautiful!
Assistant Professor (Guest),CUSAT, Kalamassery
Project Manager,Cool Home Builders,Maradu
A Pretty Angel Is Born With Faith And Devotion
Who is Jenny?
2 c-sections followed by two natural births. Chasing her care providers to trust her and her ability to birth after sieving through all research and facts, she did it utmost ably with a simple smile on her face and taught the world yet another lesson in 2012. And again, on New Year's Day, she did it yet again. Leaning against her husband, standing straight she birthed a pretty angel with faith and devotion. Jenny is much more than that. She symbolizes woman power ... to choose what she feels is right, for her to go against the wind. Jenny stands for freedom!!!
Birth Story Of " Rachel Kollannur"
It was in December, last year.We were overjoyed with the realization that we are going to be parents for the second time in our blessed married life. I had just begun being back to normal life, after a hectic year of work.
Christmas went by, New Year came, and post the first few weeks of the New Year, we took our first appointment with Birthvillage. I could really hear a sigh of relief from Sumi, once our first sitting was over. We realized that we have finally come to the right place and that we are in trust worthy hands. The very concept of midwives was new to me. We shared the old traumatizing events we had for the 1st delivery. We realized that it was not a necessary C – section which was propelled by our lack of awareness.
I had witnessed the happiness that my friend had, after their delivery at Birthvillage, and I knew we were doing the right thing. Joshua, our son used to take care of Mommy, and be present for all the prenatal visits, and was always as eager as each of us to listen to the baby movements and heart beats.
We were just like toddlers in a new world of care. We were advised and advocated to take special care of nutrition for Mamma and baby. I am sure that whatever it takes, it is the diet and the exercise along with the positivity of all in Birth Village that led to the “Happy Day”. We felt special every time we were checked for our diet and exercise. We got our regular dose of mentoring for being on track with nutrition and exercise.
The Lamaze classes were packed with information, which was transformed into knowledge at the end of each session, after the FAQ discussions and role plays we did. The experience of factual realization was overwhelming. We understood the deprivation that every Indian family underwent, with lack of comfortable and friendly support systems in hospitals in India. We were very blessed among the other 100 couples like us who came in touch with Birthvillage.
Whenever I discussed with my colleagues and friends, making them aware of the services, they were non receptive at first, though finally they gauged the transformation as an individual I underwent and gave in to recognizing this as a centre of excellence.
Time flew and finally we arrived at the 36th week. We were not yet ready. Our bag was not packed as yet. Finally, after being gunned at, we packed and got ready. We waited. Sumi used online monitors on the I-pad and observed closely. Finally, we were advised to give up such monitoring and we waited. After 36 weeks, the world around us started asking too many questions, to such extent, that I had to stop talking to my neighbors. 40 weeks had passed by. We knew the day is close.
The regular routine checkups continued. Whatsapp and SMS were to our advantage. We were in the kitchen and suddenly came out the mucus plug! We were thrilled, though not sure whether it was what we thought it was. We confirmed with Priyanka, waited for few more days and morning 7am on 17th August 2014, we woke up to feel the contractions which were rhythmic and in frequent intervals of 5 minutes. We thought, it would take more time. Sumi felt little wet and we got the first feel of her water break. Since there was no gush of water, as should be, I went to get breakfast and our Tender Coconut supply for the day. We had confirmed with Priyanka and she asked us to observe and keep her posted. She left for church.
By the time, we were good to go. Priyanka returned the missed calls from our end and confirmed the same. We were thrilled, yet Sumi’s pain was getting stronger. Joshua, our Hero, had to be dropped to my uncle’s place. The idea was cancelled and we drove straight to the centre. We reached at 10.30 am.
We were welcomed by our midwives professionally dressed in their birthing attire. They looked cool. We were escorted to the room. Me and Joshua got the luggage out of the car and saw to it that all things were in place. Joshua waited outside the room, in the couch, all excited and equally tensed.
The initial examinations were done and the gush of water came. She was ready to birth. We were guided to the Birthing stool; I was behind and supported her on my hands. It felt good that at this moment, we were together. She would push down and with her bearing down efforts coming on to my hands, I was happy that I could support her. She was also very happy that she was in my hands. By 11.15 she was assured that within 15 minutes, the rightly focused push will finish the process. This was a motivating trigger, and Sumi did her best. Joshua gave his share of motivation by shouting from outside "Push, Push" and "You can do it, amma", as did me. Our girl's head was out and we waited for the rest of her to come out with one last push and Priyanka received the baby into her arms. And we heard the first cry. So touching it was. And the baby was placed on Sumi's bosom. It was the 1st skin on skin experience for both Sumi and baby. Later came, my role where I was honored with the opportunity to cut the cord. It was a great feeling. And the little one was received by me with all joy – The joy that all fathers should be blessed with. She was very cute and slippery. I held her with abundant caution.
Interestingly the cord was very short and it had a velementous insertion. It is God's miracle and design that we witnessed and were part of. Praise God, in Jesus’ name for this wonderful experience.
Joshua was allowed inside and he was thrilled and sang our soothing song for her. He was a proud brother. The care and the professionalism with which all at Birthvillage handled the 8 months of adventure for us was just mind blowing. Sumi is a strong and blessed person. Her strength as a woman is reinforced.
It took only time till 11.35 am for the process to be completed. This was the biggest blessing we had. After this she was cared, fed and bathed and the next day morning, Sumi got to travel back home.
Birth Story of "Rachel Kollannur" will always be a good one to cherish for all 3 of us.
Founder,The Child Montessori
Director, The Child Montessori
Intution, Strength And How It Led To My VBAC
My name is Aathira.We were going to have our second baby but I wasn’t sure on how I was going to birth him, medically or naturally coz I had a C-section with my first baby and had an unpleasant experience.But this time I wanted to know how women birth naturally, how could my mother birth two of us – my sister Athulya and myself – as all others and why not me. Am I medically unfit? No, I am not going through it again. So finally, I decided to visit Birthvillage (against all odds for a planned VBAC) the only place apart from Shine (my husband) who believed I could birth naturally without any medical interventions.That’s how our wonderful journey began with Birthvillage.
Classes, appointments, exercises, diet classes, etc. what not! I even did a ramp walk (LOL). What to say! We had an amazing experience which I wouldn’t have dreamt of, otherwise. In fact my midwife team helped me understand birthing was fun, that it’s part of your life and not a disease.
During my first pregnancy, I was told not to climb stairs, not to walk for long. In fact, I was asked to take as much as rest possible but I did just the opposite for my second baby. I did continue my office, climbed stairs as my office was situated on the 3rd floor, I walked for hours, did exercises and had a diet plan which I adhered to. To a certain extent, all of these helped me complete my full term( 37 weeks) and gave birth to my baby Dev on the said DD without any medical interventions, purely natural. I had a wonderful “Water birth” to name it.
All the positive words by my loving midwives and the physical support by Shine made my Birth story a blissful one. I thank you all for making me feel like a Mother. Dev Paul Alex Thalachira was born on 14.01.14 weighing 3.9kg.
Aathira and VED Manuel Alex Thalachira
Fearless, Powerful And Committed
She questioned, researched, felt, and dreamt the birth of her choice – a VBAC.The evidence goes strongly for it but she did not receive support that she desired.
She came to Cochin in quest of her options at 39 weeks and 5 days and a day later in strong labor; a bouncy baby girl came out to her strong cries of “I did it!!”
Fearless, powerful and committed - That's who she is; This VBAC mother.
We salute you !!!!
A Marvelous Gift - TIA
My story in brief…was that,it was a cesarean with my firstborn and when pregnant with my 2nd baby, I went to Birthvillage to find out the possibility of VBAC. I met 2 beautiful ladies, Priyanka and Kate who hanged my outlook entirely and Sunil and me made a decision right there.
The Lamaze class we took with you, made me think that VBAC, in a positive environment, was possible after all. I loved the prenatal visits, too. I always felt rejuvenated on my way home. What you really gave to me was myself again. I didn't fully realize how the cesarean had undermined my soul and heart. Now that I birthed (at Birthvillage) I feel like I can really be myself - strong and powerful again. You have given me such an incredible gift that I can never really thank you in words. Your love and faith in my ability made the whole thing possible. I was thinking that in our culture, women turn to drugs during labor because they don't feel enough love around them. In this sense, you are a true midwife, acting out of your heart. I am so glad we found you!
Coming to the most unforgettable moment of my delivery; my due date was on August 13, 2013 and on 29thJuly, after having dinner, I started getting mild pain. They would just come and go every 20 minutes or so. It was late at night. So we went to bed. After few hours, we just called Priyanka and informed her about the pain and she asked me to relax and sleep well and also to keep track of my contractions. At around 4 am contractions were coming every 10 minutes. Priyanka asked me to come to the birth center if I am not able to manage the pain. So around 5.30, we reached Birthvillage. I was actually feeling bad troubling Priyanka in the middle of the night and updating the contractions through SMS and she did respond actively to all my doubts. The moment she opened the door I told her, “sorry for the disturbance” and she gave a huge smile and took me upstairs to the birthing room. I was given a hot water bag to ease my pain. Priyanka, Abby and even my husband gave me good back massage so due to which I was able to manage my pain. Donna examined me and said everything is good. Priyanka insisted me to eat breakfast and after a while my water broke. The midwives were constantly monitoring the baby's heartbeat. Everything was just fine. By 11am, we welcomed Tia into this world and she gave us a cute smile and thanking God for this wonderful experience and the marvelous gift. My husband has called every last member of our family to brag about our birth and they were quite surprised.
By 4pm, we were back home. My elder daughter Nia welcomed us with lots of excitement.
My heart swells and I feel deepest respect, pride and honor whenever I utter your names (three beautiful ladies Priyanka, Donna and Abby). You helped me to take a stand for what I want and to stand on my own feet and experience a birth that I would do all over again (even in the midst of the strongest surges the team kept me focused and cheered me on). If only I had the privilege of delivering [my first born] in your presence as well. You made a dream come true for me. The people that were so opposed to me having a VBAC are now shouting it from the rooftops. May God continue to bless you, you have changed our lives.
Final note on the postpartum visit to my home and follow up calls daily (almost a week): Regular check up for both mom and baby were so good. In spite of bad climate (heavy rain), you have made yourselves available.
Priyanka, Donna and Abby, Once again thank you for your care, love and concern at every step of the way. Thank you for your devotion. Thank you for your amazing midwifery skills. But most of all, thank you for believing in me. We almost gave up hope in finding the right person to attend our child birth, but you were clearly a messenger from God, and we thank Him every day for this wonderful gift.
HR Manager, Sci-Genom Labs
C. E. O.,Pax Events