Birth Story submitted by: Deepti and Vikram Ahuja, India (originally published here on May 28, 2013)
I feel blessed to have chosen to birth with Healthy Mother for my baby’s delivery. After attending the Lamaze classes with Dr. Vijaya Krishnan (along with my husband and mom) we decided that this is exactly the kind of birth I want– natural, normal and without any medical interventions. Even before I conceived, I knew that C-section was not something I wanted and the HM approach towards birth seemed to click with me perfectly!
The antenatal sessions were unrushed, unlike the sessions I had at the corporate hospital I was going to before switching to Healthy Mother. The sessions were good fun with Crystal adding her touch of humour and funny stories during the sessions. We would actually look forward to our ANC meetings at HM. Mainly all our queries were answered patiently with detailed explanations. This is a luxury that you don’t get if you are birthing elsewhere.
Of course the way my entire labour and delivery was handled needs a more elaborate and detailed mention here because “my dream of having a normal and natural birth would have remained a dream if I was not at Healthy Mother.” My water broke on Friday morning and I called Dr Vijaya to inform her. Of course I was tense as I had heard that once your water breaks you need to rush to the hospital/birthing center. But she was calm and just asked me to eat well and relax and wait till contractions begin. But wow, there were no contractions that entire day (If I were going to a hospital I would have had a c-section delivery within 12 hours of water breaking). Dr. Vijaya and team monitored me daily for any infections or complication but my contractions refused to start for 2 days. Finally Day 3 they started me on herbs and homeopathics that kick-started the contractions but not in the rhythm we wanted. Day 4– again stronger dose of herbs, homeopathics and breast pump but contractions did not pick up till early evening and I was sent home. Finally, contractions picked up on Day 5 at 5 am. During all this Dr. Vijaya was with me over the phone taking my multiple calls at unearthly hours and guiding throughout.
Finally got admitted on Day 5 in early labour. What was amazing is the continuous and 24/7 labour support given by the nurses at HM- Vijayakumari and Premlatha. They are part of this amazing HM team and are extremely warm, you instantly feel at home with them. They encouraged me to squat, walk, climb stairs– keeping me active throughout and also massaged my back with each and every contraction! Now isn’t that a real luxury?
Then there was a twist … my contractions started to slow down and looked like the baby would never come out. I was disheartened and asked Dr. Vijaya to do a C-section- yes I never wanted it but at that moment, and after going through 5 days of stress and slow labour, I just wanted to get it over with.
And then what did Dr. Vijaya do? She did a ‘labour dance’ with me!!! She said “Come on … lets dance” and went all over the room ballroom dancing with me. I don’t know what effect that had on me but it lifted my spirits and also kick-started the labour… my guess is that the psychological effect triggered the physical labour process.
All through active labour I decided to labour on the toilet seat and refused to get up and come out. Instead of forcing me to come out into the room Dr. Vijaya came into the bathroom, sat with me and held my hand through the contractions. Just knowing that someone is patiently sitting with you and quietly understanding the pain you are going through meant a lot !!
Finally it was time to push and I went into some kind of trance. All I know is that I could hear only one voice encouraging me to push out my baby (Dr. Vijaya’s voice)… and finally there he was. Such a cute little being straight into my arms staring at me intently.
A huge Thank you to the entire HM team for making my dream of a natural birth come true. I wish HM grows leaps and bounds and touches many more to-be moms with a wonderful birthing experience.
Dr. Vijaya Krishnan is Midwife & Director at Healthy Mother Wellness & Care Birth Center in Hyderabad, India. Healthy Mother is part of the MBNets with the International MotherBaby Chilbirth Organization (IMBCI) and is also working to support the IMBCI India demo site.