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My Story: Baby #1 - Kaydance Jain, 2011
Even at age 20 when my husband & I planned our first baby, I knew I wanted an all-natural home birth. After shopping around it seemed that there was no way we could afford a midwife, not to mention we were renting a room from my parents at the time and there was 5 other people living in the house at the time I would be giving birth. Thanks to my husband’s insurance we were able to have a hospital birth for almost nothing so I sacrificed my dream of a home birth for a hospital birth and hoped for the best.
We took natural birthing classes on The Bradley Method and from the start I was nothing but excited and motivated to have a wonderful, natural birth. I was never afraid for a moment of my pregnancy. Our daughter was going on a week late and my doctor was telling me that she was going to schedule my induction soon [young & naive as I was I didn't realize I could simply tell her NO!] so out of fear of an induction I started trying at home methods of "natural induction." I got a prenatal massage, acupuncture, ate spicy food, had sex, walked for miles, and finally, as a last resort, took castor oil. About 6 hours after taking the castor oil I got the worst back ache of my life and went to bed to avoid it.
Fast forward a horrendous 36 hours of labor, and a Cesarean Section to the moment our baby was shown to me over the sheet on the operating table at 12:15 pm, I completely broke down in sobs of exhaustion, thankfulness, & happiness. It was the greatest, most rewarding moment of my life. Our daughter was placed in the baby box and wiped down and my husband immediately took his shirt off and did the skin to skin with her that I had so desperately waited for. She pooped all over him. I was still feeling nothing but joy at this point. They stitched me up, removed a walnut sized cyst from my ovary, and wheeled me into the recovery room where our daughter latched perfectly the first time around, without even help, and everything was wonderful. I was up and walking by the time the sun went down, my husband slept in the bed beside me and I just held my beautiful baby. Nursed her, changed her, held her, and loved her.
After going home 2 days later it started to really dawn on me that everything had gone horribly wrong in my labor and delivery and I started to really hate myself for it. I had looked so forward to my beautiful natural labor and although I had labored at home for 18 hours, gone without any pain medication for 26, all whilst having awful, horrible, body splitting back labor, I still felt like a failure. It had to have been me, my body, I must have been weak when I needed to be strong, I wasn't the woman I thought I was. I couldn't do what millions of women before me had done. The trauma of my daughter’s birth was eating me alive.
To add insult to injury, after just 3 months of breastfeeding, my daughter went on a nursing strike, and the petrified new mother that I was reluctantly started supplementing with formula out of fear that my baby was going to starve herself. After pumping and supplementing an additional month I gave up nursing for good, 8 months short of my nursing goal. I hated myself. I felt like a horrible mother. I only wanted what I believed was best for my baby and so far, I had failed at every single thing I believed in.
Jazmyne Durazo | San Diego/Berkeley | Mama to Kaydance Jain, 4 and Lenora Quinn, 2