My Story: Jazmyne Durazo, Part 2 {c-section + VBAC + breastfeeding}

My Story: Baby #2 - Lenora Quinn, 2013

{Read about Jazmyne's first birth here} When we got pregnant with baby number 2 early in 2013, I was even more motivated for a natural birth and healthy breastfeeding relationship than ever. We were now living 8 hours away from all our family, and even though I was determined to have a home birth this time around, no one would touch me because of my Cesarean. 

So far it was already looking like this delivery would end up being just like my first. 

Luckily we were planned to deliver in none other than Crunchy Heaven, Berkeley, California. I looked at statistics and saw that our hospital had the 2nd highest VBAC rate in the COUNTRY. I was thrilled. We went over our Bradley Method books and I lived it to a Tee my whole pregnancy. I read everything I could on VBACS, watched documentaries, found Facebook pages, talked to other women who had done it. 

#PostpartumConfession | My Story: Jazmyne Durazo, Part 2 {#csection + #VBAC + #breastfeeding}

Fast forward to my 11 hour labor, we arrived at the hospital and while my husband was parking the car, I was checked and was at 9.5 already and wheeled immediately into the delivery room. He made it back to me just in time. 

We had never even called my doctor because it had all been so much easier than my first labor up till now that I just assumed I must have hours left in my labor. But no, my water broke at the check in desk, and I was having the irresistible urge to push, they begged me to stop pushing because they had to find a doctor to deliver and I told them that I could not! The doctor came, she let me touch my baby’s head when she crowned, she let me pull my baby out with my own two hands and bring her immediately to my chest. I was done. I had done it. She was here. 

#PostpartumConfession | My Story: Jazmyne Durazo, Part 2 {#csection + #VBAC + #breastfeeding}

After only 11 hours she was here. Without any pain medication or intervention of any kind, she was here. I had done it. I whispered to myself and my husband for a good hour afterwards "I did it, I can't believe I did it." She latched well immediately just as her sister had. Everything was well. 

#PostpartumConfession | My Story: Jazmyne Durazo, Part 2 {#csection + #VBAC + #breastfeeding}

A week later I had a postpartum hemorrhage, waking up in a pool of blood. We went to the ER and after running tests and having a sonogram they decided that I was fine, but I was terrified. In the end, I had a relatively easy postpartum period [as I had with our first as well]. I nursed my second daughter for 16 months until she weaned herself. It was definitely not always easy, there were nights when she was an infant when my "let down" would not come and she would scream and I would cry for hours. But all in all, I was just proud of myself for not giving up. My experience with my second healed me almost entirely from the trauma of my first. 

My husband and I did decide that we were complete with our 2 children and would not have any more, and although I am happy with that, I know I will always be sad to have never had the home birth I had dreamed of.

When my youngest was 2 months old, my husband went underway unexpectedly for 2.5 months, he is in the Coast Guard and we thought he was done with his deployments for a while as he was about to go to school for his rate. He left and I drove the 8 hours to my parents’ house alone with my Girls.

After we had been there a month I decided it was time to go back home. After being home alone with the Girls for a few weeks something inside me broke and I began to have daily panic attacks, I have dealt with depression and anxiety my whole life, but this time around it manifested as hypochondria. I was terrified, from the moment I awoke to the moment I fell asleep that myself, or my children were dying of something, anything, completely irrational things! If I had a headache it was a brain tumor, if I realized I had given my children something new I panicked waiting for them to go into anaphylactic shock, if my chest felt strange I was sure I was having a heart attack. I was stressing myself out to the maximum and every day was a horror. This made my nursing relationship with my daughter very difficult. My stress level was so high that my “let down” often took as much as an hour or more to happen, and my baby would just suckle and cry and I was miserable waiting to give my baby the nourishment she needed, and the cycle continued, I worry about my milk not coming, and therefore it didn’t come.

As the time for my husband to come home came nearer and nearer it got worse and worse until I could not stand to be alone any longer. I called my mom and started sobbing and telling her what was going on and how afraid I was. She was on an airplane and by my side by that evening. She stayed with me the next 2 weeks until my husband came home, I am forever grateful. But I was not better. For months I silently suffered, locked in the prison of my mind, sure something was going to happen to me or my children. Knowing I was being completely irrational, how could both my children and I all be dying? It was silly, we had no symptoms, everything was fine, and still I was terrified. Soon after my husband went to school for 2 months and again I was alone.

When he came home we had just a few days before we had to move from California to Texas, where I knew I was going to have to start all over, again, meet new people, find doctors and dentists, grocery stores, gas stations, everything was new again. I was in misery. This was at the time that the Ebola scare was happening. I was convinced that we were going to get Ebola. We stayed home, or if we went out I was yelling at my 3 year old constantly not to touch anything.

Finally, finally once we were settled and I had arranged for our new doctor, I went in to be seen because my legs were feeling strange and I was certain I had ALS, it was during the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” and my great uncle actually died of ALS before I was born. I also had some bruises on my thighs, so I was certain I had leukemia, since a new Coast Guard spouse I had just met was a leukemia survivor. Anything I was around I was certain I had, or my children. I went in and my doctor was very kind to me, told me that she thought my legs feeling strange was only restless leg syndrome, told me that I seemed perfectly healthy but she would run all kinds of blood tests for me to make me feel better. She told me some things I could try to distress and said she could prescribe me some medication, but my youngest was only 10 months old and still nursing, so I decided to tough it out until she was 12 months, which was my nursing goal. Two months later I was anything but better and went back in practically begging to be prescribed something.

Slowly, but surely I felt better, after a few months of adjusting my meds. I’ve been on my meds for close to a year now and although I still have anxious days I am so, so much better. I am able to be the mother I want to be for my children, not a mother glued to the couch in fear that if I do anything I will die. I do not wish my experience with postpartum anxiety on my worst enemy.

Jazmyne Durazo | San Diego/Berkeley | Mama to Kaydance Jain, 4 and Lenora Quinn, 2

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