Skip To Content
  • Viral badge
Updated on May 23, 2019. Posted on May 22, 2018

A Cartoonist Illustrated Her Birth Story And It Is Both Charming And Alarming

Rips up birth plan, throws into air like confetti.

Yasmine Surovec is an Arizona-based cartoonist and children's book author who was in her late 30s when she gave birth to her first child. Like many expectant mothers, she had a vision of what her birth story would look like:

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

It didn't exactly go down like that...

CBC / Via giphy.com

Afterward, Surovec decided to illustrate how it did go down. "I didn't have a lot of photos to document my 'birthing experience' as it was all so sudden," Surovec told BuzzFeed. "I'm also most comfortable with telling stories using comics."

Surovec had placenta previa — and likely also preeclampsia — which meant her pregnancy took an unexpected turn at 36 weeks:

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

From there things moved pretty fast:

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

An IV was hooked up and a catheter inserted:

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

Surovec wrote in text accompanying her illustrations, "I don’t know what’s more unpleasant: getting a catheter inserted into your pee hole, or a paper cut on your eyeball."

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

Surovec knew of a mom who was preeclamptic and had to stay at the hospital for a month after giving birth. "She had a seizure, and was 'out' for what seemed a very long time. That frightened me a bit, but it frightened my husband more. I just hoped the baby would come out OK."

She was soon wheeled into the O.R. after being given either a spinal block or epidural (she can't remember which).

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

Surovec wrote her husband was very comforting during her c-section (and wisely kept some of his thoughts to himself):

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

Surovec gave birth to a beautiful, healthy boy — who was promptly taken away (as babies often are):

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

Surovec's blood pressure was elevated, so she had to stay at the hospital a little longer:

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

Amidst all of this, it was time to try to breastfeed:

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

Breastfeeding didn't come easily. As she wrote: "My son wouldn't latch. Out of everything I’d been through, this is what caused me the most stress. It’s often said 'breast is best,' and I felt like a failure every time I couldn’t pump enough milk, and my son was given a bottle of formula instead."

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

The nights were a bit lonely, Surovec wrote, but the nurses percocetically, er, periodically checked on her:

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

Surovec wrote: "I loved my nurses. One gave me ice chips when I was feeling dehydrated, and one wiped my bloody, clot-y vagina when I was writhing in pain and couldn’t get up to go to the bathroom."

Finally, it was time to leave the hospital, which Surovec calls "bittersweet" because she felt like she'd made some good friends:

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

And then they were on their own:

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

But it was OK:

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

In fact, it was great:

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

Surovec says people have been very receptive to her illustrations. "I get quite a bit of email from moms who have been through what I have. Sometimes you can feel alone in a birthing experience."

yasmine surovec / Via howwecametobe.wordpress.com

Surovec adds, "If you feel depressed, or bad that you didn't go through the 'ideal' birthing experience, do reach out to others. You don't have to feel alone in all this."

You can keep up with Surovec's work by checking out her blog, page on Medium, and Instagram account.

Want awesome parenting tips in your inbox twice a week? Sign up for the BuzzFeed Parents newsletter!

Newsletter signup form