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:
It didn't exactly go down like that...
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:
From there things moved pretty fast:
An IV was hooked up and a catheter inserted:
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."
She was soon wheeled into the O.R. after being given either a spinal block or epidural (she can't remember which).
Surovec wrote her husband was very comforting during her c-section (and wisely kept some of his thoughts to himself):
Surovec gave birth to a beautiful, healthy boy — who was promptly taken away (as babies often are):
Surovec's blood pressure was elevated, so she had to stay at the hospital a little longer:
Amidst all of this, it was time to try to breastfeed:
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."
The nights were a bit lonely, Surovec wrote, but the nurses percocetically, er, periodically checked on her:
Finally, it was time to leave the hospital, which Surovec calls "bittersweet" because she felt like she'd made some good friends:
And then they were on their own:
But it was OK:
In fact, it was great:
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."