I had my youngest son on December 26, 2019 via C-section. Recovery at home wasn’t too bad outside of the normal pain from having a baby.
But at about a month postpartum, I began to have chest pain and found it hard to do simple tasks. I ignored the pain and convinced myself it was just gas from the surgery because it felt similar to my first C-section with my twins.
On January 26, 2020, I could barely lie down without crying. It felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. I Googled my symptoms and found an article about Serena Williams being diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism (PE) after having her child.
I mentioned this to my primary and OB, and they brushed it off as gas and pain from my C-section. But my husband could no longer watch me go through this pain and forced me to go to the ER. After waiting hours for testing, I was finally diagnosed with blood clots in both lungs.
I spent a week in the hospital and was given blood thinners. I was prescribed apixaban and was told I’d have to take it indefinitely, and I would have to use oxygen if I didn’t make progress. Daily tasks were challenging with the shortness of breath on top of having children. I became depressed after realizing I could have died and knowing my life may never be the same. I started to see a pulmonologist, who told me the PE could have been a result of my C-section.
The blood thinners made my menstrual cycle alarmingly heavy, and all the options I was given to fix it weren’t practical for me. I was able to stop my blood thinners (anticoagulant) after eight months. Now, I am able to do daily tasks and exercise without struggling.
I’m extremely thankful I’m here to tell my story and spread awareness. Always advocate for yourself and trust your instincts when something doesn’t feel right.