swollen from toxemia and had been on bed rest for over a month. My health and my babies’ health were in danger, so I had an emergency C-section. We spent many weeks in the NICU.”
Toxemia is another term for preeclampsia, meaning that Beyoncé very easily could’ve died. This news is nothing short of horrifying.
Serena Williams wrote about what giving birth was like for her, and her remarks were just as frightening.
“[A pre-existing pulmonary embolism] sparked a slew of health complications that I am lucky to have survived. First, my C-section wound popped open due to the intense coughing I endured as a result of the embolism. I returned to surgery, where the doctors found a large hematoma, a swelling of clotted blood, in my abdomen. And then I returned to the operating room for a procedure that prevents clots from traveling to my lungs. When I finally made it home to my family, I had to spend the first six weeks of motherhood in bed.”
Pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, or complications period, can be difficult for mothers-to-be to handle. Since Black moms are sometimes treated differently by physicians, it falls on the mother to be forthcoming about all symptoms and to do their own research.
It should not be that way in this day and age, but it is just another way that racism or classism infiltrate people’s daily lives. It is huge that Beyoncé and Serena told their stories, because it calls attention to other individuals who may not have all the resources they do, but still deserve to be included in calls to action.
Brooklyn White is a journalist with content featured on Teen Vogue, Rookie Mag, and Bitch Media.