WARNING: the post ahead is EXTREMELY GRAPHIC. If you are squeamish about medical things, human excretions, lady-business or anything of that sort, don’t read it.
And, additionally, If you cannot be unconditionally supportive of me at this time in my life, and instead choose to insult me and my career choices, and add insult to my pain under the questionable guise of “valid criticism,” also please don’t read this, and don’t read anything I write ever again, and leave me alone forever. There is literally not a single bit of “valid criticism” a woman deserves on the day(s) the remains of a desperately wanted pregnancy are slipping out of her body.
To my immense relief and sight alarm, nature has finally taken its course, and I am well on my way to expelling the remains of this false-start pregnancy. This is going to be completely incoherent because I was up all night gushing blood and witnessing other ungodly things come out of my body (more, much more on that, below–so seriously if you are easily skeeved out, stop reading), and I’m still in considerable pain, but, just as with the embryo itself, I just want to get this out.
For the last 12 hours I have been watching as what appears to be 90 tons of calf’s liver comes slipping out of my body. It’s the lining of the uterus, which I honestly can’t believe got so big. Where did it all go? How could that much new tissue be grown in, and reside in, something so small? I have to tell you, I feel like I’ve lost like 5 lbs already, just through my lady-bits (don’t say I didn’t warn you).
The pattern is fairly consistent. First I get severe and intense cramping/contractions and back pain. That is the tissue making its way through the ol’ cervix, which I have to say has been put through it these past few days. The ultrasound tech at the hospital had a really heavy hand with the ol’ hoo-ha wand, and so there’s been undue pressure on the vagal nerve (which, if stimulated, conveniently makes you want to faint, throw up, and soil your drawers at the same time) all the damn day.
So, anyway, severe pain in the back and inside lady-parts from the cervix dilating enough to pass all the tissue, which is then followed by about ten minutes of peace and quiet, after which everything comes rushing out of me. I have had to keep careful track of how much I bleed, because there is a minor risk of hemorrhage.
So, this began in earnest around 10 p.m. last night, and thus continued all the fuck night long. My husband slept peacefully by my side–finally relieved that we are at the bottom of this hole, that it’s not a bottomless abyss, that it’s just a little indentation that we can walk out of by ourselves–and I lay awake, rushing to the bathroom every hour on the hour at midnight, 1, 2, 3 and 4. The bathroom looks like a crime scene; all of my PJs are probably stained beyond redemption. It’s really glamorous. If any of my students are reading this, well–I warned you!
Anyway, before all of the massive tissue clumps (I mean MASSIVE) started their exodus, the embryo came out. I saw it. It was about the size of a grain of rice, and pale grey. If a stranger had happened across me, he would have been like, “Why is that woman on her knees crying and talking to her toilet?” But I decided to say goodbye out loud, and this is what I said: “I never got to know you, but I love you anyway. Thank you for your brief presence in my life, and for allowing me just the tiniest glimpse of what it’s like to feel a mother’s love.” Then–well, what else was there to do but flush it down?
Now I have to say the vast majority of my pain is physical. The cycle is still going: cramp, peace, bloodbath. I hope it dies down soon and I can get some rest. I’ve taken the today off from work, and I’m just resting and doing the best I can to get through the discomfort.
This is massively incoherent, and I’m sorry about that. And it’s a massive overshare, but I’m not sorry about that. Almost nobody talks about miscarriage in the open, and when I found out I was having one, a few of my friends were kind enough to tell me what happened to them physically so I wouldn’t be so scared. It is my only hope that by being completely open about this I’ve demystified and normalized the process a little bit, and although every woman has a different experience, I hope this might help some women in the future to know what awaits, and that it’s really not too bad.