At 34, I got pregnant. We weren’t planning it. We were a little freaked out. But, what the heck.
So we went to the doctor, started wrapping our head around the idea, and began to get really excited. Then had a miscarriage.
It was really early on in the pregnancy — I think I was only six weeks along. My OB told me that a lot of women have early miscarriages, and never even detect them — they just think they’re late. Late followed by a heavy period. But we knew we were pregnant, and when that “heavy period” came, I knew I was miscarrying.
Flash forward three months. I’m pregnant again. Back to the doctor.
Early blood tests seem normal, then I start having some really intense, weird pains and bleeding. A trip to the ER confirms that it’s ectopic, which means the embryo has implanted in my fallopian tube and cannot go to term. It also means that we have to get it out of the fallopian tube before it grows, ruptures the tube, and I bleed to death.
It’s early on and small enough that I have the option of not having my fallopian tube removed. They administer a cancer drug called Methotrexate, which stops the growth of rapidly dividing cells — like cancer cells… and embryos. They administer the shot. It’s intramuscular and hurts- a lot. Then they send me off with a don’t get pregnant again in the next couple months or your child could have birth defects warning.
About a year goes by. I’m 35. We start trying again. Month after month of pregnancy tests and no luck. I’m beginning to think this Methotrexate thing has totally fucked my chances of conceiving. Then it finally happens — positive pregnancy test.
Getting pregnant again after you’ve had miscarriages is stressful. It sucks. You’re always waiting for the other shoe to drop, so of course I was apprehensive about my first few doctor appointments. We finally saw a heartbeat, and I started to relax — a little.
A milestone for women, and why they generally wait three months to tell people they are pregnant, is the 12 week ultrasound. Once you get past that you are pretty much considered home free. So I hadn’t told a lot of people I was pregnant, just my family and a few close friends.
Exactly one day before my 12 week ultrasound, I started bleeding, heavily. Another trip to the ER confirms I’m miscarrying again. This time it’s not early, and it’s nothing like a heavy period. I am bleeding. A lot. We’re in the ER waiting room, waiting to be checked into triage. Something feels really weird. We get into triage, I get a huge cramp and grab my abdomen. It’s winter, so I’m wearing sweats, a long sleeve shirt, and a really thick sweatshirt. The cramp stops, I pull my hand away, and it’s covered in blood. I have bled completely through three thick layers of clothes, and am now sitting in a puddle of blood.
They send us off to a private room with a bed. We are alone, and my husband is trying to help me remove my clothes. His arms are now covered in blood, as is the floor around me. This can’t be right. The room is starting to look like a war zone. Am I dying? I actually, literally think I am dying. We’re still alone. My husband runs for help.
A nurse returns with my husband. He’s clearly terrified. She’s clearly not. ‘Don’t worry ma’am. This is totally normal. This is what happens.’
Three different losses. Three different heartbreaks. For the last one I needed a D&C which under the current archaic laws some states are trying to pass would be considered an abortion. The supreme court just upheld a law in Indiana that would force burial or cremation of aborted tissue. A Georgia law would aim to consider some miscarriages 2nd degree murder. Women would somehow have to prove they weren’t at fault for their miscarriages in this case. Yes, a miscarriage would potentially be treated like a crime.
It’s not enough that we suffer. It’s not enough that we experience immense loss. It’s not enough that we endure all this pain. Now we have men telling us we need to grieve our pregnancies that never were or prove that we’re not murderers for experiencing something that happens in 25% of all pregnancies. Did you know that roughly 1 in 4 pregnancies ends in miscarriage? These men clearly don’t, but then again a politician last week claimed you could effectively re-implant an ectopic pregnancy into the uterus – so, we’re not dealing with geniuses here. And to those who think women pointing out the flaws in these laws are being hysterical and that miscarriages would never be treated like crimes — you only need to open your eyes to the current atmosphere of misogyny, control, and ignorance to understand why we’d never comfortably accept laws that regulate our bodies at all. Giving up any control of our bodies is not a slippery slope — it’s a massive cliff, leading to nothing but pain and horror for women.
To the people who are hell-bent on legislating women’s bodies — good luck. We endure all of this pain and still survive — do you actually believe you can beat us into submission here? You can’t.
And to all the women experiencing miscarriages while this terrible, idiotic news is swirling around them — your miscarriage is not your fault.
Your miscarriage is not your fault.
Your miscarriage is not your fault. And we will not bend — even the slightest — when it comes to fighting for our freedom to control our bodies.