Thursday, March 24, 2016

From the Ministry of What the F*cks

Right. So here's the story.

It make you go, "Are you f*cking kidding me?" Or maybe, "What the hell?"

If so, well, join the club.

I'm going to get right to the point. Until Tuesday, I was pregnant, just over seven weeks so. Then my doctor determined that it had stopped heading in any direction except miscarriage.

And so that night I took the little get-the-miscarriage-party-started pills. And it was a truly hellish night. And now things are better.

But here's the real crazy. I'm 46.

Now, 46 is a not a lot of years when you're talking about all of eternity. But! It is a lot of years when you're talking about pregnancy. Add to this that we've not exactly been burning up the sheets. So I was completely astounded, and so was Nick.

I realized it was not outside the realm of possibilities. But neither is winning the lottery or being hit by lightening.

What the hell? Exactly.

Since I went through this the year before last, I knew the odds were abysmal.  In fact, when you are this much older, they are this much abysmaller.

Miscarriage rates are 70%. Odds of chromosomal abnormality are like 1 in 16.

In fact, finding an outcome chart for pregnancy over age 45 was  hard. I googled "pregnancy at 46" and came up with Halle Berry and a bunch of fertility articles saying that even though you see celebrities doing it, what you don't know is that they're probably using donor eggs.

In other words: don't try this at home.

On a side bar, a friend said, "Are you kidding me? Good thing you didn't start having babies in your twenties! You could have like eight kids by now."

Anyway, I didn't exactly let myself get all hopeful. Which was good. Because at what would've been somewhere early in the seventh week, it just stopped being.

But first I thought: What if this works? Oh my hell. I'm going to be exhausted for the rest of my life. My back already hurts and it's only the size of a pea. We will need a goddamn minivan. How will I give my kids enough attention and deal with a newborn? How will we do this? And I will definitely need to buy me some boobs when this is all said and done.

I also thought: A new little human! A smooshy snuggly baby! Fortunately, Maude hasn't gotten around to giving my Ergo and sleep sacks to Syrian refugees. There's a reason we still have our monitor and stroller. Another sibling for my kids! Awwwww. Hooray!

Once again, though I believe in choice, I knew I personally couldn't terminate unless there was a chromosomal abnormality. If I got to 11 weeks, I'd have a CVS. If there was going to be something wrong, I wanted it to happen early and resolve itself.

And then it did.

So here's my soapbox. To start a miscarriage, you can take misoprostol, which is generic, and inexpensive (at least with insurance). The doctor had me stick four little pills in my vagina. As I understand it, you can also take them orally.

But in any case, it's four pills.

For an abortion, they apparently have you take a different pill beforehand to make your uterus inhospitable, and then you use these to open your cervix and start the cramping. And according to my research, if you are early enough in your pregnancy, apparently misoprostol can be sufficient.

I feel like abortion is sold to us as whole, pink, recognizably human babies being chopped up and dragged out of women's vaginas. The women could take them out and put them in Hannah Andersson. But no! They choose to murder them instead!

Now, given the choice, I'd have had this baby, and in November, somewhere approaching Election Day (which I found funny, considering how hostile some of the candidates are to reproductive freedom), I'd have wound up with a whole, pink, recognizably human baby coming out of my vagina.

A baby I wanted, a baby who would've had a loving home and family.

But let me tell you what expelling that seven-week-old-no-longer potential baby was like. It was (in the privacy of my own home) a lot of cramping, a decent amount of blood, and some tissue.

That was it.

The reality of terminating an very early pregnancy is nothing that would work on a poster. It's nothing that women should have to jump through hoops to beg for. It's definitely not something that should require a woman to go to a doctor once, then return two days later for.

It's four little pills. And some tremendously horrible cramps, and in my case three hours of the worst body-wracking chills I've ever had, although to be fair, I've never had malaria or dengue fever.

And then it was over. And my body immediately started feeling better. I stopped being so tired that I'd be unable to leap out of the way of a speeding truck. My back stopped hurting. I stopped feeling queasy all the time. I started feeling more like myself.

In other words, pregnancy stopped taking over my entire body.

It's not over emotionally, in that despite my best efforts, I'm still sad. I am really, really sad, even thought I keep telling myself it is for the best. Everything is easier this way.

But loss is never easy, whether you are voluntarily letting go or not.

But physically, it can be that easy, at least in the early weeks. And then it is over. No politician, no doctor, no objecting pharmacist should have any say-so in whether it is that easy or not.

Everything else is hard enough.

24 comments:

  1. Oh Lisa. Great big hug for you. I'm so sorry. And,thank you for writing about this! Miscarriage is another thing that needs to be brought out of the shadows.

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    1. Oh, sweet Laura! Thank you! I am trying so hard not to be sad. I was so good at being practical until I picked up the pills in Target and then I started crying so hard I couldn't check out with the rest of my stuff for like an hour.

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  2. I love you. My heart is with you.

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    1. Love you right back, Soph. Thank you.

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  3. I love you. My heart is with you.

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  4. Hunny bunny, I'm so sorry. Sending buckets of love and light. Your words are beautiful. Wishing you peace. xo

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  5. Lisa - I don't need to tell you that I totally agree with your stance on this issue - you already know that. But I do need to say that your strength and your willingness to share your life experiences, no matter how difficult or embarrassing or painful, is totally inspiring. Please don't ever stop.

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    1. Thank you thank you. I really appreciate your kind words. The thing I've learned about writing about the difficult or embarrassing or painful ones is that I'm never alone in it. And that always makes me feel better. And sometimes it makes other people feel better, too, which I love. Big hugs!

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  6. Sorry to hear this Lisa--but appreciate you choosing to share this in the same honest way you live your life every day.

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    1. I super appreciate this, Jess. Hugs.

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  7. I cried reading this - for your loss and wishing I could give you a hug and relieve the emotional and physical pain you're feeling. And the tears flow because you write so beautifully, honestly. Loss is difficult, especially when linked to the hope and wave of emotions related to pregnancy. You're handling it with such grace and strength.

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    1. Oh, thank you so much. I don't know how much grace and strength I'm handling it with. I've been a snotty mess a few times. But I so appreciate your love and support and wish I could get a giant hug right now!

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  8. I am sorry for your loss, Lisa. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Maybe one day all of the women who have terminated a pregnancy will be as brave as you. <3

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    1. Thank you so much, Jo. For me not talking about it, which is the societal norm, was to act like it never happened. And that just does not work for me. Hugs.

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  9. Thank you for sharing. I'll have a glass of wine for you - definitely have one too. So sorry. I wish that words could make this better.

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    1. Thank you, Beth. That's very kind. It's getting better. And I've since had some glasses of wine, too. :)

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  10. Lisa I am so sorry to learn about this. Please know that there is a large community of readers who care about you, and hope for the best for you and your family.

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    1. Thank you, sweet Jaclyn. I really appreciate your support. Hugs.

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  11. How did I miss this post? Well I am sending hugs from the prairie state. And, you always make SO MUCH SENSE! I wish you would run for president. I love you Lisa. xoxo - Lynn

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  12. How did I miss this post? Well I am sending hugs from the prairie state. And, you always make SO MUCH SENSE! I wish you would run for president. I love you Lisa. xoxo - Lynn

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    1. Aww, Lynn! Thank you! I would be a terrible president. But I do appreciate your vote of confidence! Hugs hugs hugs.

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  13. I'm so sorry to hear this - big hugs.xx

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