Free Miscarriage

Free Miscarriage

"Women were made for birth and life and death. In the moment of miscarriage, birth and life and death come through us."--Kristen Swanson, quoted in an article by Angela Garbes titled "What I Gained from Having a Miscarriage" published in The Stranger, 2016

I knew in the culmination of love that night, that it had happened—that all the everything had shifted with the arrival of a tiny spark, a new beginning. 

In that one electric second, you came to be, swimming into me on a wave of ecstasy.

Before You, I was free—solitary and structured, focused and intent— now I’m pregnant with so much power I don’t know what to do or how to be. I grow to fill the room. I vibrate with this secret, a second self; a new heart, blooming in the soil of my blood.

And I hated it, at first. 

I hated you, and I wanted you gone. You made no sense, we don’t have the space, I don’t have the time. So I slid open the drawer with the envelope inside, that holds the 6 small pills.  I put them in my palm and considered it. All the different shapes that power takes.  I can do whatever I want, and I will.  

And I made my choice. I opened my heart to the possibility of You. I accepted the thrum of cells furiously multiplying in my womb, intent on becoming a Self unto yourself.  I slipped the PILLS back to the back of the cupboard. And I loved you.

I saw into the future there and then, to the other side; the final push; your face. The euphoria of your body and your being cleaving from me. Our first beatific encounter on earth.

I made you in my mind’s eye, constructing a place for you in this life of mine, adoring the You I imagined you would be, born through me, and into this world of my creation. 

I introduced you to our children, and they each, in their own generous way, rearranged themselves to accommodate You.

Lee too, decided to love You. We bought a van. We made a plan. He and I hallucinated your birth together, and dreamed into reality the halo of love that would surround us all at your arrival. 

I picked out the softest wool for your newborn cap. I bought you a tiny shirt. I could smell you. I saw you in every infant I encountered. 

I shared the secret of You here and there. Friends and acquaintances joined us in the intrigue.

Weeks passed.

In the cafe, I receive a text message from my dearest sister friend. “You’re having a baby!” Yes.  I’m having a baby. Then I stand up to walk to the washroom, and there is blood. 

Stunned, I bike home, the dull ache in my abdomen blossoming.  My pants are saturated when I arrive, and the kids gather round, Mum Mum, you’re bleeding. Mum are you having the baby? Mum are you ok? 

I think the baby is dead, I say, flatly. 

I send the kids upstairs and pace the kitchen, antsy. I take off my bloody pants. I don’t know what to do. Standing over the sink, I give birth to a large clot, the size of a grapefruit, into my hands. I dig through it, like an animal,  looking for a human being. Searching for my dead baby. 

Just then, my phone rings. It’s the government. They’re asking for further documentation to prove that our youngest child is really ours.  Is now a good time? The woman asks. Oh yes. Sure, I say, blood all over the phone, blood dripping down my thighs and onto the floor.  

The woman says Blah blah blah blah blah. Yes? 

Yes. That’s correct. 

Another clot, this time orange-sized.  I think I have to go now, I say to the government person. It crosses my mind that I’m delusional. I don’t mention to her that I’m miscarrying at this precise moment. This is the upside.  They can’t have this one. This is all mine.

Over the next 24 hours, I bleed and bleed, like the creature that I am. There is no baby anywhere, other than the one I conjured up. Just old blood, and dark matter. Eight weeks, but you must have died a while ago. There is nothing left of You but wet red brick dust. Right on time. 

I sleep and cry, and sit alone.  I get annoyed. I get angry.  Dumb dead baby. How dare you leave me here? Then guilt and regret creep up, crash like waves. Did I do this? Does ambivalence kill? Then numbness. Then fever. 

For a few hours I toss and turn.  Lee takes the kids out, so I can have some space. I get up, out of bed. I run a bath and sit in the silty water until it’s cold.  

I am my body, and this is she, surrendering in all her wisdom.  Like the birth that it is, I step aside and allow the letting go, the flowing out of me. Blood and water, pouring forth below my soft and wrinkled belly. I feel old and sullen. Done for. Empty. 

The next morning I wake up with the sun, to the cacophony of birds in our paradisiacal yard. I walk out to water the verdant garden, barefoot. Tangled beans and sweetpeas spill over the raised bed. Squash blossoms and green tomatoes have appeared overnight. Plump drunk bumblebees drift and waver. I weed with ferocious intensity. 

Exhausted after, I lie down in the tall grass where no one can see me.  My body settles into the earth, and the sun burns my eyelids, my shoulders and my thighs. Here I am, all-powerful. Woman.  Embodying the portal between life and death. 

For my fertility, for my softness, for my resiliency, for my children, for my love, for my grief, my tears, my faith, my doubt, my courage, my fear,  I am grateful. 

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  • The first miscarriage I had I was utterly unprepared for emotionally. I walked around the house bleeding heavily and calling out for my husband who called a help line that explained what is likely happening. I was grief stricken. The second miscarriage I had gone for the u/s scan and there was only a an empty sac. They sent me to the hospital to get medical assistance – i never felt more scared, cold and alone. To get to this department you must walk past happy joyful expectant mothers to a darkened area right next to the psychiatric pregnancy crisis offices. Here you collect pills in a paper envelop and instructions in how to end the already non longer viable pregnancy. The third miscarriage I chose to be alone in my house to go through the process. I asked my husband to leave with the family dog and not to return until I called him to come home. I needed to do this alone. I wanted and needed to feel and experience the cramping, pain and bleeding alone. It was a long process many hours until I passed this very large what I assume is a sac. I needed to feel the exit from my vagina. Afterward a calmness washed over me. I felt free. i felt my grief and fears lifted. This was a journey that I needed to do alone at home undisturbed. I have learned you never really know what you are capable of until you are faced with it. We now have a 2 year old son.

    Lacy on
  • This is beautiful. So poignant. My miscarriage was silent, they told me at the scan. My body held on for two more weeks, allowing a tiny amount of blood to pass but nothing more. My husband cried for our lost little one and his grief softened me and I too grieved then. Then my body gave birth to the foetus, just like labour, it was the exact same feelings, but it felt cleansing, it was a release, a letting go of something that was not quite what it should have been. Then I fell pregnant again the next month and am now due in August.

    Aysha Turner on

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