A word of warning to anyone considering a miscarriage: they hurt. And not just a little, ooh-was-that-a-twinge kind of hurt. They hurt like a motherfucker. Like a beast clawing at my uterus from the inside, shredding the lining that I took so many drugs to build. Like a hot poker twisting in my lower gut, trying to burn its way out. And this is with one and a half percocet already in there fighting the battle. Soon I will take more. Soon.
The thing is, I knew this was going to hurt. After all, I’ve done it three times before. And twice without any painkillers, because the miscarriage hadn’t been “confirmed” yet. But you never really remember how bad something hurts, until you go through it again. (I’m convinced this is why women have second children, even after experiencing labor once.)
I’ve known this was coming for a week now. And I’ve thought back on those other times, trying to prepare myself for what’s to come. But the miscarriages of the past are all so abstract. And maybe it’s because I like thinking of myself as tough (one of the only consolation prizes of multiple IVFs and multiple miscarriages is feeling like an infertility badass) but there’s almost touch of fondness when I look back on those memories. Yeah, I remember my first miscarriage, lying all curled up on the couch watching old episodes of Buffy, heating pad on ‘high’ strapped to my belly, getting up every five minutes to hit the toilet and see what comes out. Yeah, good times…. So the pain has actually managed to take my by surprise.
I’m actually kind of glad J has to work tonight. He’s not terribly overwrought by my pain; he doesn’t treat me like I’m made of cornflakes and will blow away in a strong wind; it doesn’t break him apart to see me cry. And for the most part, I think that’s good for me. I’m a terrible whiner, and I need a “buck-up, little tiger” person in my life to keep me from being totally pathetic. But for tonight, I just want to take my drugs and feel sorry for myself with no audience.
While I’ve been writing this, I’ve had the strangest image. The cramping is coming in waves, easing up for a minute or two, then, just when I forget about it, kicking in and burning and making me resort to my deep breathing exercises. But the image I have isn’t the cramps coming and going like the ocean. The image I like is a to-the-death battle taking place within my uterus, which I picture as a dark cave with deep red walls. The battle is between the slavering beast within and the wonderful, white, lovely percocet, which I guess looks kind of like the happy pill in the old zoloft commercials (but with a sword, of course!). One minute, the percocet will take the high ground, forcing the snarling, fanged beast into a corner where he can only chew on a small part of my uterine wall. The next minute, the beast has regained its footing and is ripping me to shreds while the white pill cowers and tries to hide. Hmm… maybe it’s time to send in reinforcements.