I have never shared this publicly before but I had a miscarriage.
I’d like to share the story.
It was a handful of years ago. I found out I was pregnant! I wasn’t showing. I felt like I was going to vomit all the time — wouldn’t call it “morning” sickness.
In my mind I knew that most miscarriages happen in the first trimester before the 12th week of pregnancy. Miscarriages can also be more likely if you’re considered geriatric. So we waited to tell people.
And then just before 11 weeks, the prune-sized fetus that had been growing inside me wasn’t doing well. I bled. A lot.
I had access to safe, legal abortion but that’s not what I wanted. I wanted to have a baby. Everyone told me to wait to tell people — even my own family — until after the 12-week appointment. So I waited. I almost threw up in my work trash can multiple times. But I kept waiting.
I will never forget the night I started bleeding. Without giving too many details, I was at a party. There were famous and interesting people there. I was in a tight, sheer-backed black dress. I looked great. And I was having a fucking miscarriage.
I texted a friend who is an OB-GYN, sent her details including photos, and asked, “Is it over? Or is there still a chance?” I was heartbroken. I wanted this. I had a name in mind. After the fifth day of bleeding huge chunks she finally said, “Eliza, this isn’t going to happen.”
I still had to go to the doctor to make sure I didn’t need a D&C. I didn’t. But I felt awful physically and emotionally. I hadn’t told anyone so had no one to lean on and got right back to work the next day, even with a fever of 102°, because the doctor I saw said I was fine.
What if I hadn’t passed the entire fetus and needed a D&C? In some states, that will be enough to be arrested, prosecuted, and jailed! And what if that option had not been legal and safe and readily available to me? It’s truly terrifying.
Yes, as hard as it is to believe, if I were in that situation now there are states where I would be criminalized and potentially prosecuted for my “spontaneous abortion” or even for seeking care.
If you have a story of your own, please share. Thank you to those who have felt comfortable sharing. We see you. We love you. We will fight for you now and always.
It’s a scary time for those of us with uteruses and we all have to have each other’s backs. Love & solidarity to you all.
Featured image by Julie Frontera
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