The “Miscarriage” I chose

by Carrie

September 3, 2019

Let me start off by saying that I wasn’t always someone who supported women’s right to choose.  I was raised in a very strict Christian household and was shown terrible and graphic videos of abortion IN CHURCH when I was younger than 10 years old.  I was brainwashed and made to believe that women who had abortions were monsters, when now I know that’s just not the case.  We aren’t monsters, we are people.  We are sisters, girlfriends, wives, cousins, friends, lovers.  We are many, many things, but monsters are not one of them.


My first pregnancy was unplanned.  I had just started back to school after taking a year off to get my shit together because I had made bad choices my freshman year of college.  I was dating my then boyfriend, now husband, and was desperately in love with him though.  I would have had the baby in the middle of my second semester back to school.  If you believe in higher powers, then I say it was God who intervened when my stubborn butt was too proud to get an abortion.  I bled for weeks after finding out I was pregnant, and had so many ultrasounds, but each time, there was just nothing there aside from a little sac.  I had miscarried the baby I so desperately wanted, a baby that was really nothing more than a sac in my uterus, a baby that never even had a heartbeat.  Two pink lines slowly disappeared and I was devastated when my OB confirmed that the pregnancy was over.


Fast forward two years, and I was ready to finish school.  It was December and I was done in May.  I had just gotten a formal letter of acceptance with a scholarship offer from my dream grad school on a beach down south.  I was ecstatic.  My period week on my BC pills came and went, and no period accompanied it.  I held my breath and screamed and cried out of joy when those two lines popped up.  I was ambivalent.  I knew I was going to have to give up my grad program on the beach, but none of that mattered because all I wanted was a healthy baby.  I was born to be a mom, and I became one that September.  I chose to make sacrifices, and I do not regret keeping my son at all.


I took a year off then decided to go to a grad program closer to family.  My son turned two, and we decided to get married.  A few weeks before the wedding, we started planning when we would try for a second baby, a planned baby.  It was perfect timing because I realized if I got pregnant right after the wedding, I would have my daughter in the summer recess between my first and second year at grad school.  I’m a very driven person, two kids in grad school is NOT for everyone, but that’s what I chose.  I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in July of 2018.  My one and only planned pregnancy out of four.


Both of my birth experiences were something out of a nightmare.  With my son, my blood pressure was dangerously high towards the end of the pregnancy, and I was induced.  Turns out my body doesn’t like being told what to do, and the induction took 4 days and ended in a c-section.  I hemorrhaged post-surgery, but was told it was only because of all the medicine they pumped me full of.  After blood transfusions that saved my life, I developed a horrible uterine infection that nearly killed me again.  Don’t worry, I was assured, planned c-sections are much less complicated and an easier recovery.  Well, not for me apparently, because I hemorrhaged post-surgery AGAIN with my daughter, this time requiring a manual extraction (don’t google this–just know it’s fucking torture and extremely traumatizing).  People talk about birth like it’s this beautiful thing, but aside from meeting my kids, my births were the worst day of my life.  I nearly died both times.  I developed PTSD after my second birth, reliving and dreaming of the moments that I almost died in front of my son while showing him his new baby sister.  Never again, my husband and I agreed.  We would never risk my life like that again.


Fast forward a year.  We just celebrated my daughter’s first birthday a few days ago.  I kept having nausea, but I was on antibiotics for bronchitis so I attributed it to that.  Wait, antibiotics.  Shit, it hit me all at once:  antibiotics interfere with birth control.  Why didn’t my doctor remind me? Why didn’t I remember?  Pissed on that stick and BAM instantly two lines popped up.  This time, the lines were devastating.  I had just been accepted into a stipended graduate field placement, which is extremely rare in Master’s programs and even rarer in the social work field.  I looked up my due date.  I’d have a baby in the middle of my final semester of grad school.  MY FINAL SEMESTER.  How would I be able to go to my field placement, which we were depending on to support our children?  I couldn’t even drive for 3 weeks after the c-section–if I even survived.  I immediately consulted with my OB.  She was completely honest with me and said my risk of hemorrhage was high due to my history.  She let me know I didn’t need to stay pregnant and gave me some phone numbers to call.  I immediately called the abortion provider closest to us.


I chose the abortion pill, even though the doctors at the clinic wanted me to do surgical because of my history of hemorrhage.  But because of my PTSD, the thought of going under (which I would HAVE to be under due to my anxiety levels) terrified me.  No, I insisted, this was the only way.  I was 4 weeks and 5 days when I found out, and 6 weeks 1 day when I made it to the clinic.  Everyone was so kind.  There was beautiful feminist artwork all over the clinic, notes left by other women that left me feeling empowered in my decision.  The ultrasound was the hardest part for me.  I always wanted 4 kids, I thought as I looked at the little tiny nugget on the ultrasound.  I wept as I told my little love bug hello and goodbye in one breath.  With the ultrasound tech right there, I explained to the little bean on the screen that couldn’t risk leaving my husband alone to raise 3 kids in this crazy world, and that I was so sorry but I had to make sure my two kids who are here already can be loved and raised by their mother.  I did ask them to print the ultrasound pic, but later threw it away.  My family is still highly religious and I was afraid they would find it.


The whole abortion pill procedure was pretty tough.  It mimics a miscarriage, so that’s what I told a few friends was happening to me.  I couldn’t tell anyone I chose this miscarriage, I chose to take pills that ended my pregnancy.  But I also should have figured that my body hates being told what to do because it hung on to tissue it wasn’t supposed to and I developed some complications.  It all resolved itself within a week though, and I am feeling much better now.  I am mourning the child that might have been, could have been.  But I know without a doubt I made the right choice for me and my family.  I do not have regret about it, which makes me feel guilty.  I am working with my therapist on dealing with the guilt of moving on and being happy, and I am getting better by the week as well.


To the girls who would judge me:  you don’t know me, you don’t know my situation.  To the girl who has been there too:  I love you and your strength.  To the woman considering abortion:  only you know what’s right for you so go with your gut.

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