Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Theology of Female Embodiment- Part II- One Week of Miscarriage (in five installments)

Written December 19, 2007
Two of Five (to read the entire story from the beginning scroll down to January 4)

That night was hard, more so because I didn’t know what to expect or what would be a sign I needed to get to the hospital. Mercifully, I had wireless internet, so I began a flurried set of emails to my friend Shae, who had lost several children before they got to live outside her womb. She was my lifeline that night. She explained that what I felt coming out of me was a blod clot, not a baby, that the cramps would be getting worse, that she was praying, that I shouldn’t worry unless my temperature soared or my body began to feel incredibly achy. She was one of the tremendous friends who gives you everything you need, even if it’s just via email.

During the night I couldn’t shake the feeling that my body had changed from a place of life, a little micro-climate of nourishment and provision for our baby into a coffin. My body was holding death inside and I was bleeding with the pain of it. I had experienced the whole cycle of the life and death within a month.

I slept little, spent a lot of time in the bathroom and tried to not wake Dale who still had to finish up the final talk the next morning. The teens the next morning were full of concern that I "did not feel well." Several I had spoke with one-on-one the night before gathered around me, held my hands and prayed for me. They just buoyed me up.

We left that morning with intentions to keep watch, to bear the miscarriage naturally and to rest. Stopping in Laguna Beach for some Wahoo Taco’s we talked over how to tell my family, if to tell them, how to tell them and who to tell first. I felt like I needed a Public Relations specialist. We decided my mom would be the best, first person to tell , she could share the news with others and she could advise me of a good doctor in the area, if needed. It was not without a little fear of her response that I called. I guess I was afraid that I would be blamed, or that she wouldn’t know how to respond and not be able to comfort me, or that she wouldn’t believe me.

My mom was full of questions, telling me that she had had some of the same symptoms with my brother (who was born early), that it might be better for me to be on bed-rest, not tramping around Laguna Beach, and how did I know I was miscarrying? I felt be-fuddled.

I hung up feeling that I had been plummeting on a roller coaster and finally adjusting to the fact that this baby was no longer alive, then my mother's comments had kicked us into a hyper-drive, climb again.

So maybe this baby was fine? I didn’t dare hope, but I just had to, had to, had to know. Somehow I managed to swallow a few more bites of my fish taco. I called Shae and she told me, “You need to know, Jonalyn, call a doctor and demand an appointment today.” But I have an appointment scheduled for Friday, I told her.

“You need to get in now!" Shae said.

With Shae’s strength behind me I called and sat on hold and told and re-told my story. Yes, I live in Colorado, No, I haven’t passed a placenta. Yes, I lived in Whittier before moving. No, I don’t want to wait.

From Laguna Beach we drove straight to the doctor’s office in Whittier. Ironically, this doctor, Dr. Roca, had delivered my little sister 19 years ago to the week I saw him. I was so relieved to finally be a place where we could verify. Was this life alive or dead? We waited three hours before getting in for my second ultrasound.

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