Friday, January 11, 2008

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

Written December 20, 2007
Three of Five (to read the entire story from the beginning scroll down to January 4)

Watching the screen, hoping for the instant sound of a heartbeat, for the picture of the fetal pole to be intact, looking for that little limabean, we waited. The ultrasound screen got bright with light and then a black sea of murkiness. There was no order, no light, no differentiation, just blackness, waves of darkness. All hopes for this baby were gone, the baby was gone, this was just a mess inside.

"What does that mean?" I asked.

“This is a bad pregnancy,” Dr. Roca said. I kind of wished he hadn’t used that adjective. He recommended a D & C (Dilation and Curettage) and told me he could schedule me for Friday. Two days away, I thought.

We began to ask him the hard questions. Why this and not natural miscarriage?

Then I learned how natural miscarriage isn’t always successful, how some women don’t or can’t pass the placenta mainly because they’ve never experienced the birth pangs and don’t know how to push, how I could get infected anyways and still have to come in for an emergency D & C.

With Christmas 6 days away, I was again afraid of what this situation would do to my family and their plans for Christmas. I didn’t want to inconvenience and I didn’t want to be in the hospital over Christmas. That’s when I asked the question I was most worried about.

“What about scarring?” Dr. Roca told us that since I wasn’t very far along, probably 6 weeks, the tool he would use is softer plastic, rather than a metal, larger suction to clean out my womb.

He told me, “I've done 3-4 D & C’s each week for 20 years,” to which I shuddered wondering if they were abortions (since then I have learned that Dr. Roca is a devout Catholic practitioner). “In that time I’ve only had one case where the patient had scarring.”

Then Dale asked him, “If this was your daughter, what would you recommend?” Dr. Roca answered, “Six days before Christmas, I’d say do a D & C, that way you can get on with your life.”

I told him we needed to think about it.

And equipped with that hard, fast evidence we drove 20 minutes to my old home, finally able to unpack from our speaking engagement and take stock of what we needed to do. I felt calm, very calm...

That evening I began breaking the news to my family. And that’s when I began to feel the prayers of those around me. I never once broke down. I felt so strong, so calm, so capable of going through this. I felt God near, very near, even though we knew now, for certain, that we were not going to be meeting this child in 8 months.

1 comment:

Tiffany Wismer said...

Jonalyn,
Just read the entire story. I am so sorry. I can't imagine how painful and horrible this must be for you and Dale. We will keep you in our prayers. Please let me know if there is anything I can do - you were so sweet to me when I was having problems, and I wish I could do something to help. Tim and I will be praying for you both.
Tiffany