[Warning: Graphic Content]
This isn’t my first miscarriage.
Over the last few days I recognized a new kind of spotting that warned me a loss was imminent. It was dark brown and thick on the panty liner but red when I wiped, gradually becoming more mucousy and stringy, with a few small, dry clots that made me think of Knox Blocks. It was the Knox Blocks that really clued me in. Even before that, I’d been suspicious of my slight but continuous, faintly brownish-yellow, applesauce-textured discharge that I had, at one point, associated with pregnancy tissue.
I knew that a miscarriage at 6 weeks would be uncomfortable but not impossible to deal with on my own, wherever I might be.
So I prepared.
I left for work wearing an overnight maxi, throwing a second maxi and a full-on diaper in my bag for later. As I left work, I could feel that it was going to happen soon, so I put both the maxi and the diaper on before I got in the car for my 1.5 hour trip home.
A half hour into the ride, I started timing my cramps. They were ten minutes apart. After forty minutes or so, that time had shrunk to 1 minute and they were getting more intense. At some point I could tell that whatever was left in my uterus had “dropped” so it was resting on my cervix; that’s usually the last thing that happens before the tissue is finally expelled. About five minutes later I was turning off to the rest area because the cramps were practically continuous.
And now here I am. Now that I’m parked in a spot far enough away from the drive-thru lane, I recline in the driver’s seat and “push” with the cramps just like every woman who pretends to give birth on TV.
Except I’m not giving birth.
I’m not even pretending to give birth.
Instead, I’m passing watery blood that spills out of my diaper, soaking my pants and staining the car seats. I know I’m finally getting somewhere when I feel large clots pass through. It seems as though there are three waves of expulsion. I push more but I only manage to pee.
Luckily at this point the cramps have tapered off and I know it’s done. It’s amazing how quickly I feel normal again after I’ve passed the big stuff.
That’s when I start sobbing. Deep, belly sobs.
The grieving kind. Not the teenaged break-up kind.
After an hour’s rest in the car, the pain and crying have calmed enough that I feel ready to continue on my drive home.
But first, I need food. It feels totally wrong, but I am going to get food at the drive-thru.
“Yes, I just had a miscarriage in your parking lot. May I have a burger, please?”