As the annoying hippie that I am, I chose to forego any serious pain medicine during both miscarriages.
I know. I’m an idiot.
I was given a very small dose of valium before my D&C and they didn’t lead me into the creepy, nothing-good-happens-back-here room until I resembled my 20-year-old self at a frat party.
But the second my OB started doing “D&C things” that valium stuck its tail between its legs and ran to the dark corners of my now super sober brain.
I felt all of it. I felt every cramp I’ve ever had coming back all at once. I felt everything I fell in love with when I found out I was pregnant get scraped and torn away from my body. As I was screaming for it to be over, I felt a nurse holding my right hand – kindly offering me as much comfort as she could, which unfortunately wasn’t much. It was only 10 minutes long, but it was the most excruciating 10 minutes of my life.
The second time I miscarried, I chose to take a pill that caused the same outcome as the D&C (total precious baby removal), but the experience was stretched out over a couple days instead of a few minutes. I swore I would never have another D&C again, and I thought I was saving myself from some of the pain by having it rationed out.
I was wrong.
Instead of the most excruciating 10 minutes of my life, it was the most excruciating 4 days. Same pain, now it just took its dear sweet time to finish. I don’t react well to hard core pain medicine, so the only comfort I ever had was the occasional ibuprofen – which proved about as reliable as my pathetic, cowardly valium.
Is there nobility in going through something with as much pain as possible? Definitely not. If comfort is available, only a fool wouldn’t take it. But I’m glad I experienced the physical pain of miscarriage because it taught me something. There’s an extremely simple quote that explains it much better than I can.
I’m glad I went through physical torture during both miscarriages because, to me, it means they mattered.
Everyone is going to experience a certain amount of pain while dying – we can’t avoid that. So I was not only glad that I was able to share in my babies’ pain (making me that much more forever connected to them), but I was also glad that a life, even an incredibly short one, still receives the same beautifully painful exit as a life blessed with 100 years of memories.
So for that, I’m grateful. If losing a baby were as painless as losing a few inches of hair in a salon chair, it wouldn’t feel right for me. It wouldn’t feel complete. Everyone – man, woman, child, fetus, or embryo – is somewhere in the life cycle and it hurts when you go. I’m glad it hurt me so badly when I lost both my babies. To me, it meant that they were here, we were connected, they are now gone, and they mattered.