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04/15/2003

This too shall pass

All hail my Fallopian tubes. I passed it at last.

The pain was bad throughout the afternoon. I called the doctor's office to ask for some sort of medication. All they could prescribe without an order in writing were those damned Tylenol 3s. (Thanks for the war on drugs, Ronald Reagan. Fucker.) The codeine didn't help much, but I was gobbling them hungrily, for want of any other relief.

By evening, I was spending a lot of time in the kind of pain that made me see stars. The cramping was intermittent but strong. When a cramp came on I was reduced to taking fast, deep breaths to try to work through it. The breathing didn't help but it was the only thing I could think of to do.

I lay in bed most of the time because I felt light-headed whenever I stood. Sometimes I'd walk to the bathroom, sit on the toilet, and then sink to my knees and crawl back to the bed to avoid fainting.

At one point I became convinced that only a hot bath would soothe the cramps. I ran a tub full of hot water and sat in it for about half an hour, until I was well and truly boiled. The hot water did help relieve the pain for a while. When I got out, though, I was light-headed again, so I lay down on the bathroom floor to rest for a while.

Just in case you're planning ahead, a word of advice: Never do this unless your bathroom has been cleaned within, say, the last week.

Another word of advice: If you're easily squicked, read no further. Really.

When I finally managed to stand up, I realized I'd been bleeding all over the bath mat. I also realized that the mass that had been in my right tube wasn't there any more, because I felt it slither down my vagina. I had the presence of mind (and the requisite twisted interest) to cup my hands between my thighs to catch it.

Now, I should make some excuse for my deep fascination with this. All along I've felt like a human science experiment. My body's reaction to the stims, my weird pregnancy symptoms, my apparent inability to miscarry when told to — I've found all of these things mysterious and interesting. Since my narcissism is apparently infinite, maybe it's no surprise that I wanted to inspect the yield this time, too.

And inspect it I did. It was about the size of a walnut, and composed of three distinct parts. Part of it was a giant blood clot. Another part looked like ground meat. The third part looked like whitish tissue.

I wonder which part was which. I couldn't tell. I imagine it had gone through some unpleasant compacting as it got squeezed through the chute. There was nothing there that looked remotely like baby, but then I didn't expect that at such an early stage. It was pretty much what I did expect: a gelatinous blob of rejected tissue.

After inspection, I deposited it unsentimentally into the toilet and gave it the royal flush, with my most intense feeling being relief.

Now, you know, there are women who save the remains of a miscarried child and bury them in the garden. There are women who can't save the remains and agonize because of it. There are women who memorialize their never-to-be babies, who name them, who think of them as angels who simply never had the chance to live on Earth.

I didn't. I don't. This wasn't a baby, a child, or an angel. It was an agglomeration of cells that grew in the wrong place, and that might have killed me had it grown much more. Forgive me if I don't seem, well, maternal.

What I am is tired. I'm feeling exhausted from the pain, relieved that it's over, and strangely peaceful at last.

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