If you think overturning Roe v. Wade has nothing to do with you – or is an act worth celebrating – I invite you to read my story with an open heart.
I am a deeply private person. I have good friends who will read this and say I had no idea.
Moved by the many brave posts I’ve read the past several days and a whole lotta Brene Brown I feel called to share what I would normally consider none of your business.
I can’t tell you how fast my heart rate is typing this.
In November 1999 two years after giving birth to my brilliant, beautiful Chloe-Kate I suffered a miscarriage.
Up to 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage.
All I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother. I was so excited to give the good news to family and friends that Thanksgiving. Instead, I was in despair.
Just like female sexual pleasure is nothing like it is portrayed in film and tv, miscarriage is often not at all what you see in movies.
I discovered that I lost my baby during a routine check-up when the ultrasound revealed no heartbeat.
As is very common, my body did not naturally reject the fetus and waiting for it to do so is extremely dangerous to a woman’s health.
A D&C (Dilation and Curettage) was required. In 1999, due to managed care, having this procedure done in a hospital was not an option for me like it was for my mother in the 1970s. I was referred to a doctor at an abortion clinic.
Owing to politics, the person processing my intake was legally required to provide me with abortion counseling, several gruesome minutes set aside to discuss my options, including rethinking “my choice” and keeping my baby.
With tears streaming down my face I responded my baby is already fucking dead.
It was dehumanizing and traumatizing.
My husband and I got up and walked out.
I called my doctor and she performed the procedure privately with a shot of novocaine. It is normally performed under general anesthesia or with an epidural. A woman shared with me on twitter that she experienced the same thing and was sent home from a healthcare facility with a packet of pills to induce labor. Alone. At home.
I am lucky. I had access to some of the best healthcare in the country.
I am much blessed. 3 months later I was pregnant with my Hudson who is human sunshine.
1 in 4. Where do you go now if you live in one of the 26 states banning or severely restricting abortion and access to healthcare?
1 in 4. Women are being prosecuted for suffering miscarriages (more than 1200 in the last 16 years).
We have the wealthiest nation in the world with the highest maternal mortality rate.
This could be you, your partner, sister, friend, neighbor, colleague…
If you choose IVF, a version of this could be you.
If you are hoping for a miracle cure as a result of stem cell research, I’m so sorry. This impacts you.
I encourage you to think beyond the federal government and the Supreme Court.
This begins at the local level and is coordinated and well-funded. This is about privacy, choice, agency and empowerment.
- Vote in city and state elections.
- Know the names of your senators, congress people, state representatives and city council – and be in contact with them.
- Attend city council and community board meetings. I know it’s hard – it’s designed to be hard to participate. Coordinate with friends and affinity groups to take turns and share transportation and childcare.
Democracy is messy and demands we show up for it.
Read: How did Roe fall? A timeline of the last 14 years.