Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My Bruise

There is a bruise on my right arm. It is a black, brown, purple oval, yellowing along the edge, about an inch and a half long, half an inch wide, in the inner part of the arm just below where the elbow bends.

I saw it the other morning in the shower as I was washing myself of what does not belong, what is not a part of my body. There it was, a smudge of something that did not belong but would not wash off.

It is there where the doctor had inserted the needle. After the greeting, after the droopy eyes to express her sympathy, after the warm touch of her hand, after the tears. After we made some jokes because that is all we had, likening it to two glasses of martini. After the injection, she had me lie on the table, feet in the stirrups, bottom all the way down to the edge. As my head dropped, I felt the drug ride through me, soothing and numbing, and I gave in without resistance.

And I lay there, staring at the ceiling where little cut out women dangled in the air, pretending I was drunk on fancy martinis without olives, as the noise of the suction whirled around in my ears. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the nurse dangle some tissue, bloody and wet and glistening under the florescent light, before dropping it in a test tube, and I tightened my grip on Jeff's hand.

Later, I staggered out of that room, not only drunk on the injection but weighted down by the pain of the cramps, even though I was leaving lighter than when I had entered. We went home where I lay in bed, clutching my stomach, smelling my own smell from the night before.

Today, I find myself looking at my bruise, touching it. It provides a strange comfort. It is the only thing that remains after the process of removal.


  1. I am so, so sorry for your loss. That must been such a terrible experience - I can't even imagine. At least now it is behind you.

    - Female BigLaw Associate

  2. I am so sorry for your loss and for your previous loss as well.

  3. Comment #1 made me cringe, although I know the author meant well. As anyone who has experienced this knows, miscarriage is not something that's "behind you" once a few days have passed. Wishing you healing and hope...

  4. November 14, 2008 11:01 AM - I agree with your post re. comment #1.

    Dealing with the pain of miscarriage also entails processing others' shallow comments. Unfortunately, as wonderful as friends are, most end up not being very supportive (largely because they haven't experienced a miscarriage). People either assume that you're "all well" after a few weeks or months, or they don't bother checking up on you - stay away from you - because they assume (wrongly, in my case) that you need a lot of personal space and alone time.

    I found that even a short visit by a friend who would bring cookies, etc. would make my day that much easier. You need lots and lots of love as you grow this.

    You are in my prayers, Shinyung.

  5. I am guessing that the writer at 10:13 may have meant that the D&C is behind me. I know she means well. I know I didn't really understand how to react to a miscarriage until I had one. Not too long before I had my miscarriage, I remember asking a friend why she was reacting so badly to her miscarriage when she could go onto having another pregnancy. How different it feels from where I sit now. I think it behooves us to speak up about our experiences so that there is a better social understanding. Too many of us treat it like a secret disease... which is why I am so grateful for your comments.

  6. Another badge of courage as you journey through life.

    Hang in there. I am so sorry to see that you and your husband suffered another loss and that your baby returned to heaven.

    The journey is long arduous and can be heartbreaking but believe me it is worth it.

    As to sharing experiences.... unfortunately as I know after six miscarriages (four before my gorgeous, now, three-year-old daughter and two after) there does come a time when you are more accepting of the whole process. Kind of sad but maybe it is a survival mechanism of sorts. I didn't grieve as much subsequent times and really wanted to put the whole process behind me and move forward because hope was all I had.

    I did the specialist route for two of the losses and nothing was different other than being monitored every other week making for a slower and more agonizing journey while I saw the same pregnant women in the waiting room every other week.

    Take control of your health but don't go crazy. I have PCOS, but even the tried and true methods for other women with my syndrome didn't work for me. I eventually took control of my own destiny as it was clear I knew my body better than ANY health professional. I went on a self-created vitamin and herbal supplement route, tracked my cycle like a maniac with a ClearBlue Fertility Monitor, and covered my fertile days with multiple tries--(which my husband loved). After much diligence I had my cycle and my body down pat.

    I still worried every time, I virtually held my breath until I had passed my latest carrying date, and ultimately when I was pregnant with my daughter I just "knew" it was going to be fine. Don't ask me how, I just did deep in my soul.

    Take control and press on but do it wisely and with moderation.

  7. I have had several miscarriages. Recently. And one of the hardest things this weekend was meeting up with a group to which I belong. There are four of us total, all women. The "good news" today was finding out that the three other women are all pregnant. With due dates just weeks apart. When they shared their news, I was simultaneously happy for them and very very very sad for me. Why is something so simple, so natural, so hard for some of us. They now want to meet up more frequently. And I know I won't join. I hope you didn't mind me sharing my story. I suppose I just want you to know that you are not alone. There are many many women pregnant, it is true. But there are many of us who have experienced the pain of infertility. But there is always hope. The hope is there until one stops wanting to try. All the best to you.

  8. Yes, I meant the procedure you summarized in the blog post. My apologies if I offended anyone.

    - Commenter #1

  9. My heart aches for you. I'm so, so sorry.

  10. ivnv4me - thanks so much for your words. The idea of treating it as a part of the process makes so much sense - and is comforting. Your experience gives me hope.

    2:30 - thanks so much for sharing. I can totally relate. There is nothing wrong with doing whatever you need to do to protect yourself. Thanks for reaching out, and I wish you the best as well. I hope we can join that group of lucky women sometime soon.

    Georgia - as usual, your comments come from the heart. Thanks so much.