In September of 2019, I decided I was ready to have children. First, I needed to prove to myself I could endure physical pain and prove mental toughness before we actively started trying. So naturally, I told myself "if I can't run a marathon, I can't have a baby." In May of 2021, I ran a marathon alongside my sister. It was fun, frustrating, and euphoric. Most importantly it proved to me, the human body can endure more than we know and I was proud of what it had done for me.
In 2022, my husband and I began actively trying to conceive. After 5 months of trying, we got the anxiously awaited positive pregnancy test result. We couldn't believe it, we were excited and terrified. Unfortunately, the week of Thanksgiving, at my 11 week ultrasound - we were told my pregnancy did not progress past 7 weeks.
My body however, still thought I was pregnant and kept producing the pregnancy hormones to grow the sac for the baby. Since it had been 4 weeks since the death of the fetus, it was clear my body was not going to miscarry naturally. I was offered to either take the "abortion pill" or have a D&C surgery to complete the job. I chose to proceed with the pill, so I could be home while it happened despite the warning that my pharmacy may not fill the prescription due to the stigma surrounding abortion.
Each event pounded my soul into the ground a little deeper: the news of the miscarry, the decision of how to get the baby that never was...out of me, administering the pills, unbearable cramping, the first sight of blood, the painful burst of the amniotic sac, and the heavy bleeding that followed. This was the most physical pain I've ever endured and I told myself, I deserved the pain since my body was unable to bring the baby to term. The body I was once grateful for, I now pitied.
After weeks of bleeding and severe pain in my lower stomach, I knew something was wrong. So, I went back in the week before Christmas for an ultrasound to diagnose the problem. The ultrasound revealed a 7cm cyst on my right ovary and blood supply still going the baby that was supposed to be there. The three rounds of "abortion pills" I'd administered a month prior were unsuccessful. The next step was to have a D&C surgery, to stop the blood supply and remove anything that was left behind. I was told this would be an elective surgery.
I've since physically recovered and I think about my experience daily, sometimes spiraling into all of the things I should have done differently and where I would have been in my pregnancy today. But I am trying my best to focus on something, anything else. Which is why I decided to sign-up for the Mount Rainer 5k & Half Marathon (Sasquatch Double); to start running again and bring appreciation back to the power of my body.
Though my experience has been challenging and personally catastrophic, I am thankful I live in a state where I can get access to the necessary medical services. I cannot imagine having to drive to another state or wait to become septic, before receiving treatment for something already so devastating.
This experience and our current political climate surrounding bodily autonomy has fueled my purpose for registering for a Charity Bib for this event. I've agreed to raise money to support the Center for Reproductive Rights, I have until July 1, 2023, to reach my goal. Once I do, I'll be eligible to run! I will be running for myself, those who've lost babies before me, those enduring the pain currently, and those who may lose babies after me.
I appreciate your support and for allowing a space for me to be vulnerable as I continue to work toward healing.
Now, off to the races!
Learn more about the charity, by visiting https://reproductiverights.org/
"Since its founding in 1992, the Center’s game-changing litigation, legal policy, and advocacy work—combined with unparalleled expertise in constitutional, international, and comparative human rights law—has transformed how reproductive rights are understood by courts, governments, and human rights bodies.
Through our work across five continents, we have played a critical role in securing legal victories before national courts, United Nations Committees, and regional human rights bodies on reproductive rights issues including access to life-saving obstetrics care, contraception, maternal health, and safe abortion services, as well as the prevention of forced sterilization and child marriage."