Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Where do miscarriages go?

I have had a number of miscarriages, but most of them were really early. One was at 12 weeks, so I sent it in to the pathologist, but only heard back that it was "normal" (for a miscarriage). I had no idea this is where it might have gone.

This is a beautiful meditation on being pregnant, at that stage where everything is potential, and not:

One moment a young mom-to-be is decorating the baby’s room, preparing to welcome a new son or daughter. The next moment, she is giving birth to death.
For some women every period is a failure. The disappointment, the longing, the despair is overwhelming. One woman describes “years and years of monthly miscarriages—a constant cycle of anticipation, devastation, acceptance, and surrender.”
How much is a human life worth? Women spend tens of thousands of dollars on fertility treatments that may still end in miscarriage.
What happens to all these miscarriages?
I asked Mom, a retired psychiatrist. She told me that during her pediatric rotation in medical school, she was called to a premature delivery. When she arrived, the obstetrician had already tossed the miscarriage in the trash. Mom looked down. The tiny body was still moving. Mom tried to save it, but it died.
It seems odd that someone so valuable could be flushed down the toilet or thrown in the trash. But not all miscarriages are discarded. Some are sent to my father.

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