My husband and I never wanted kidsBy anonymous on 27/01/2015
Sometime in June of 2013, I had an unusually heavy, late period. A day and a half in, I realized it was a miscarriage. My husband and I will celebrate our 8th anniversary in Spring 2015, and even a year and a half ago he'd already seen me at my worst (think holding my hair while I vomited because of a bowel condition I have). I was proud of him, as he handled it like a true gentleman. He was strong, and sweet, and there for me the entire time. He got my painkillers and some easy to eat foods to make the process less painful. I've been sexually active since the age of 18 and am now into my 30s. Because of migraine headaches, it is unsafe for me to use any type of birth control with hormones in it, so condoms have always been the go-to whenever I've dated a man. Unfortunately, the only method of birth control that is close to foolproof (besides refraining from intercourse, obviously) is vasectomy/tubal ligation, and in May 2013, we didn't have health insurance. We used (and continue to use) condoms diligently but apparently, that time, the condom was damaged. Perhaps it had a microscopic tear in it or we mishandled it when pulling out. Who knows? My husband and I never wanted kids, so the miscarriage came as a relief in retrospect. However, in the midst of it, the only relief I felt was when I reflected, "You know, I could be 4-6 weeks pregnant and having a very painful abortion right now. I am lucky to be able to do this in the comfort of my own home, on a weekend, with my husband to care for me." Even if you don't want the pregnancy — and I'll never want one — miscarriage can make you very emotional because it involves massive hormone swings and lots of physical pain. Both of these definitely happened to me. I was sad and tearful one minute and elated the next. I went through an embarrassing phase one day where I was convinced something horrible had happened to my husband and compulsively called him whenever he was out to reassure myself he was not dead. In addition to the hormone swings, it's also painful and gross to have your cervix dilate for hours while enormous red clots pour out of you. I felt like asking "Why me?" and begged for something to take the physical pain away. After going through this, my husband and I decided to refrain from intercourse when I am ovulating until he can schedule a vasectomy. This incident made us realize we needed a more permanent form of birth control, and my husband didn't want me to have an operation because of my health. We finally have good enough insurance that having the vasectomy makes sense. Even though it's not the typical miscarriage narrative, I wanted to tell my story because I think it's important for women to be able to express what is happening with their bodies, whether the pregnancy was wanted or unwanted. In particular, I think women who don't want kids aren't represented enough in stories about having a miscarriage. We refrain from telling our stories because we know we might get a response such as "How dare you not grieve for the lost baby when other women are unable to have children!" — and these comments are both rude and unhelpful. I think that those of us who don't want kids should be as welcomed in a discussion of miscarriage as any woman who is sad for the loss of a wanted pregnancy, and should be able to express ourselves without being told that we are wrong for feeling relief at the loss of an unwanted pregnancy.