Filling out medical history has always been something I never really loved doing. While I never had anything overly crazy to report I just hated having to remember specific dates and information about my past and my family. Now, after my miscarriages, it’s something I dread entirely. It provides a moment of pure grief while you fill in the section of pregnancy history and the D&C you got under procedures.
Recently, while filling out medical documents for a new primary care physician I got to the pregnancy history section and found these options: total pregnancies, full term births, premature births, abortions-induced, abortions-spontaneous, pregnancies-ectopic, pregnancies-multiple births, and living. I thought to myself okay, lots of options and I started…Total pregnancies: 4. I’m grateful that in the full-term births I am able to put two.
As I scroll down the list looking for the section to inevitably report my miscarriages, I couldn’t find it. I read the options over again. Abortion. That was my option. While I fully understand that the medical term for pregnancy loss is abortion, to me that implies that I had a choice. While abortion is not defined by having a choice, I feel society has demeaned it as something we do because we have a choice to end the pregnancy. To me I never had a choice. I walked into the doctors that day to see my baby, to hear a heartbeat, and it wasn’t there. My baby died. I did not abort it, it died.
I refuse to categorize myself as someone that has had an abortion. I had a miscarriage. Totally different in my eyes. To finish filling out the section and show my distaste in their verbiage, I crossed out the word abortion and wrote in miscarriage. I marked in the number two and continued down the list. After finishing the documents, I sat there and felt the grief. I thought about both days when I found that there was no heartbeat. I cried. I mourned, again. And then continued on. Grief never ends. It visits you randomly and in many forms.