I mean, I say that like you have a choice, or like miscarrying any other time in history is a walk in the park. It’s not, I know it’s not. Although I’ve got to be honest and didn’t realise how fucking horrific it would be. And I don’t want to play Top Trumps when it comes to miscarriages, but doing it in a pandemic is really, really shit. How is it shit? Well let me count the ways…
- It’s shit because you have to go to the hospital on your own and you have to go to the Early Pregnancy Unit where there are clearly people who are pregnant who you have to try not to feel jealous of because, you rationalise, if they’re here they’re probably not having a straightforward pregnancy. But still, says the voice on your other shoulder, at least they’re pregnant. You’re not. Because I definitively wasn’t. The very kind sonographer compared the size of what was inside me to what the private scan had shown last week and confirmed that not only had it not grown, it had shrunk. She asked me if I wanted someone else to check. I didn’t. I knew she hadn’t made a mistake.
- It’s shit because once they’ve told you that you’ve definitely had a missed miscarriage, you have to wait, on your own, until you can speak to a nurse who can discuss your options with you. And because it’s the middle of a pandemic and they’re understaffed or overstretched (or maybe just because that department is always like that, I don’t know) you have to wait Two Fucking Hours on your own, snotting into a mask, feeling about as shit as can be and not caring if anyone sees you snotting because you just want to be at home.
- It’s shit because if you have a missed miscarriage, you normally have a few options — a procedure under local anaesthetic, a procedure under general anaesthetic, or the medicated option, where you basically go home, give yourself abortion pills and wait for your body to start having the sort of contractions you might have during labour, only this time there’s no baby at the end of it so it’s like all of the pain for nothing. And that last one was the thing that I really didn’t want to do. At all. I didn’t want my home to be a part of this misery, I wanted the hospital to just deal with it quickly and efficiently. But, for boring medical reasons I can’t be arsed to go into, I couldn’t have the local anaesthetic procedure, and when discussing the general anaesthetic procedure, it was made very clear to me that it was “not advisable” because it was an “intubated procedure” which meant “everyone: you, the surgeon, the anaesthetist, the theatre nurses is exposed to an additional risk of Covid.” I was basically made to feel as if choosing the surgical option under general anaesthetic during a pandemic was selfish and unnecessary. So I numbly agreed to the drugs at home option. And then I waited. On my own.
- It’s shit because, see point 2. I had to wait for a doctor to write the prescription and tell me about the anti-sickness drugs that I had to take beforehand, and the powerful painkillers, and the drugs themselves and I had to sign the paperwork that said that this might not work and if that was the case I’d have to have a surgical procedure anyway. And then I had to get the prescription filled. And about five hours after I got there, I was finally able to go home.
So that’s all the ways that miscarrying in a pandemic is shit. And we haven’t even got to the actual miscarriage yet.