Expect the unexpected: pregnancy in the US

The pain was even more overwhelming than the sterile aroma of the room. Unsure if it was a physical or emotional issue, I lay there, awaiting the arrival of the ER doctor on call, and I glanced over to my support group. My sister and boyfriend stood across the room with fear written all over them. For the first time in my life I wanted to disappear. July mornings in the South are typically muggy. This one was different. The heat was affecting me. The energy was being drained very quickly, too quickly. After blacking out and being carried outside I awoke to my boyfriend’s familiar voice. The paramedics arrived shortly after to usher me into the ambulance. The ride to the ER seemed to take days. The questions they were asking me were so irritating. I knew what was happening. I appreciate the positivity of the paramedics but I didn’t want to talk. I wanted to hide away somewhere, never to be found.

A middle-aged man with silver hair wearing a lab coat walked over to my bedside. He introduced himself as Dr. Jason, then confirmed my suspicions—we lost the baby. That’s all I needed to hear. He continued to apologize for my loss and try to console, but it wasn’t helping.

After leaving the hospital, I started questioning every aspect of my life. I nearly shut down completely. That summer, I failed two of my college courses. I stopped going to work. I stopped laughing. I stopped enjoying life.

I can still hear Dr. Jason’s voice as he asked if the pregnancy was planned. I was on birth control and had been preventing because graduation was finally in sight, but it didn’t work. Growing up. I always heard the pill is 99% effective. According to the Center for Disease Control, the failure rates of contraceptives are larger than 1%. The birth control pill, patch, and vaginal ring all have failure rates of 9%. The male condom has a failure rate of 18% and natural or lambskin condoms may not even protect users against STDs including HIV. Female condoms have a failure rate of 21%. When you think ‘If the condom tears, I can just use spermicide,” think again. It also has a failure rate of 28%.

My boyfriend and I decided to stop preventing. I couldn’t emotionally deal with it. We are excited to meet our baby boy in July. He will arrive a semester before I graduate, but I couldn’t be happier. The American Pregnancy Association, states that 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. It can be caused by a number of things ranging from chromosomal abnormality, age and drug use. If you are going through this you are not alone. There are people that can help. http://www.mend.org, http://www.aplacetoremember.com can both offer you emotional assistance. No matter how early into the pregnancy, it’s still a loss.

Ashley Colvin 
Staff Writer

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