Of Unborn Children (Louisa Coutts)

I am a “G6P1,
an habitual aborter”
the medical term
implies
this is what I want,
this is what I
have chosen to do.

My calendar colored
with five months
of loss,
and another
five months
of loss,
and another
five months
of EDDs lived towards
but never reached
birthdays.

Days smudged
together by gushes
of blood, clots and
“products of conception.”
This relentless pelvic fist
deeply clenching
and unclenching.
This slow leakage of life
from my own.

I fail to hold
under my heart;
this fragile
unison of love,
this miraculous
promise of life,
this cherished
breath of hope.

Scooping you off
the bathroom tiles I
try to find
a new,
a warmer
home for you
in my cupped hands.

Unable to hold you
there either,
my love buries you
without words
where I saw you lying:
twin sacs
together under
the December blossom.

Later I lie
like heavy cloth
ripping
but no sound comes.
I cry out in sleep,
unable to bear
this division,
this hollow empty
bruise within.

I stumble
outside under
the southern sky,
out into
the moonlit garden,
under the orange
blossom, yearning to be
Whole once again,
a mother of twins.

1. The use of medical jargon plays on the idea that these women are quickly labeled by medical personnel, “habitual aborters”, and often times their loss is not properly addressed. What can you as a physician do/say to ease the self-blame and anguish women feel, without minimizing the gravity of the situation?
2. How did the vivid imagery [Scooping you off the bathroom tiles I try to find a new, a warmer home for you in my cupped hands.”] paint a more realistic picture for you? How did the integration of medial terminology in the peace [“G6P1”] change your perception of the narrator?

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