The moment I knew it: I woke up from my miscarriage – and he was waiting with curry and rice Australian lifestyle

IIn August 2021, I sat in the quiet waiting room of a Melbourne abortion clinic, my eyes lazily watching the TV as it showed the morning news. A text message from Dominique*, the man I shared my pregnancy with, sat unanswered on my phone screen. He was checking in, and he insisted I let him support me through this. He knew that I would take the first set of abortion pills today, and the second tomorrow.

I was hesitant to respond. I didn’t know what to say. I’ve only known Dominic for a few months. We met via Tinder during a short two-week break from lockdown, and our budding relationship was fraught with social isolation, job insecurity and now the stress of an unwanted pregnancy.

We were just getting to know each other, and an experience as intimate and stressful as a miscarriage was an impossibility to invite us into our new, more casual dynamic. Lockdown restrictions prevented individuals seeking surgical termination from having a support person, so I decided to undergo a medical abortion. This included taking pills and having an abortion at home.

This was our first – and only – termination, and we both had no idea what to expect.

After I left the clinic, a friend dropped me off at Domenic’s, where he laid out on his desk an anti-abortion kit: menstrual underwear, snacks, a heating pack, and extra pain relief. The next day and a half were exhausting, and between the stopped breaths and the bitter pulse of a continual spasm, I managed to sleep among the mountain of pillows I propped on his bed, calming my stomach.

When I woke up about three hours later, my uterus was quiet and still. I knew the miscarriage was over. I turned my eyes to the warm glow of Dominic’s room and to see him sitting quietly at the foot of the bed. The faint whiff of green curry caught my eye and—for the first time since pregnancy—I didn’t want to dry out at the smell of food.

Until now, we refuse to let our miscarriages collect dust in our relationship memory bank. It’s no secret: instead, we dissect it deeply, even returning to it sometimes if we want to reflect on the space it gave us to grow. Termination forces you to grieve, exhale with relief, fight and feel the power of that decision in a flat, urgent timeline. However, we fell in love: between the internal ultrasound, the bouts of morning sickness, and the quiet fact of never getting pregnant again.

We’ve been together for several years. Even still, after all this time, I will never forget the way he looked at me that day. how in the dusk of miscarriage I outlined his shoulders; He smiled softly at me. I smiled again.

When he handed me a bowl of food and put an extra pillow behind my back, I just knew: This was someone I could live with. Life and all its futility. I ate a bowl of curry and rice as he lay next to me, the warmth of his body reassuring my body. Yes, I believed. We can do life together. Later that evening, as he gently lifted my tire in the shower, I thought, Of course we can. Because now we know how.

*Name changed for privacy reasons

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