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Lesson in the Form of an IUD

By Lauren Rheaume

When they did the insertion it felt like a dull knife searching for my heart, pushing up higher and deeper than I thought it needed to go, and I cursed whoever told me all I needed to do to prep for this appointment was pop some ibuprofen, cursed the doctor holding my cervix open with dilators, cursed, even, the sweet attendant who put a cold compress on my forehead and a hot one on my abdomen, who asked if I was okay and told me the reason my face was going numb was because I was breathing in and out too fast, slow down, and I did: it seemed like all I did for the next two and a half years was be slow, stopped, doubled over, in bed, in the fetal position—how ironic—feeling inflamed in chains stained, cramps so strong it felt like my organs turned to heavy stone, like a sharp-gloved hand gripped my uterus and tried to drag it out of me, and the blood—oh, the blood, like a river, like puzzle pieces slipping from the box, metallic, and sometimes it made me feel strong, all this ache, all this loss, almost a release and a survival, like when I washed my underwear in the sink, the satisfaction of my hands under the water wringing it pink, watching the work of my body drip down the drain.

Lauren Rheaume got rid of her copper IUD ages ago and she’s a writer currently obsessed with the body and nature who works at GrubStreet, tweets at @laurenxelissa, and who occasionally updates

Photo by Lauren Rheaume.


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