My Miscarriage and My Mikveh
Reprinted with permission from Mayyim Hayyim.
You see blood and it changes everything. You go from being unharmed to wounded, from ritually ready (tahor) to ritually unready (tameh), and sometimes from being pregnant to losing that pregnancy. And that’s what happened to me — at 10 weeks pregnant, responding to a middle of the night cry from my three-and-a-half year old and then dashing to the bathroom before popping back in bed — I saw blood when I least expected it. Jessica Fechtor wrote about her pregnancy loss in her memoir Stir, “Something red. I saw it before I saw it, my brain needed a sec to catch up.” It similarly took a moment for me to register what I was seeing, but soon my body was being pin-pricked with dread. Back in bed it took a long time to fall asleep with the worry running through me of what seeing blood meant, what it would change. The next morning, consulting with my midwife over the phone, she told me, “It could be nothing or it could be something” and I should come in later that day to get a better sense of what was happening with my body.
Elisha Gechter is the Program Manager for the Wexner Israel Programs at the Harvard Kennedy School. She represents The Wexner Foundation at Harvard’s Center for Public Leadership and works with our Wexner Israel Fellows and Wexner Senior Leaders. Elisha has a BA in psychology from Yeshiva University’s Stern College for Women and an MA MBA from Brandeis’ Heller Hornstein Program in Jewish Leadership and Non-profit Management. Elisha can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.