Passing of the Fetus
You will probably feel the moment the fetus passes through your cervix. This moment is partially intuitive, but also physical because you will feel the larger matter move through your cervix. In the first hours after taking the misoprostol, try to pay close attention to the movements of your body and blood.
The first blood that will come will probably be mainly just blood and tissue. Try to pass the blood over a pan or bowl if you can, to take a closer look at the products of conception. This is important for a few reasons:
- Confirming that most of the pregnancy has passed, and the main part of the abortion is complete.
- To find a spiritual way to dispose of the fetal remains, in the way of your choice (we will outline ways to dispose of the remains in the final section of this course)
Most people sit on the toilet as they are bleeding and passing the blood and pregnancy. There is nothing wrong with this. If you are freaked out by the sight of your blood, or simply do not want to see your fetus, I am not judging you! Everyone is different in the way that she will choose to pass her fetus, and how she prefers to dispose of the fetus and fetal tissue.
I recommend keeping the fetus separate from the toilet, to give proper reverence to the fetus that was recently part of your body. There is something powerful about giving the fetus a burial in nature.
Put your fetus on your altar for around 12 hours or so. You can sit near it, meditate, pray, do your yoga and make peace.
Do not leave it there for more than 12 hours, as it will start to decompose, and the blood will evaporate. You can then put it in a jar and put it in your refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to bury it after you have recovered a few days later.
Preferably you will release the fetus with a full or new moon.
If you choose to flush your fetus in the toilet
If you live in a country where abortion is illegal, or you have a house full of people, it may be safer for you to simply release it on the toilet and flush. You may also mean to catch the fetus, but it ends up in the toilet by mistake. If this occurs it is absolutely fine!
There are a few options here:
- Say a prayer or take a few moments in your bathroom in contemplation before flushing. Flush with meaning.
- You can save some of your blood (without the fetus) to dispose of in nature and give reverence to the fetus symbolically.
What is most important is that you pass the fetus and are on your way to a complete and whole abortion. You can choose to keep the fetus or flush it down the toilet. What is most important is that the method feels authentic and good for you and that it will support your healing process, not further traumatize you. Only you know what is right for you.
So much love.
How will I know when I’m passing the fetus?
The pain will be most intense while you expel the pregnancy and may be accompanied by intense cramping. Taking ibuprofen a few hours before your misoprostol can be helpful, as are stronger pain killers, such as codeine.
Allow your body to move how it wants, stretching and moving through the cramping if it feels right. You may feel the fetal tissue and blot clots moving through your cervix. You may also feel streams of blood moving through the cervix. You can choose to intentionally catch this in a pan or bowl, or simply just pass it over the toilet.
What will the fetus look like?
The further along in your gestation, the more recognizable or human it will look like. Be prepared for this. 7 weeks and under it will be very small, and almost recognizable from other blood clots. Gestations 8 weeks and above begin to look more recognizable, and chances are, when you’ve passed it, you will just “know”.
It may look white and fluffy with red tissue around it.
The story-sharing section has photos of other women’s pregnancies at various gestations. You can use this as a guide if it’s helpful.
What to do with the fetus?
If you choose to save it, we will dispose of the remains in a ceremony to close the abortion. You can choose to catch a small amount of blood to use symbolically, or you can use another stand-in object.
You can put your blood/ fetus in a jar and put it in the fridge to wait for a full or new moon to conduct your Goodbye Ceremony. We will discuss this in the final section in more detail.
Start to consider your preference for this.
There are 4 elemental ways we can return our fetus to the Earth:
- Earth: Bury your fetus in the ground. Start considering where would be a good spot.
- Water: Release the remains into a large body of water–stream, river, ocean. You can also simply flush down the toilet. In some contexts, this may be safer and more sanitary considering your context.
- Fire: You could potentially cremate your fetus if services like this are available.
- Air: Ashes could be released to the wind
It is powerful to give reverence to your fetus and properly give closure.