Yes, I hemorrhaged for over 24 hours. The doctor at the hospital packed me with yards and yards of gauze. I was advised to stay on bedrest for several days, and my parents and I stayed in Palm Springs together.

Here is something weird. My mother was always very squeamish about blood, and so my father was the one to remove the gauze. I was lying on my back as he was pulling and pulling. It seemed like it was never going to end, and I was very uncomfortable. And this was my father, the controller who punished me every day for all the small stuff, but when it came to the things that were more important, he always came through.

And something else: When I began to bleed, I remember that my mother told me that on her wedding night, she bled heavily. She also told me that it was important to wait until marriage because “If your husband really loves you, it won’t hurt as much.” So I grew up thinking that I didn’t know which was worse, between being a man or a woman, because a woman had to have babies, and a man had to go into the military.

Writer and copyeditor. “What doesn’t kill us gives us something new to write about” ~ J. Wright

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