Next, we take a device called a needle injector and shoot a needle and wire into your gums. We thread the needle around your upper and lower jaw (and sometimes up through your septum) to keep your mouth closed and centered. We also take this opportunity to pack your nose, rectum, and vagina (where applicable) with cotton to prevent "leakage" into the casket.
You'd be amazed at how watertight your body isn't.
The next step is arterial embalming. We take two cannulas and insert them into a major artery and vein -- usually your common carotid and internal jugular -- and then drain your blood, replacing it with a cocktail of embalming fluids and water called formalin. We massage the body to relieve rigor mortis and push the formalin into the tissues, which can sometimes push blood clots into other areas of the body, and can cause erections in men. Sometimes, the pressure relieves itself naturally after a few hours. Other times, we have to duct tape the optimistic gentleman's woody to his leg so that it isn't a distraction during the viewing.
Once that is done, we aspirate your abdominal cavity. After you die, blood pools in your organs, and arterial embalming removes only a fraction of your body's blood. We also do this to remove various other bodily fluids, as well as any urine or feces that wasn't expelled when you died (which totally happens). To do this, we use a vacuum-like device called an aspirator that has an enormous 20-inch needle topped with one of these tips that totally aren't based off medieval torture devices:
"Dammit, where is the big tip!"
We insert the needle above your navel and then sweep it through your gut ("fanning") to suck everything out. During one of the first embalmings I ever did, I wasn't paying attention, and the aspirator got backed up. I had forgotten to put on the mask you're supposed to wear, so when I pulled out the clogged aspirator, it sprayed poop everywhere, including in my mouth.
Yes, welcome to my world.