On this day, six years ago, I stopped being pregnant.
I had been pregnant for about two months.
While I was pregnant, I couldn't feel the small thing swimming around in me. Not big enough yet. (although the constant spewing meant I felt it in other ways...) It was a psychological thing, knowing it was there. I would rub my belly trying to imagine it, trying to make it real.
The wierdest thing made it real to me.
I tend to pass out a lot. Especially if I stand up too quick, or take ventolin. Good old low blood pressure. Thing is when I black out, there's a small moment as I'm coming round where my mind is empty of memory. I don't know who I am, or where I am, or who the person looking at me in concern is. (There's often a slight moment of dissapointment when I go, "oh yeah, this is my life. Damn, I was hoping to wake up to something exciting.")
This happened to me when I was pregnant. And as I became concious, before I really was aware and everything was still black, I experienced this glowing ball of light down in my nether regions. I was kind of inside the blackness of my body, but deep in there something was glowing so bright. I was not aware of who I was, or where I was. I hadn't opened my eyes and I certainly wasn't thinking about babies. But I felt like a vessel for something I can't explain. Something more than just a few cells.
I don't know if I believe in souls or spirits or shit. But this experience made me come a bit closer to believing, because it was so out of left field.
Since then I've felt like this small ghost person has been growing up beside me. I will never get away from that.
Thing is, I didn't miscarry. I had an abortion. For reasons that I won't go into here.
People used to say to women who miscarried, "Don't talk about it, just forget it, or go and have another to 'replace' it."
Now we know that's bollocks, and women are encouraged to name their miscarried child, give it a funeral of sorts and be open about their grief.
But there is a perception that women who had abortions don't need those grieving rituals because they chose to get rid of their fetus. Yet most women I know have at least some degree of grief to work through after that. It's so bloody traumatic having to make that decision, and I for one have thought about it constantly and wondered if I did the right thing. Even now I cry sometimes. I mourn that child. I loved that child. I still do. Even though it never got bigger than a smartie.
In the end I had to create my own grief rituals. Then my partner and I wrote a song about it. Even now, I have little conversations with that glowing ball of light. And once a year, on this date, I get very sad and wonder what might have been.