Like Alice in Wonderland, I found myself falling through this darkness into a vivid fantasy of being in an old and what felt like familiar house that had an attic door with a string. Entranced with this pathway in my mind's eye, I imagined reaching up and pulling the string to unlock the doorway in the ceiling while silently talking to the life inside of me and saying “thank you for coming, and I can’t do this right now and with him. I am done.”
A quietness came into my body that was so profound I saw my belly stop rising and falling for a bit and this utter stillness engulfed me like a vacuum of temperature-less space. Shortly after this, my ex- and I acknowledged out loud that we had arrived at an impasse and ended the call agreeing to talk again. I quickly fell into an exhausted and heavy sleep.
The next night I started bleeding many times more heavily than any period I had ever had. I was surprised at how little pain I was in for this much blood. In my youth, a heavy period had me curled in a ball sometimes for days. This was more blood than I had ever had come through me, but mostly there was no pain and just a quiet acceptance, like listening the rain begin to fall after a forest fire.
I was horrified and in awe of watching my body self-correct. I found myself having brief moments of guilt and shame, having never heard of someone choosing to mis-carry and then spontaneously doing so. A few days of heavy bleeding later, a strong cramp overcame me and I felt almost like I was going to have a bowl movement after being constipated (but I wasn't constipated, so this confused me). I went to the toilet and bloody mass about the size of a golf ball of tissue/blood fell into the toilet when I was trying to urinate. I heard the plop and turned around and knelt down in front of the toilet in shock. I remember that moment so well, including a small stream of blood dripping between my legs onto the bathroom floor as I stared at this ball of fleshy darkness in shock. I had not yet had a pregnancy test confirm what I had known, and this was more proof than I had imagined I would every get considering how early we figured the pregnancy was.
As I sat with this dark red ball of jagged tissue resting in the pool of crimson fluid with a couple smaller and simpler clots next to it, my shock turned to overwhelming gratitude and love. I stayed there on my knees for a while, weeping with joy and sadness to and for this tiny being who had grown in me for a short while. I found my arms wrapping around me while I sobbed with gratitude to my body and belly for letting go when it was time. This was one of the most powerful experiences of my life and I have rarely shared it because of its sacredness and the privilege of privacy I had to experience it.
When I learned about the US supreme court ruling last week and have begun reading other women's stories on social media about pregnancy and the choice to end it, I realized it was time to share my story and also what I believe this moment in our history predicts.
As my body slowly healed from this thing called "mis-carriage," I contemplated that I probably would not have chosen to get an abortion, even though I believe in this death ritual and choice with every cell in my being. I have escorted many humans to and through abortions and find it to be an incredibly sacred and a vital human right. But, the truth of me and everything I had been to that point would likely not have found the clarity to go through this procedure myself, even if it had chained me to relationships that would have caused great suffering going forward. I still look back on this moment of feeling the rush of warmth begin falling between my legs with awe, love, and sadness. The sadness is from the ache of the broken village we are all in and realizing how quickly we can objectify people’s bodies as a conduit for our wishes and dreams.
I share this story now because tomorrow I will share a message to those who decided and/or support the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V Wade. For those of you who will look for my next post, I ask you to spend a moment in silence breathing slowly into your belly…. Ask your body if you have right to decide that another person’s body must create a new life. Don’t think about it but instead try and feel the answer from your core. Now ask your body if anyone has the right to decide that your body should give or take life that had never breathed air before. Sit with it and notice how your breathing changes.
Next, I will share what I believe happens when ideal-ology turns to idol-logy.
About the Author
Ruth Diaz is an organizational consultant and leadership coach on connecting relationships with ourselves and each other at every level. She currently works in Portland, Oregon.