It was rainy today, which made people a bit cranky, I think. I was cranky, anyway. Well, just in the early morning. I'm used to my solitary Tuesday routine: getting up early, eating breakfast in the quiet darkness, enjoying the still-slightly-dark, alone-with-my-thoughts walk to the clinic. My partner (whose exams are now finished) came with me this week, which was great, but it totally shattered my quiet routine and put me in a weird funk for the first little while. I am very sensitive to both noise and change. Just so you know.
Anyway, clinic was fine. There weren't many protesters out - I think the Saint John folks decided not to make the drive in this weather. Father Grim and Mr. Mumbles were out in their matching bright yellow rain suits, which definitely makes it worth getting up in the morning. It's so funny to see Father Grim, with his standard glare, in such a cheery outfit.
People were a bit off kilter inside today; nothing major, just a couple grumpies. It's forgivable, really; I would be pretty grumpy if someone was fixing to put a needle in my cervix. *shudder*
One of the patients changed her mind, which has been known to happen from time to time. I don't think she told anyone but me; she just got up after returning from her ultrasound and told me she'd changed her mind, and left. SL came out a few minutes later to call her in for her payment, and I had to tell her the patient had left. Which isn't a big deal - we couldn't care less, really. You don't want to do it, don't do it. What's funny is that since she changed her mind right after the ultrasound, and the ultrasound showed she was carrying twins, it's not that far out there to assume that's why she changed her mind.
I don't think it's the first time that's ever happened. Logically, it makes no sense to me. No matter what your reasons for choosing to end a pregnancy, whether financial, emotional, whatever, surely they would only be compounded by the idea of TWO potential children? Personally speaking, if I were to become pregnant at this stage of my life, assuming I chose to have an abortion (which isn't necessarily what I would choose), my main reason would probably be a lack of stability - mainly financial, but also just life in general. So if I couldn't afford to have one kid, I sure as hell couldn't afford two.
But of course this stuff isn't really logical, otherwise there would be agreement on the abortion debate and we could all put energy into other stuff. As Dr. George Tiller noted, "Abortion is not a cerebral or a reproductive issue. Abortion is a matter of the heart. For until one understands the heart of a woman, nothing else about abortion makes any sense at all."
So I've been struggling to understand the decision on an emotional level, to put myself in the shoes of a woman who goes in thinking she will abort, finds out it's twins, and decides to keep them. What difference does it make, I wonder? Is it harder to end two potential lives than one? Does it make them seem more human? Is it that she really isn't 100% certain of her decision, and this is an easy straw to grasp? It's really impossible to say without knowing the woman in question, and even then, who knows. I would love some face time with women who make that decision, just to see what they were thinking and feeling. I hope the woman today is happy with her decision in the end, and that everything works out for her and the twins.
It makes me think about these laws in the States where they make women having abortions look at the ultrasound. As in, mandatory. As if we can't trust women to know what they want. Lots of women aren't sure about the decision when they go in to a clinic, and they ask to see the ultrasound, and they decide not to abort. That's fine - it's a choice. But when a woman comes in who is 100% sure of the decision, and has no interest whatsoever in looking at the ultrasound, why should she have to? Why do legislators feel the need to hold women's hands every step of the way through a very personal and (for many) agonizing decision? Women aren't stupid, we aren't imbeciles. We can make up our minds for ourselves, and (here's a news flash) when women are pregnant, they KNOW what's in there! They don't think it's a fish, or a stapler. We don't need an ultrasound to tell us.
I think people who ask to see the ultrasound should be allowed to, of course. For some women it's the information they need to show themselves that they can't go through with it. For others, it's a piece of the grieving process. But I think the key to all of this (and really to all of health care) is respect. Just be respectful. Don't make people do shit they don't want to do. Trust women.
My posts have been getting a bit convoluted lately, eh? Sorry about that.