Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pro-Planned Parenthood

It was the beginning of December. I was 10 days late and the pregnancy tests that we had bought at the pharmacy all came back positive. I literally had no idea what to do, I had never thought I would be in this situation. The directions on the pregnancy tests said that even if it was a positive you had to get confirmation of pregnancy by a health care provider. So I called my doctor up and I was politely told that I wouldn't have been able to be seen for a few more weeks. I guess this was common practice. But I was freaking out. I hadn't planned on getting pregnant, but here were three different sticks saying I was, I needed the guidance of a professional. The scheduler said that I could make an appointment at Planned Parenthood if I couldn't wait for the initial appointment with my doctor. 

So I did something at the age of 30 I never thought I would do. I went to Planned Parenthood. My whole life I operated under the assumption that Planned Parenthood was a place where 16 year-old girls go to get free birth control. Yet I found myself at age 30 walking through those doors. 

They had me fill out paperwork, my income, my insurance, when was my last period, ect, and had me pee in a cup. Then came the waiting. I waited. And I waited. It was unnerving. I knew I was pregnant, it seemed a little ridiculous to me to make me wait for something that seemed so routine. 

Finally my name was called.

As we made our way into the consultation room the nurse and I introduced ourselves. Once in the consultation room that had pictures of ovaries, uteruses and embryos in various gestational phases, the nurse offered me a chair and then once we were both comfortably in our seats she said:

"you are 5 weeks pregnant, your due date is August 7th, and I take it from your answers here this was not planned, are you okay?"

I will never forget her kindness. I will never forget her asking me if I was okay. I will never forget thinking that it was going to be one hell of a hot summer and where were my tears?

"yes, well, I kinda figured I was, you know because of all the tests we took" I managed to stammer.

"Have you been thinking of your options?" She inquired

"Yes, but they all seem pretty shitty to me right now" I replied. 

And with that, she spent the next 45 minutes or so going over my options. In that same kind voice, with that same non-judgmental air about her. I left that night with an overwhelming amount of information but also I felt like I was going to be okay, this wasn't the end of my life. It was just the beginning. I also want to add the subsequent doctors visits I had with my doctor lasted only 20 minutes, if I was lucky. There was no one who ever sat as patiently and as kindly as that nurse at Planned Parenthood did that evening answering my questions, reassuring me it will be okay and to drink ginger tea for my morning sickness. 

So Planned Parenthood may perform abortions, and the last time I looked, abortions aren't illegal. Abortion is the single worst decision a woman is ever faced with, and thank god there is a place where woman can go that gives the facts in a non-judgmental way so that she can make the most educated decision on what is best for her and her family. A place where they advocate for information and empowerment from that information.

And by the way, what has just been written was intended to be factually accurate.

1 comment:

  1. I've been re-thinking about this post ever since I first read it and I just had to come back and leave my two-four-six-eight cents. I am SO proud of you. I am SO grateful for this organization. I would never have thought to go there as an adult but they were certainly awesome when I was a young teen getting all sexy for the first time. What a phenomenal experience and how sad that it casts further light on our crappy medical system that you can get excellent service at a free clinic but you can't get any service at a place that takes money from your insurance.