It's been a while since I have had an opportunity to write. I am just getting over strep throat to top everything off, but what's a sore throat in grand scheme of all that we clinic defenders do aside from our every day life?
I would like to share a little with you that you may not be aware of: we do lead very busy lives.
Zena June works a full time job. She has a large family demanding her time and attention. She hosts on the show as often as she can. She writes when she can. She escorts almost every Saturday. She prepares meals for her family and maintains a spotless house. From what I can tell, she is an excellent partner and "mother".
I go to school two days a week, where I am literally at school all day (from about 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) I have an infant who has me up an running all hours of the day and night when I am not at school. I devote any time that Baby Jaxon or school hasn't taken to trying help keep the house clean or cook a meal. In total: five people live under the same roof that I do, and we are all on different schedules, so maintaining a perfect house is a little less than possible. My family lives 100 miles away, literally, and any time I want to see them, it's a two hour drive at the very least. On the weekends, I donate my time to volunteering at the Women's Clinic. This also means that my husband sacrifices his much needed sleep to get up early and watch Baby Jaxon. Yes, it is a big deal, because he works the closing shift at a gas station.
Fiona Embers: She works a full time job, and is still at the clinic every Saturday. I don't know much about Fioana's personal life and daily responsibilities, but I am sure that her life is every bit as demanding as mine.
Alexandra works answering the phones for several Women's Clinics. She has to drive almost an hour to get to work. She also provides a home for her foster daughter and her foster daughter's baby. Her foster daughter is in school, so when she is not working, she is taking care of the baby. On days that she has to work and her foster daughter is in school, it means that she has to get up extra early to drive this baby to a sitter's before work. Every other Saturday Alexandra drives almost four hours where she works as a hand-holder.
I had a real eyeopening experience this previous Saturday. I went to work with Alexandra. That meant leaving Friday night and getting a hotel room in a different state. I did not sleep well that night, but I got up at seven thirty for breakfast anyway. Alexandra had a good harty breakfast of waffles and bagels and coffee. My throat was still raw from being sick, so I ate a light breakfast of two muffins and some juice. Man, oh, man, was that a mistake I would regret later!
Either way, when we got to the clinic, my first job was to familiarize myself with the building before any patients got there. That part was easy enough. Then my plan was to escort until the protesters went away. There were only three protesters. Two old women and the physically (and possibly mentally) disabled daughter of the oldest protester. I went in the clinic in my street clothes with Alexandra, and I came out by myself in my scrubs, so the protesters were convinced that I was Alexandra and that I had escorted my distraught friend into the clinic.
I could understand their confusion, so instead of correcting them, I went along with it and made up a pretty bizarre story about my 'friend', 'Kristen.' That story, you will have to listen to the show (Episode 118) to hear though, and trust me, you want to hear it. The protestors had a table set up with all their free information on it. They also had signs that said things like, "What if Mary aborted Jesus?" Don't even get me started on what I think of that crap. I mean honestly? What if she did? God already knew that she wouldn't, and if she did, well, I am sure he would have found someone else for the job, for Pete's-sake!
I walked up to their table and sternly demanded to know what they were doing out here anyway, you know, after telling them all about "Kristen." The gave me all sorts of reasons why abortion was wrong and told me all about how they were out there to save lives and pray for the poor women and babies that didn't know that abortion is murder... Insert several eye rolls here. The younger of the two women gave me her phone number and email address to give to "Kristen" to seek help after her abortion. "I'm trusting you to not give this to the enemy," she said. How dumb did she have to be to not know that I was the 'enemy'? You wanna guess who's phone number is going to be given to The Voice of Choice?
This was when I spotted three tiny babies laying on their table. One had a dark skin color, the other two were Caucasian. In my excitement, I yelled, "IS THAT A BLACK BABY DOLL? My son wants one for Christmas!" Then I picked up all three of these tiny baby dolls on their table and stuffed them in my pocket along with all sorts of their pamphlets.
These babies were supposed to be replica models of 12 week (as stamped on their backs) fetuses. I have looked them up, and just as I suspected, they were no were near correct. I also looked up prices on these stupid things. For the more accurate and detailed ones, the cost is $125.00 per doll! No wonder they only had three. In all honesty though, these are very cheaply made. I haven't the slightest clue where they got them or how much they really paid for them. Hell, these protesters were probably dumb enough to pay too much for them. These dolls aren't totally worthless though. They make pretty decent erasers, and they have copying capabilities (think Play-doh! and newspaper.)
"Can we have those back?" They asked. "NO." This is were they grew tired of my shenanigans and left. I made my way back into the clinic and let them know that I had successfully ran off their protesters, and it was still very early. The clinic workers looked pretty impressed.
I got to observe patients being counseled. The counselor that I primary watched did a pretty wonderful job. She made the patients feel comfortable and explained the whole procedure to them in detail so that they knew exactly what to expect. She truly cared about her patients, and her patients knew it. Their was one patient who had been raped and didn't even know it. When the counselor asked her why she was seeking an abortion, the patient described her situation and ended the discription with, "I feel like I was raped or something." At which the counselor informed her that she was raped. Things like this never cease to shock me and cause me so much heartache. I just wanted to hold her tight and find the man who did this to her and let him have a good piece of my mind and maybe a piece of my fists. In all seriousness, these situations leave me feeling disgusted with society as whole. Why aren't we teaching our children about rape? Why do we keep allowing things like this to happen?
After all the patients had received their counseling, I got to assist in the recovery room. I helped out by giving patients blankets and hot water packs to press to their tummies. I also gave them their final paper work to fill out. When they finished the paper work, I handed it back to the main recovery room worker. I asked them how they were feeling. I made jokes with them, and tried to make them as comfortable as possible. I helped them to the restroom if they need it. I took their blankets and gowns as they left. I folded the blankets and put the gowns in the washer. I disinfected the chairs and had them ready for the next patient. I emptied the hot water presses that had gotten cold and prepared new ones.
I stayed busy to say the least. Alexandra had more responsibilities than I did, so when I think of how tired I was by the time the day was over, I simply cannot imagine how she does it twice a month. It was a rewarding experience though. The patients in the recovery room were so relieved and happy even. It was like these shy, scared women came to life and let us know who they really were. One girl even did a little happy dance on her way out. The patients complemented us all day on how nice we were and continuously thanked us for being there.
One day, I will be doing this job on a regular basis...