There's a joke going around the clinic where I'm working right now. If you're looking to get knocked up, make an appointment with Dr. Couz.
I've somehow managed to run the most bizarre streak of test results. In the month I have been working at the family practice clinic in town, I have done 6 urine pregnancy tests on various women for various reasons. Some to rule it out, some to rule it in. In every single case, two lines have shown up on the dipstick. Whether it was an expected result or not. It's gotten to the point that I'm even wondering if I'd recognize a negative result if I saw one.
Complicating matters is the fact that all but one of these pregnancies was unwanted. The most recent positive test belonged to a patient that was 'undecided' about whether or not the pregnancy was wanted, in that it was a result of an extramarital affair that had ended a month ago. Her husband was already aware of the affair, and had told her to come into the doctor to get tested for STD's. That morning he told he that if she was pregnant, he'd kill the baby. Lovely. She isn't sure if she wants to terminate or not. She's coming back in a week once she's had a chance to think about things. She wasn't expecting a positive pregnancy test.
Sometimes I find it really hard not to judge my patients. Last week one of the positive pregnancy tests belonged to a 39-year-old woman. She suspected she was pregnant-- although her cycles had always been irregular, she had been feeling a lot of nausea over the past couple of weeks and hadn't had a period in nearly two months. When I informed her of the result, she said without hesitation "I want an abortion".
Now I'm pro-choice. Always have been. I think that a woman needs to have the ultimate say in what happens in her own body. But this woman knew what she was doing. She had two kids. She had terminated a pregnancy in the past. She had a regular partner with whom she was living, and they weren't using birth control. No IUD, no condoms, no pull-n-pray, nothing. What the hell was she thinking? She's an intelligent woman, with a college diploma and a respectable job. Does she not know how this works? I asked her why they weren't using protection (thinking there might have been a good reason), and got a carefree shrug. Nice.
I don't know why these situations anger me. I'm pro-choice. She's pregnant. She doesn't want to be pregnant. It should be as simple as that. But when people start coming in and acting as though abortion were just another method of birth control, it bothers me. And it's something that's always bothered me, not just from the perspective of a woman actively trying to get pregnant. But I have to admit that also adds insult to injury. It's hard not to have a fleeting thought about all the women out there struggling with infertility when other women treat pregnancy as a disposable inconvenience.
So, of course, I bite my tongue. And I counsel accordingly, provide options, and offer the phone number to the women's clinic in town. And I try not to judge.
Sigh. Just call me the fertility goddess.