75 Days Left, and Today We’re Humbly Reminded of Why We’re Here.
We received an email today from a former patient that received unparalleled care in one of our clinics: About a year ago to this day, I was at the Whole Woman’s Health in Minneapolis. I was getting an abortion. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone in my life, so I went alone. Upon entering the clinic, I was incredibly nervous. There were protestors outside. I pushed past them with confidant strides, though I was not confident. I was terrified. Taking the elevator up I pushed all thoughts out of my head. Staring straight ahead with an entirely blank stare. I filled out my paperwork, and met with the financial department. Over the previous weeks the people at WWH helped me get a few grants, but it was still a lot more than I expected to pay. I’d borrowed money from my dad for ‘school books’. There went all of it. I then met with a counselor. I wish I could remember her name. She was so sweet. I partially went in expecting to be judged. There was absolutely none of that. I explained to her how my mother had me at a young age, and the rough upbringing I believed that lead to. This brought up thoughts of my mom – being in this same place many years ago. Did she ever consider abortion? Where would I be then? I started tearing up, and the counselor handed me some tissues and told me ‘everything will be okay, any decision i’d make would be the right one’. I knew this was the decision I was set on. I just started getting emotional. She helped me stable myself. The next part of the day was meeting with a doctor. I’d never been to a gyno before, so this was my first time experiencing any of it. There was a nurse in the room and she held my hand while the doctor saw how far along I was, etc. They then sent me to take a pill of some-sort to relax the uterus and make the procedure go easier. I was waiting in the lobby and the medicine kicked in. I instantly felt sick. I ran to the restroom. After about 15 minutes, I left and a nurse let me in to lay on a couch with a blanket in the back. Soon after, it was time. I went in and met with my doctor. There was another nurse in the room and she held my hand and stroked my hair. As the procedure was happening, I was crying. I never imagined it would hurt ‘that bad’. The nurse talked to me in the softest voice, she ever let go of my hand. Her other hand was on my head, stroking the top, in the most comforting way I’ve ever felt. Without her, I don’t know how I would have gotten through it. She brought me juice after and talked with me until I felt okay to stand up. As she left the room, for me to dress, I thanked her. It was the last I’d seen of her. She was truly the most beautiful rock to me. My entire experience went so incredibly well. I wish I could remember these women’s names. The workers there deserve the recognition they deserve. I am forever grateful for the treatment I received while there. This is the reason why we are determined to continue in this fight for reproductive rights and abortion access. Sometimes we forget that what we are doing is for the women who seek our services. It’s about raising the standard for healthcare in our communities and making sure that access remains available for as long as possible. 75 days left, and today we’re humbly reminded of why we’re here.