There seem to be some things on my horizon, but still just out of reach. Among these developments are a job offer and a house. The latter we've been working on for 1.5 years.
But today's post is about the former.
I have been working (doing my clinical hours) for the past year at an imaging center that does MOSTLY pelvic ultrasounds, exactly the type of ultrasound I wanted to specialize in when I began my training. They do Ob exams, too, as well as abdominal, thyroid, etc. etc. For the past several months my mentor has been hinting that he wanted to hire me, and even asked me for my resume last month. In talking with him further over the past week, he is not sure if he'll have a position for me right away, but wants to do everything he can to make one for me by the Fall.
While I was at the AAFCP Annual Meeting this year, I was discussing my job opportunity with a fellow Practitioner friend (one I don't see often). I told her how excited I was to be doing what I loved to do, but that on occasion my job is truly difficult - for example, when a woman comes in planning to abort her child.
At this, the woman said, "Do they do the abortions there??" "No, absolutely not, we are an imaging center." "So why do they come in for the ultrasound?" she pressed. "To ascertain how far along they are so their Dr knows which 'kind' of abortion is needed, I presume."
"You can't work there, it will break your spirit," was her solid reply.
She was adament. She added that I would be in a position where I was actually aiding in the abortion process by working there, and I wouldn't be able to live with myself. She had very strong opinions on the matter.
I listened. I pondered. But being a Choleric (Art Bennett spoke to us about The 4 Temperaments, and I am SO Choleric!), I, too, had very strong opinions, and I was not about to change them.
My feelings on the matter are as follows:
By working at this imaging center, I have the OPPORTUNITY to be a tool for the Holy Spirit. In my working with the pregnant woman, showing her the heartbeat of her precious child, the head, the arm buds, the leg buds, and the wiggling of the living offspring inside of her... I may be able to change some hearts. It has already happened once, just by my "being" there.
A 40-something year old woman came in and the Dr's office called to give us a head's up that she had cancelled her abortion procedure twice already, but was still on the fence about terminating. So, instead of subjecting me to the situation, my supervisor performed the scan while I watched. Afterwards, he asked me to leave the room. What I found out later was that he was relaying to her the information about her pregnancy (how far along she was measuring, and if she had an abortion, what kind she would have, etc.) but then told her "I asked my student to leave because she is dealing with some infertility issues. This conversation would be hard for her." (I heard him say that through the wall.)
The patient left and avoided all eye contact with me on her way out.
Four weeks later, she was back for her 12-week Nuchal Translucency scan.
And two days ago, I performed her fetal screening at 20 weeks and told her she was having a little girl :)
I'm not saying it was what my supervisor said about my infertility that made this woman think twice. But it may very well have been.
And even if I cannot change 99.9% of the woman's hearts who come in for a pre-abortion scan, I still believe that my presence will be best in a place like that than it would be in, say, a Pregnancy Crisis Center (where I would ONLY be doing Ob scans, AND the patient population is VASTLY different). Our patients would NOT go to a Crisis Pregnancy Center, because, as many of you Pro Lifers already may suspect, our clientele are among the upper-middle class, married, caucasian, older women with at least one child already. Contrary to popular abortion-supporting propaganda, not all abortions are among the young, unwed, black, economically unstable. In fact, in all the time I've been working in ultrasound, I've seen exactly ONE woman fitting that description who PLANNED to have an abortion; but when I scanned her, I instead found that she had miscarried and had multiple gigantic fibroids invading her pelvis and uterus. How she ever got pregnant to begin with is beyond me, but it was surely a miracle.
Back to my opinions on this.
So, I feel that my work will have even greater potential for saving lives, because this group of women I am working with are not going to be "reached" any other way. Their Drs are in private Drs offices, not abortion clinics, so they literally walk in and out with no one ever knowing what they were doing. Hence, they will not be exposed to any sidewalk counselors or posters or banners asking them to choose life.
At the same time, I do know that when I do not change someone's mind (because there is only so much I CAN say to them while I'm in there, I obviously cannot preach to them) I feel absolutely horrible afterwards. So I see my friend's point about it killing my spirit.
Can I get your opinions on this?** Do you think that I should not (or stronger still, CANNOT) accept a job somewhere that provides Drs with the information they need to perform an abortion? Or do you think that my presence in a place like this may be just what God had in mind?
**Some final pieces of information on this matter: Just last week, I scanned a woman whose heart I don't think budged on the issue, but I prayed SO HARD for her afterwards, asking the Blessed Mother to accept my offering of my own cycle for this woman's child's life. (In other words, to accept my sacrifice of a failed cycle, this cycle, in order for this child to live.) So, at the very least I can offer prayers for these women when no one else can (simply because they do not know who they are and what they are about to do). And additionally, please keep in mind that I do scans like this once every 1-2 months if even that frequently. Though my supervisor has said there have been more of them in the past year or so than he remembers seeing in previous years. (Gee, I wonder why.)
Honest opinions appreciated!!