THOUGHTS OF A JUNIOR DOCTOR DOING ABORTION SCANS FOR THE FIRST TIME

OBGYN was my first rotation of being a qualified doc. This is not a funny list. It's a list that's been potting in my head for a while and the horrid events at PP in the USA had me thinking of it again.
  1. Oh god it's my turn to do termination-of-pregnancy scans this week.
  2. I don't even know how to do an ultrasound scan properly.
  3. Why do we have to do them before official clinic hours anyway? I hate having to wake up an hour earlier.
  4. I'm being selfish aren't I.
  5. I'm pro-choice. I can do this. And even if I wasn't, it's just a scan.
  6. It's not like I have to prescribe the pills or do the evacuation.
  7. Or even counsel the women.
  8. I'm a fucking doctor. I don't have to be afraid about providing a service.
  9. A service I believe in.
  10. A service I would use if needed.
  11. Oh god there are ten women waiting for me.
  12. Wait no I didn't call for the first person yet!
  13. Let me just figure out how to work this machine first.
  14. Press this doohickey here... Wow this machine is old.
  15. Ultrasound jelly.
  16. Fuck I didn't even introduce myself. She deserves an introduction.
  17. Is she sure she's pregnant? I can't even feel anything!
  18. I hope I'm not making this awkward.
  19. I found it!
  20. I think.
  21. Now how the hell do we measure it.
  22. "You're about five weeks."
  23. I hope I'm right.
  24. She wants a printout.
  25. Am I allowed to do that?
  26. It's not emotional manipulation if she requests the photo herself right?
  27. It's going to make her decision so much harder.
  28. And what if she goes through with termination and then the printout haunts her for the rest of her life?
  29. Ok. Stop patronising her. There are 9 more women waiting.
  30. Next!
  31. Oh god she's wearing a school uniform.
  32. Am I supposed to make conversation?
  33. Okay. Don't let her think you're judgmental.
  34. Ask her about school. What does she want to be when she grows up?
  35. She wants to be a doctor.
  36. There's the heartbeat. Should I show her???
  37. Ok I'll ask her.
  38. She'd rather not.
  39. Okay dear.
  40. Off you go.
  41. "Thank you, doctor."
  42. Next!
  43. Fuck.
  44. This woman is huge.
  45. I mean, her uterus is.
  46. There is no way she is under 18 weeks.
  47. Hands. Fingers.
  48. FACE.
  49. She's 24 weeks.
  50. She bursts into tears.
  51. Oh god now what do I do.
  52. She says she can't have this child. She'll lose her scholarship.
  53. Legally you can't terminate in this condition.
  54. I mean, we'll get her a foetal anomaly scan but barring any life-threatening anomalies she's going to have to carry to term.
  55. I feel like a villain telling her this.
  56. She's inconsolable.
  57. Can I tell you about adoption?
  58. NO NO NO NO.
  59. Okay.
  60. Here let me give you a number for a safe house.
  61. Here, let me write you a referral for the social worker.
  62. She's not going to use it, I think.
  63. Stay with me. Here, have some water. Let's find a solution to your problem.
  64. Fuck they didn't teach me how to do this. Am I doing it right?!
  65. She doesn't want to stay.
  66. She's leaving.
  67. I think she's going to seek some backstreet abortion.
  68. And then she's going to land up back here with complications.
  69. Fuck.
  70. I did it wrong didn't I.
  71. Next!
  72. This girl is too young this isn't right!
  73. Oh wait. She just has achondroplasia.
  74. Tells me outright: she can't have a kid like herself. Who put that in her head?
  75. She was on the loop and it must've fallen out.
  76. She shouldn't have to justify herself to me. I should tell her that.
  77. She wants to record the heartbeat.
  78. Asks me what I would do.
  79. Write a referral to the geneticists. They will help her. Tell her she has time. Don't rush your decision.
  80. And don't let anyone pressure you in ANY direction, okay?
  81. Next!
  82. Next!
  83. Next!
  84. Next!
  85. Next!
  86. Next!
  87. That was hard. And I still have to go work in antenatal clinic for the rest of the day.
  88. I printed out the images from all ten women. Is that wrong?
  89. I need it for myself.
  90. Nobody is going to debrief me so I gotta debrief myself.
  91. Just because I'm pro-choice doesn't mean I'm not feeling all sorts of feelings.
  92. I'm just not sure WHAT those feelings are, even.
  93. God.
  94. I hope I did it right.