I have so many stories to write! The site had some problems that are now resolved so I am at last back online. I could tell you the story of the woman who had a stroke (at age 24) with her last pregnancy and is a candidate for another stroke, so, much to her sadness and dismay, she is having to give this pregnancy up rather than risk leaving her 4 year old with no parent at all. I could tell you the story of the family having to move out of state because they lost their farm. Bad weather, low prices for the crops, and a previous bank loan that came due have forced these folks to give up the farm that has been in their family for generations. I could tell you about the recent baptism we did at the request of a patient and her partner, an event both solemn and respectful. The couple did not feel that they could care for yet another child and elected to give it back to God.
But I want instead to tell you about the 13 year old who was pregnant by the neighborhood pedophile. By the time the family came to us, time was of the essence because she was fast approaching the time when abortion would no longer be possible in this state. The child had not recognized that she was pregnant, had been afraid to tell her parents that she was having forced sex with this man, a neighbor, because he said he would harm her family if she told anyone. As you can imagine, all three of them, mom, dad, daughter, were in a state of shock, yet had to make all arrangements at the same time they were talking to the police about the upcoming criminal case. They live in a state that has a mandatory speech that each patient has to hear (and in this case, because of her age, a parent as well). Well, they had received this required information at a particular clinic, but then decided to go to another clinic because this first clinic could not help them with the evidence collection of the products of conception (POC) as it's known medically. Collection of the POC was crucial to the criminal case since a police officer had to transport it directly to the crime lab for DNA testing. But this clinic (known to be less than helpful in other instances as well) refused to release the proof that the patient and parent had heard the speech saying that it was the clinic's property! Can you imagine? Many officials pleaded with them, pointing out how traumatized the child already was but the unhelpful clinic would not relent, causing a further delay in an already terrible situation for the family. (I am being charitable here, this clinic chain has been rejected for membership by both major provider groups for their poor standards and practices.)
You know, when those legislators put these 24-48 hour delays in place, they do not realize how they might affect real people in crisis. Luckily, we were able to get everything in place, but only because staff, doctors, and other medical personnel all stayed late to help out this family. It was a teary day for all of us, but we tried to keep our tears away from the patient. We did not need to make her deal with our reactions to her situation. So we cried and held one another in the back rooms where we could not be seen. It felt so good to be able to complete the procedure so that the family would not have to come back to the city again.
The POC evidence was taken to the crime lab, the pedophile has been arrested and with positive proof that he caused the pregnancy, we are hopeful that this little girl will not have to face him in court, that he will just plead guilty and not risk a jury trial.
But what willl happen to this little girl? She lives in a very small town where everyone knows everything about everyone. She is still so young, very childlike; we can only hope that she can get some professional help for all the damage done to her. In the meantime, you can be certain that she will be in our thoughts.