Series Number: 5
My first experience with Depo-Provera was as a young welfare mother. I had just finished my first post-partum check-up after having had my second child. The doctor pronounced me in great health and then pulled out a syringe and a vial.I am just going to give you a shot so that you won’t have to worry about getting pregnant again. She smiled. I asked her what was in the vial and she told me that it was like the pill, but that I didn’t have to worry about remembering to take it every day. I was assured that Depo-Provera was safe, but I was breastfeeding and didn’t want to take even an aspirin. When I refused the shot, the doctor became visibly angry with me. She stopped making even the most rudimentary conversation, scribbled something on my chart and left, but not before heaving an exasperated sigh and slamming the vial and syringe into a tray on the counter. I was scared of this doctor and her power over me. Could she call Department of Social Services and have my baby taken away? Could she make it so I couldn’t come to the free clinic any more? I wasn’t taking any chances so I never returned for my other post-natal checkups.