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Anonymous, Material Client
Recently, a client struggled, trying to get her stroller up the stairs and on the front porch of the King St. office. She was in need of diapers and some baby clothes for her 5-month son. The counselor gave her the necessary items, plus a few extras which the client gladly accepted. She left by way of the back door and down the ramp to the bus stop in front of EPS. Sitting and waiting for the bus, she peered into the bag of items and immediately called the EPS office, crying, and thanking the receptionist between her sobs of gratitude.
I will never forget finding out that i was pregnant with twins at Emergency Pregnancy Sevices. The babies were measuring 12weeks & 2 days . On the sonogram they were so active & i didn’t even feel anything. It was unbelievable that i had two little babies growing inside of me. The staff was very helpful and nice. I recommend this place to any and every one who may think they are with child.
I didn’t know if I was pregnant so I went to Emergency Pregnancy Services. My boyfriend didn’t want the baby if I was going to have one. I was not wanting to have a pregnancy and I didn’t know what I would do with a baby. I thought I could have an abortion there. So I went, and they gave me a test to see if I was pregnant. I was and I cried for a while. Someone talked to me and made me feel better. She asked if I wanted an ultrasound and I said yes, because I thought I had to do that to have an abortion. I heard a heart beating out loud and I got really excited. She showed me something on a screen that looked like it had legs and arms. I don’t know why, but I loved her right away. I did not even know it was a her, but now I know that she is my little girl. She is so special to me. I found a lot of help and people to care about me there too. I wanted to use the web page to say thank you so much for what you helped me with.
A beautiful young married woman came to Emergency Pregnancy Services requesting a proof of pregnancy statement, the paperwork needed to apply for pregnancy Medicaid. During our counseling session, she revealed that she had been raped and that the rapist was the father of her baby. Kendra never reported the rape to the police nor received any counseling. Recounting the attack, Kendra became visibly upset and it was apparent she was in obvious need of help in dealing with her trauma. We were able to give her information about agencies in our area that offered free victim support and counseling and I encouraged her to seek help through one of the many support options.
Kendra and her husband didn’t have any other children and, after several years of marriage, had been planning to start a family of their own just before the rape occurred. After first dealing with the trauma of the rape, they were further grieved to learn of the pregnancy. Yet Kendra’s husband never faltered in his decision to be a father for this unborn child. He knew immediately that he would never consider aborting a child that was his wife’s own flesh and blood.
Knowing that she would eventually be showing the signs of a pregnancy, the couple had already begun telling family and friends that they were expecting and everyone was very excited and happy for the couple. But it became obvious through our discussion that Kendra was struggling to bond with her unborn child. I grew concerned that she might never be able to fully love the baby, considering the circumstances.
Kendra talked about how painful it was to see everyone so happy about their expected bundle of joy, while she only felt sickened by the thought of having the rapist’s baby. Several family members were beginning to buy baby items and Kendra said, “I just can’t get excited like they are”. She shared that she was secretly considering having an abortion and telling everyone that she had miscarried.
I revisited the issue of the baby’s conception, wondering if there was any way the baby could be her husband’s child. Kendra was absolutely convinced this was not possible based on their family planning decisions. After the rape, she even insisted that her husband protect himself from any possible sexually transmitted diseases that she may have been exposed to by the rapist.
As the session continued, I became worried that Kendra may secretly abort her child. I offered an ultrasound in the hopes that seeing this tiny life would soften her heart and open it up to accepting this miracle, despite how it was conceived.
Expecting to see a 9-week gestation baby, we were stunned to find a baby measuring nearly twice that size. The baby measured about 13 weeks, confirming what Kendra thought to be impossible – her husband was actually the baby’s father!! Kendra had already been approximately 3-4 weeks pregnant when the rape occurred.
Everything changed for this young wife and mother that day. Kendra and her husband could now love and accept this new life without any consideration for the rape that occurred. No longer was Kendra’s pregnancy filled with anguish and secret sadness. No longer was she considering ending her pregnancy.
Bree, a high school student, happened to see one of our commercials on Sunday, April 29th (days after the ad was scheduled to stop running.) She reached out and called our hotline number on Monday after she got home from school. Bree assumed we were an abortion clinic and wanted to find out how much it would cost to terminate her pregnancy. Apparently, she had called several abortion clinics, but had been unable to get an estimate because she was unsure of when her last menstrual cycle had begun.
I explained to her that we would be able to confirm the pregnancy and more importantly perform an ultrasound to determine exactly how far along she was, but that we did not perform abortions. She was aware that the prices elevate weekly as you progress in your pregnancy and she desperately needed the information to know how much money she would need to get the abortion.
Within an hour, Bree and her boyfriend were in our office. We spoke briefly and I learned that she had just terminated a pregnancy a little less than 8 months before. She felt her previous decision was a good one and was very determined to go through with terminating this pregnancy also. She was guessing that she was only about a month or two pregnant. She had no interest in learning about adoption and refused to consider parenting.
Her boyfriend remained silent. When I felt my words were falling on deaf ears, I suggested that we go ahead with the ultrasound. Instantly, the three of us viewed a very large and developed baby on the screen. The images were clear and the baby was very active. I was able to catch some beautiful shots of their child; a perfect footprint showing each toe, its hand opening and closing into a fist and very sweet facial shots with the baby’s eyes open. I pointed out body parts and explained the images, while both of them just watched quietly. After taking several measurements, I informed them that she was nearly 18 weeks pregnant.
I was finding it very hard to know what was going through their minds. Bree’s boyfriend appeared agitated and a little angry and I was unsure of why. When the scan was complete, I handed them over a dozen pictures of their baby and asked how they felt and what they were thinking.
The baby’s father began to get very vocal and was very moved by how big and developed their child was. I felt tension between the couple and he stated that she would not terminate this pregnancy and that he would even raise this baby alone if he had to. She became very quiet and didn’t really respond to my questions. She did ask a few prenatal care type questions that cast a ray of hope for this child.
Upon completing her exit survey she wrote that she had changed her mind and would continue on with the pregnancy and parent the child because of what she had seen that day.
Just a few days later, Bree called us back. She shared that everything was sinking in and that she was feeling better about the baby. She and her boyfriend were even becoming excited about finding out if the baby was a boy or girl, no longer just a problem.
The call was like many others that day: a woman in a crisis pregnancy wanting to know how far along she was. Lisa had called several abortion clinics, but they couldn’t give her a price for the procedure without knowing the baby’s gestational age. She accepted our offer for a free ultrasound and came into Emergency Pregnancy Services the next day.
After reviewing her information on the intake form, I noticed that Lisa had already had several abortions. I asked how she felt after the abortions. Unfortunately, she said she felt no remorse or pain as a result of her decisions. The fact that she had other children and had experienced all the joys of being a mother convinced me there had to be more to her story. Something must have drastically changed in her life to warrant this disregard for the life inside her.
During our counseling session I discovered her reason for choosing abortion. Lisa told me that she had lost her 7-month old baby to SIDS the previous year. Since her son’s death, she wasn’t able to hold babies or even think about having another one. She was never counseled about the death of her son and her grief was complicated by numerous issues including not knowing her baby’s cause of death for months. Her repeated abortions were an attempt to protect herself. The overwhelming pain from the loss of her son was preventing her from opening herself up to love another baby.
During her ultrasound we found that she was 18 weeks pregnant and she began to cry. Lisa knew that an abortion clinic would still do the procedure, but feared that she couldn’t afford one since the baby was this far along. I was able to get several very endearing pictures of the baby and began to see some love and compassion in the mother’s eyes.
After finishing the scan, I provided her with resources for dealing with the death of her child. She agreed to a referral for grief counseling and was given a book called “When Your Baby Dies”. By the end of our session, Lisa had already begun to consider continuing her pregnancy and seemed relieved that someone had identified the pain she was feeling. At EPS, we care about the woman and her baby. In order to protect this unborn child, I knew we needed to help this mother heal.
A few days later, Lisa called to set up another ultrasound appointment. She shared with us that she had read most of the book already and was even reading parts of it with her other children. So many terrible things happened around the loss of her son, and sadly, her unborn children were paying the ultimate price. She will always feel pain for her son, but after someone took the time to ask the right questions and get her much needed help, her heart began to heal.
Sometimes, hurts run so deep that we feel we can never love again and we believe that the pain of another loss would be crushing. While some women abort with callous disregard for life, many others are running from a pain pushed deep inside. The counselors at EPS are careful to dig beneath the surface when counseling abortion-vulnerable women, as the answers are not always what they initially appear to be.
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