The following story comes from Several Sources Shelter in Englewood, NJ.
My name is Victoria and I am twenty-four years old. I live in Paterson, NJ in an apartment with my four-year-old disabled son. I planned to get a job following high school, but with a child that needs 24/7 care, this quickly became impossible.
When I discovered I was pregnant with my second child, I became fearful that this baby would also have disabilities. I love my son so much, but I didn’t think I could deal with two disabled children on my own.
I decided to schedule an abortion at the clinic in Englewood, NJ. When I pulled up to the clinic the following week, I couldn’t help but notice the words “There Is Always Hope.” This phrase was printed on the exterior of a blue van that was parked outside of the clinic. I kept staring at the van—I desperately wanted to have hope in that moment, but instead, was paralyzed by fear.
A woman outside the clinic handed me a business card for the blue van—it said they offered free ultrasounds and pregnancy tests. She said that she would be there for me if I needed her. I nodded and walked into the clinic. The waiting room was dark and lonely, so after a few minutes, I ran outside. The woman was standing next to the blue van. I started to cry as I asked if I could have an ultrasound to see my baby.
The van door opened—the inside was so bright and clean. I was asked to lie on the soft leather bed so I could have the ultrasound. I was amazed at the amount of equipment the van could hold, while still feeling spacious and comfortable.
As the lady put the gel on me, my baby came alive on the screen and I started to cry. I was fifteen weeks pregnant and could hear the heart beating loudly from the van speakers. Watching the movement on the screen reminded me that my baby was alive and well—putting an end to that did not feel right.
Despite how challenging it can be to care for my son, I love being a mom. Sitting there, I was growing more and more excited about the life of this child. However, I still had a lot of fears about raising two children. I told the nurse that I didn’t have any support from my family and that I was already struggling to take care of my first child. The nurse explained that she could provide me with resources to assist with my pregnancy and motherhood in general, as well as a referral for a specialist for my son.
Because of my time spent on the mobile medical unit, I will be having a little girl around Christmas time! My son can’t wait to be a big brother.
You can help us tell more stories like Victoria’s.
Join the movement today