The following story comes from First Option Care in Thomasville, GA.
From the window of the Stork Bus, I could see a young woman walking towards me with coffee in hand and a look of worry and uncertainty on her face. She introduced herself as Stephanie and immediately asked me if I could give her a pregnancy test.
The test came back positive. Stephanie shrunk back on one of the leather seats and began to share her story. She told me that she had an abortion in the past and that she would probably do the same with this pregnancy. When I asked how she felt about her past abortion, she said that it was something she thought she had to do at the time.
She went on to share all of her worries and fears about being a mom: The father wasn’t someone she had a future with and she doubted he would even want anything to do with this child. She couldn’t afford it. She needed to focus on herself. She would never consider adoption. She just couldn’t be a mom right now.
Again, Stephanie seemed to be convincing herself that abortion was her only option.
I explained that she would need to get an ultrasound regardless in order to determine how far along she was. She asked about different abortion procedures and if I knew which one she would need to do. She became uneasy as I explained the procedures for first trimester abortions and the various risks involved.
Becoming emotional, Stephanie expressed that she had never really coped with her past abortion.
Nobody had ever told her what her body had been through.
Nobody had ever given her the facts.
Nobody had ever really given her a choice.
We talked about the many emotions she had been suppressing since having her abortion years ago and I gave her resources that she might use to further confront her feelings.
I then asked her if she wanted a free ultrasound. She hesitated. I could tell she was guarding herself from the idea that this was her baby. But she decided to go ahead and get one.
I put the ultrasound probe on her stomach. I could see her baby clearly as it moved around in her womb. Stephanie hadn’t looked at the screen yet. Her gaze was fixed on her hands, as she tapped a nervous rhythm on her thigh. I pointed out the yolk sac, explaining that it provided nutrients for her baby until the placenta takes form. She glanced over briefly and then stared back at her hands.
I couldn’t tell what she was thinking. Were her fears and worries flooding back? Was she convinced abortion was the only way?
Suddenly, the baby started moving all over the place—you could clearly see the little arms and legs wiggling around. I looked over at Stephanie and saw a wide smile. It was as though the baby was trying to say, “Mom, I’m here! You might not feel me move yet, but I am here!” Stephanie couldn’t believe what she was seeing on the screen. She told me that she was going to keep the baby!
Several weeks later, I called Stephanie to check in and see how she was doing. She is doing fine, the baby is doing fine, and she is currently going to prenatal care. She also shared that, to her surprise, the father of the baby is being supportive and they are happy about their decision to keep their baby.
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