Sometimes I wish my job was something simple—a job in which I could see the finished product every time, a job that I could leave at work, a job that didn’t exhaust me emotionally every day.
But that’s the nature of working at a pregnancy resource center. At the end of the day, no matter how much love I give, it’s still up to the client as to whether or not she will turn to abortion. But it’s stories like Haley’s that remind me that my work is changing lives, even if it takes some time.
Haley was a young mom. She had a 3-year-old son and a 4-month-old daughter. She walked into the center nearly crying–pushing a double stroller and juggling a diaper bag and McDonald’s Happy Meals. I hopped up from behind the desk and helped her with her things. Her little boy looked up at me with sleepy eyes.
I asked her if she needed some baby items for her kids. She shook her head and whispered, “I think I’m pregnant… again.” She needed a pregnancy test and had been driving around the area and saw our sign. She asked me several times if it was really free.
After assuring her it was free, I gave her a pregnancy test. While we were waiting for the results, she told me her boyfriend really wanted to be a dad but that she couldn’t handle another kid. Her voice trailed off when she noticed the two pink lines. She was pregnant.
With hands in her head, she explained that she couldn’t do it. She needed to get an abortion. It was the only way.
I asked if she wanted a free ultrasound and again, she couldn’t believe it was free. She climbed onboard the Stork Bus where we gave her an ultrasound. She wasn’t far enough along to tell her much of anything about her pregnancy, so, even though she was still set on abortion, she scheduled an appointment to come back.
Haley came back a week later, however, it was still too early to confirm viability. We took some time to tell her about all of the services she could receive at the center. She was taken aback. Haley had never had anyone offer to help her like this before.
Haley returned a third time, this time bringing her boyfriend. Something had changed in her completely. With a big smile, she explained that she had chosen to parent the baby. She and her boyfriend were so excited. We were able to connect them with resources not only for her baby, but also for her two children.
When I said bye to Haley after the first time we met, I wondered if I would ever see her again. It was one of those interactions that made me wish I worked a job that was more black and white. But Haley kept coming back. It was in each small interaction that I was able to show her the love that she needed and had lacked throughout her other pregnancies.
It was her third appointment that made it all worthwhile—the time she smiled as she finally saw her baby on the ultrasound screen.
The following story comes from Heartbeat of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio.