Choosing Life After An Ultrasound
By Brittany Smith
Gabi found out she was pregnant on the bathroom floor of a friend’s house.
She had just gotten home from a night out at the bar and on a whim stopped at a drugstore to pick up a pregnancy test.
“I had been feeling weird, but didn’t really think it could be true,” she said.
Just to be safe, she decided to check. As soon as the two lines turned pink she started sobbing. At the time it felt like the worst news she could have ever gotten.
“I was in and out of bars, getting drunk. I wasn’t ready to have a child. I was not even able to take care of myself, let alone another human being,” she said.
For a few weeks, she put off deciding what to do.
Then a friend told her about Matrix Life Care Center, a pregnancy resource center in her town that did free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds.
Early one morning, she drove to Matrix.
Amy Hutchcraft is the Client Care Director at Matrix. She said, “From the moment she walked in I knew she was upset. But I felt like we had a connection.”
Because of their connection, Gabi confided in Amy during her first ultrasound. She said she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. Gabi wavered between abortion and parenting and left the office that day still unsure.
But Amy didn’t give up.
“She didn’t have anyone to talk to. I wanted to be that person for Gabi, cheering her on,” Amy said. “I wanted to make sure she knew that she was loved and that she had value and was courageous for sharing what she shared with me.”
3 more ultrasounds
A few weeks later, Amy asked Gabi if she wanted to get another ultrasound. Gabi agreed.
But after her second ultrasound, Gabi made an appointment with Planned Parenthood. It seemed she had made her decision.
In the days leading up to the appointment, Gabi started to have doubts.
“I just kept thinking, I can’t imagine going to sleep and waking up and knowing my boy wasn’t going to be in there,” she said.
So Gabi called Amy and asked if she could do another ultrasound. Amy told her they had availability on their Stork Bus and immediately got her an appointment.
“I still remember that day,” Gabi said. “When they did the ultrasound my heart got so warm in my chest. I thought ‘there he is.’ A whole new light came into my life.”
Amy said she could see the change in Gabi immediately. “When we did the ultrasound he [her son] was so active. It almost looked like he was waving at us.”
As soon as Gabi saw her son during the third ultrasound, she chose life.
“Going on the bus and seeing him completely turned my life around,” she said. I did a whole 180. I started doing prenatal care. I quit drinking and smoking. I started eating healthy and exercising. I got a new job.”
Gabi had one more ultrasound before she gave birth in October. She was induced and the following day she had her son, Braxton.
“I fell in love for the first time in my whole life,” Gabi said.
“I felt him and he just clung on to me and held on to me. It was the best feeling in the whole world.”
One year later
Gabi works full time and is engaged. Braxton is healthy and thriving, and Amy couldn’t be prouder.
“She didn’t believe in herself initially,” Amy said. “But when Gabi decided to parent it was a complete 180. She took charge of her life.”
“Braxton is hands down the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”
Watch more of Gabi’s story here.