There was a time not long ago that I felt paralyzed by the fear of the unknown; the fear of facing the consequences of my unplanned pregnancy and all of the negative things that could happen because of what I had done. Worry had replaced the other things that used to occupy my days and nights.
Today, joy, gratefulness, and satisfaction have taken the place of that fear, I believe thanks to my friend at Birthright. My son is healthy, happy, and growing like a weed! I’ve been having a blast taking pictures of him each and every day. I’ve decided I may even take up photography I enjoy it so much. And the Birthright volunteer was right on about my baby’s father—he would really have to step up if he would be a productive part of our lives—and he has! I realize that no one has a perfect family, but we are doing good.
I wonder how things are going at Birthright, and if there were any miracles there today? That’s what they were for me. I just can’t thank them enough for everything they have done for me. I love being a mother and nothing else compares to holding my sleepy, cuddly son in my arms.
He is my everything.
Life has truly been a roller coaster ride for me, with long downward spirals. My sister and I were victims of sexual abuse at ages 3 and 5, and today I have a 4 year old son, the light of my life, who is a product of rape. It has taken me a long time to move forward, but after 4 years I tried to start over and began dating. Things were pretty good for a couple of months, until he become controlling and started hitting me. I decided to leave the apartment I shared with a friend and move out of town to get away.
He followed me, tracked me down, and pleaded with me to take him back. One morning, as I was opening the door to leave for work with my son, he was waiting for me and pushed his way inside. By this point, I had realized to my despair, I was 4 months pregnant with his child. When he found out he was furious. 2 days later, my body ached all over as doctors finished surgery to repair my ruptured appendix. He had hit me so hard in the stomach, the doctors said had I waited any longer to get to the hospital I could have died. Fortunately, my baby was okay, and doctors said I needed to rest. He continued to harass me to the point that I was evicted from my place as everyone else was worried for their own safety at that point. After receiving my paycheck 4 days later, I drove to the train station with a box of stuff and we headed to Illinois hoping to find some refuge with my sister.
Unfortunately, when I arrived in Quincy there weren’t many people looking to offer a job to a mid-term pregnant homeless single mother abuse victim. At 7 months pregnant I couldn’t have felt more desperate, when a lady at the Salvation Army told me to call Birthright. I did, and after a couple of weeks of talking, the volunteer gave me a ride to fill out a housing application so we wouldn’t have to walk again. I was so upset about my prospects, she went in with me; with her help and God watching, our lives began to change that very week. We were accepted for a two bedroom apartment in a safe neighborhood and were able to find a bed (we had been sleeping on the floor for so long), stove and refrigerator. I have never felt so together, so loved, and so accepted.
I am looking forward to having my baby on October 25th because my new best friend is going to be with me in the delivery room so I won’t have to be alone when my daughter, who I am naming after that Birthright volunteer, takes her first breath.
I’m sharing this in hopes that it will help others out there who are in the same position I once was. Most girls have a first love. Mine was twenty-three and I never imagined that I could ever love a person so much. He was “just right” in my eyes, and I believed nothing could go wrong between us – and then I got pregnant.
He immediately brought up abortion. I didn’t know what to do, except that I wanted to have the baby. He kept worrying about what people would think, and spent all of our time together convincing me to have an abortion. At the same time, I noticed he wasn’t around as much now showering me with his love. I called around for someone to talk to, someone who might be able to somehow help me, and I remember crying to a stranger over the phone. She encouraged me to come in and talk, but I wanted to do everything to keep the man of my dreams.
I made the appointment at the abortion clinic. He sat in the waiting room to support me during this best-for-us-both blip in our lives. Less than two weeks later, he broke up with me and became as cold a stranger as the one who performed the procedure. Not a day goes by that I don’t have regret. I cry a lot. I can’t believe how much hurt I feel over someone I thought I knew but didn’t, and someone else I never even met but loved whole-heartedly and miss exponentially.
If I could go back, I would have met with that stranger on the phone who offered to listen. I understand why she was there now. It’s like the Dr. Seuss book says, “I just have to save him, because after all, a person’s a person, no matter how small.” Don’t ever let someone else tell you what’s best for you. The gift of life that some of us are lucky enough to be blessed with is between us and our creator. Respect it. Respect life.
How could I make such a dreadful mistake? I felt so lost and alone. I felt so
stupid! When I emailed Birthright, I wanted abortion options. I couldn’t let my
adoptive parents know I was pregnant. The baby’s dad was young and drank a lot—a real partier. He sure wasn’t going to support me and my baby.
I was just in my first year of college, so I couldn’t have this baby. I wasn’t ready, because I needed to be finished with school and have a good job, and I needed to be married! I received an email back from Birthright and the volunteer gave me her personal cell phone number and asked to meet with me. I didn’t want to meet—why would I trust a stranger that much—so I started asking her more questions the only way I felt comfortable ... through text messages. We actually had several long text conversations for several weeks, and it didn’t matter what time of day or night either—she always was there it felt like. Even though I felt like my texts probably sounded scared and angry and negative, she was always kind and comforting, understanding and sympathetic. From day one, she encouraged me to be strong and do the right thing, and she promised that she’d always be there for me too.
Because I was adopted, I felt in my heart there was no way I would ever give my child up for adoption. I also didn’t think I was mature enough to raise a child by myself, and I sure as heck didn’t have the courage to tell my mom, knowing how disappointed she would be.
As hard as it was, at 10 weeks pregnant I made the long drive to the abortion clinic, against the volunteer’s advice. I filled out paperwork and paid the clinic the non-refundable $665 for the procedure. I was so scared that I texted the Birthright volunteer because I didn’t know what else to do. At the last possible moment, she gave me the encouragement I needed to get up and walk out—what a relief! I’m still scared, and the morning sickness reminds me this won’t be easy, but at least now I know for sure I won’t have to face this alone!
My friend told me about Birthright when I told her I didn’t know how I’d make it ‘til payday without running out of diapers for my baby. We normally just make it, but (my baby) has been sick and went through them twice as fast as usual. With nothing really to lose, I looked it up on my phone and then stopped by before they closed.
I was surprised to see it was a man who was there. He was friendly and began to ask me about my daughter and my situation — specifically, why I needed the diapers. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe me. He actually was just trying to understand our situation better so he could offer more help if possible. Not only did I get the diapers I needed, I also got much needed clothing for her, and he went through a whole list of other resources that were potentially available for me.
Because I just moved here from across the river, I was excited to learn about potential employment opportunities as well as educational opportunities as well. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to Birthright, but they were helpful beyond my expectation for sure. I also learned that the man who helped me was a volunteer, and there are many other volunteers (mostly women) who work there too. It felt good to realize there are so many good people in the world! Thanks Birthright!
I am a single mom with 6 kids & separated from my husband since January because he decided one day he didn't want the responsibility of this family... so he left. I feel so lost & desperate. I have always been able to adequately support my kids, but now? I struggle to find the money to simply put food on the table, let alone pay rent, make my car payment, etc.
The last straw recently was the shock of finding out my young teenage daughter is pregnant! It threw me into such a tailspin I didn't know how to gain control and almost gave up, except for the wonderful volunteers at Birthright of Quincy. Because my daughter is so young, many well-meaning people tried to convince her that abortion was her best option. Even though it may seem like the easy way out, I am so proud of her flat refusal to abort even when they suspected the baby girl in her womb could have Downs. A special ultrasound in St. Louis was able to calm that fear as the baby is perfectly healthy.
This is still a very difficult situation for us, and admittedly, I am horrified by the fact that my precious girl is going to be a mommy too soon. At times I feel like the worst mom in the world; but, with the non-judgmental love & friendship from Birthright & the support of things like gift cards for food, help with car payment & clothes for my daughter, I can keep my promise to her by helping her be the best mom she can be.
Thank you Birthright for giving us unconditional love, encouragement & the kind of help that allows me to rise above the circumstances surrounding us and look forward, with joy, to the arrival of my precious granddaughter.
Reflecting on how complicated life can be, I am just forever grateful that we found Birthright of Quincy… I hardly know where to start…
My friend, who used to be my girlfriend, dropped a bomb on me when she said she was pregnant. She’s now with a new guy, and still wants me to be in her life and help take care of her… Very difficult and complicated! I really want her back and would love to take care of her and our baby! Problem is, she doesn’t want me that way… Even though it is hard to just be friends. I truly love her and want her to be happy; even if it doesn’t include me.
She wanted to abort for many good reasons and even though I didn’t agree with that decision, I agreed to help. I googled abortion in or near Quincy and saw an ad for Birthright so I assumed they would help. To my surprise, they did help, but not like I expected them to. After talking on the phone with the Birthright volunteer for an hour and a half, we had a new plan. The very kind and understanding person on the phone seemed to know exactly how we felt and how to help us. We were offered a free ultrasound to be able to make an informed decision based on how developed the baby was.
In the meantime, my friend fell in love with our baby! Now that we have Birthright to help us, we know that everything will be OK. There are still some unanswered questions but just realizing that we will get all the help we need from a trusted friend gives us so much peace and hope. We are so grateful to Birthright of Quincy!
My wife & I moved from Texas to a small town close to Quincy with our small children — 3 girls and our 4-month-old son. Her family in Texas offered no support, but my family welcomed us here with open arms, so we settled into our new life. I am in construction and have plenty of work. My wife is a waitress in a nearby town. Even though my mom helps with our kids, I’m able to be flexible and can take care of them while my wife works. We are far from rich, but we are doing OK. We love each other and adore our precious family.
Our “good” life came crashing down about a month ago when she realized she was pregnant again. How can that be? We were being so careful. My wife panicked and went to the internet to find the closest abortion provider. We cannot have another baby. Not this soon anyway.
She found Birthright of Quincy. We weren’t sure how they could help, but with some apprehension, we made the call. A pleasant lady gave us the hours and reassured us if we couldn’t come during the times they were open, she would be happy to come in for us. We drove almost an hour with our little kids, not knowing what was going to be the outcome to this devastating problem. The Birthright volunteer was so kind and listened. She seemed to really understand how we felt. She didn’t judge us but helped us realize that even if the timing of this new life wasn’t of our choosing, our 7-week-old baby was alive and well and deserved the same chance at life as did our other four kids. She took time to explain the different ways that Birthright can help us and even took us all out for lunch to celebrate our new blessing! She also took us to Walmart and bought my wife a couple of outfits for her work.
It is amazing how different we feel after hearing the truth about our new child and realizing even though many people may criticize us for having so many kids, especially this close together, we are the ones who take care of them and are happy. We shouldn’t feel guilty and be forced to make a choice that we would regret forever. With this “new attitude,” we can look to the future with great joy. Thank you Birthright for being there for us when we needed you the most.
–Michael & Janelle
I’ve had enough! I can’t do this! I’m repulsed by the idea of having a baby. How can this be? I know what my life and future needs to be. My focus must remain on my education, athletics, graduating and getting a good job. How can I let one night at a party change my life forever. I knew better. I was taught better. I have morals. I knew I shouldn’t be drinking. I can’t have this baby. My friends insist they will help me, even if that means raising the child, but I can’t let my mistake mess up their lives.
We walked past that Birthright bus stop bench at Quincy University more times than I can count before I finally had the courage to call. A nice lady agreed to meet us, and before I knew it, we were discussing the truth about the development of my baby inside me. I was 13 weeks, and she showed me what that looked like. But no, I still can’t let this change my focus, my future. I hated the way this was changing my body. I’m an athlete, disciplined & strong. I couldn’t handle being pregnant.
The lady arranged a free ultrasound of my baby, and my friends again insisted and went with us. My friends begged me to make the right choice, and there were others who tried to shame me and tell me I’d go to hell. I was so worried, so scared, so torn and confused. The lady from Birthright, though, assured me that no matter what, she’d be there for me. I thought she might hate me, but she promised to love me and be my friend regardless of my decision. Her genuineness and caring was so comforting. I trusted her.
It changed my life.
Today, I have no regrets as I look forward to my future. I’m having a baby who I’ve grown to love. I’ve picked out the loving couple who will adopt my baby, which I know is the right choice for us. My friends, my family and a stranger at Birthright who is now a cherished part of my life forever helped me turn an impossible situation into a beautiful event in my life. I will forever be grateful to God for Birthright and their unconditional love and nonjudgmental service at my most desperate time in life.
I’m a smart woman. How could this happen? My boyfriend is in the Chicago area where I grew up. He works a lot, and I just graduated from college and really want to work in Quincy for a couple years. Funny how things happen. This was like my 14th pick of colleges to attend, and yet here I am with my degree. It’s not really where I thought I would be, not really the path I expected my life to take.
So when I contacted Birthright, I knew having a baby would just be adding to my confusion and problems. I needed to get my head straight and my life back on track. Everything seemed completely out of whack. The doctor had confirmed my pregnancy and said I was about 6 or 7 weeks along. I wasn’t sure how Birthright could help, but the lady sounded very nice on the phone and assured me they could help me, so I agreed to meet with her the next week. I was grateful that their services were free and confidential.
Long story short, not what I had expected, but after spending a couple of hours with the Birthright volunteers, I learned the truth about my baby. Fully formed at 7 weeks and deserving to be protected. I actually talked to a lady who had an abortion many years ago who now volunteers at Birthright to help other women not make the same mistake she did. She cried as she spoke of the emptiness she felt after her abortion. It was powerful. Birthright helped me get a free ultrasound, which confirmed my decision.
Even before I could feel anything going on in my body, I had pictures to prove my precious baby is growing inside. I’m still amazed at how clearly I could see my baby’s hands, feet and little beating heart. Yes, I’m in awe at what’s going on in my own mind & body, and I’m grateful for my friends at Birthright who will be there to help me every step of the way. I’m still not clear about my future, but I am convinced aborting my baby can’t be the right choice for me after all. I really am a smart woman. The Birthright volunteer said I am a hero too, especially to my precious baby growing safely inside.
I’ve never ever had to single-handedly take care of myself before. I was given every “thing” by my mother … all the latest brand-name clothes and basically whatever I wanted. She loved to shop. But when I really needed her, she couldn’t or wouldn’t give me and my two kids what we really needed most—unconditional love.
A few months ago, I realized I was pregnant after a one-night stand. I had never made such a stupid mistake before. I was so afraid to tell my mom because I just knew she would disown me — which she did. A friend suggested I go to Birthright for help. I didn’t know how they could help, but I was afraid an abortion was the only solution. I was desperate.
The volunteer at Birthright comforted me as I shared my troubled past and reassured me that Birthright would help me however I needed. They would never leave me to face my trouble alone. The volunteer showed me a model of what my baby looked like at 12 weeks, and although I had the legal right (to an abortion) and it seemed easiest, I knew quickly I couldn’t kill my child. It has been so hard trying to learn how to support myself, taking care of my two kids and attending college without the financial means to buy the things we need. I’ve never been good at asking for help either, but the Birthright volunteer seems to know what I need even before I do. She has helped me every step of the way.
I know we are going to be OK. I feel like a better person for making the right choice, and I’m so grateful to Birthright for offering me the help I needed to do just that.
Here I am again, texting my friend at Birthright. How can this be? I’m pregnant again. My birth control failed? Want to be positive. My little girl just a year and a half ago was adopted by a wonderful couple. I want to keep my baby this time. Scared and excited.
Baby’s daddy wants nothing to do with me or his baby. Birthright volunteer is there. I’ll be ok. Dear God, he has another girl pregnant. I’m so angry. Can’t have this baby and Birthright won’t help me get an abortion. Why not? It’s the best thing for me. Everyone wants me to abort, making rude comments to me and talking down to me. I feel so helpless & hopeless.
I’ll be 13 weeks soon. Birthright volunteer says she will take me to my first ultrasound appointment. I want the baby’s father to pay child support. He already has four other kids on a minimum wage job. I really should go through with my abortion. I can’t handle the anxiety and the anger. Why can’t Birthright help me abort? I’ll find a way. Even though I appreciate and respect my friend at Birthright, I will not have this baby.
For the past two weeks, I have done everything in my power to get an abortion. I finally give up and realize God is way more powerful than me. There is a plan and a purpose for my baby.
Thank God my friend at Birthright is understanding and patient. An angel who I will always appreciate. I have decided to let God guide my decision if I should raise my baby or offer for adoption. Either way, I know my Birthright friend will be there all the way and beyond.
I am unsure who will get this, but I was thinking of how I got to where I am and what makes me the person I am today. I started my journey for my masters in human services so I can work in the area that I found my confidence in. That’s thanks to Birthright and Patty, who I miss dearly.
If you’re wondering who I am, I was a college student who did her practicum there at Birthright. It was a long time ago. At that time I was lost, unsure if this was the career field I should go for. As I grow in my career, I keep remembering how much I loved being at Birthright. I have started my adventure to get that feeling back. This email is just to say thank you. Thank you for believing in me and helping me realize who I want to be and what I want to become.
The best of thoughts,