Recently, we held our annual meeting with the PDHC staff and Board members. It is the Board’s favorite meeting of the year as they enjoy listening to members of the team share the stories of impact from the individuals served at PDHC.
This particular story was shared by Rachel, PDHC’s Connections Manager:
In January of this year, the Crisis Hotline staff received an online appointment request from Sarah* seeking "Pregnancy Options and Abortion Information". Sarah stated that she would like a pregnancy test, verification, and ultrasound, but would have to be reached through email due to having no working phone at that time. During further email communication with Sarah, she confirmed two positive home tests and shared the following: I'm already a mother of four. I started dating someone recently and I'm now pregnant. I showed him the positive test and his first suggestion was to 'get rid of it' because he's not ready for a baby. I'm very scared and would love to have someone to talk to because I don't feel like he cares and I'm just feeling very alone.
Sarah and her boyfriend John* showed to her appointment at PDHC's Campus Center later that week, during which they had the opportunity to receive the support and encouragement they so desperately needed from one of PDHC's nurses, Kara. Sarah shared that she was not planning to become pregnant and has other children at home. Sarah described John as a "really good guy, but I was just hurt when at first he said he didn't want the pregnancy". John later confessed that although he does want Sarah to continue the pregnancy, he was very fearful given that he doesn't have any kids and lost a pregnancy due to miscarriage at four months during a previous relationship. John disclosed, "I'm still traumatized from it" but "always wanted to be a father eventually". Sarah also expressed being scared, including of abortion and how "it will affect me". Sarah indicated she "has always been against abortion"; she loves kids and since she has four already, "It would be really hard on me to lose one of my babies". Sarah described minimal family support and a desire to shelter her children from those difficult relationships in her life. John and Sarah were engaged during conversations about pregnancy options and were encouraged by Nurse Kara about parenting support and resources available to them as well. They had an opportunity to meet their little one through the wonder of ultrasound, revealing a nearly seven-week baby with strong fetal heart tones. Although the couple admitted it was "a lot to take in", they took ultrasound pictures home and agreed to return the following week for a repeat ultrasound.
Despite several attempts to reach Sarah and John subsequent to their first visit, contact with the couple through email and text was unsuccessful over the next five weeks. But early in March, the hotline team received a new online appointment request from Sarah, this time seeking a "Community Resources and Referrals" visit. Sarah wrote: I met with Nurse Kara a few weeks ago. I would just like to come back in and speak with her if she'll be there. I need help getting insurance and I would like to get another ultrasound and just check on my baby if possible. My partner and I were considering abortion the last time we came in and we've decided we're keeping the baby.
Sarah also reached out to PDHC's Family Empowerment and Connections text lines with a new phone number for follow-up. During those communications, she stated, "We had more time and thought to put into our decision, and we've decided to keep the baby. You were very sweet and kind and helpful during this process, and I just wanted to thank you for that and for reaching out again". Sarah has since received a subsequent ultrasound, this time capturing beautiful images of an active, nearly 14-week baby. The couple has been linked with support services and continues to be in contact with staff and various PDHC program offerings.
Sarah and John's story is just one of many here at PDHC that highlights how important each piece of the puzzle, each touch point, is with a client. Every communication, every staff member, volunteer, and supporter - from point of first contact to consistent follow-up and ongoing support - contributes to engaging clients with love and encouragement and is so necessary for the work we do. It represents a beautiful tapestry weaving back and forth at this couple's point of need and preference, to ensure service provision at every stage. Sarah and John felt love and consistency here at PDHC and are now eagerly awaiting the birth of their child, instead of grieving another loss in their lives.
PDHC nurses have a special calling to serve the Lord through the ministry of PDHC. They build trust and relationships with every individual, serving with care and compassion and a genuine heart for women in crisis. If you are a nurse or know someone looking for an opportunity to serve in this way, we would love to have you join our team. Click here for more information.
*Names changed for confidentiality.
Rescuing Lives and Impacting Generations, one Heartbeat at a Time.
Kathy Scanlon, PDHC President