What She Really Needs to Hear: Amber’s Story
A friend told Amber that we would be open. After the receptionist checked her temperature and assessed she didn’t have any symptoms of the coronavirus, she led her to a room. Her parents waited for her in the car. It took her a little while to fill out the paperwork. It was her first pregnancy. With the faint smile she gave and the constant fidgeting she made in her seat, I could tell she was nervous. This was her first pregnancy, but indicated she was already experiencing symptoms. When I asked how she felt about her pregnancy, she replied with the same answer most clients give, “Nervous“.
She folded her hands on the table in front of her and confessed that her boyfriend, John, was afraid that he wasn’t ready to be a dad. After all, he was still a young adult and they hadn’t planned to get pregnant. Amber didn’t know what her boyfriend’s family would say about her pregnancy, but she was already considering the possibility that some would not be happy.
For Amber, abortion wasn’t an option, but she couldn’t shake out the fear that after she confirmed her pregnancy at the BPC, she might be losing some of the people she loved most. After the nurse came in to verify the pregnancy, I asked Amber what she was thinking. “I’m going to keep this baby“.
This was her choice. Her decision. And no one could force her to have an abortion.
Even with the fear that John might leave her, that his family wouldn’t support her, and that she would not have the life she once thought she would, Amber now sat across from me with determination. She was afraid, but knew that she wanted this baby.
But she needed someone to listen to her say it. She needed me, a stranger, to tell her that someone would support her, talk to her, listen to her, and pray for her.
And that’s what we did. Before Amber left our office, we prayed together that her unplanned pregnancy would not make John fearful, but on the contrary, that he would take responsibility as a dad, and be the father to his baby. It’s so common for first time fathers to be afraid. I even mentioned we had male coaches. Though they were now at home due to the orders to stay at home, I felt in my heart to tell this young lady that she and her boyfriend, John, could find help here.
Every client has a unique story, but every client needs to know the same thing, that things are going to be okay. Sure, they might be different than we anticipated (Hint hint, coronavirus!) but that doesn’t mean that everything is out of control and that we should allow confusion or chaos to obstruct our vision from seeing the good that there is in our current circumstances.
Clients need to hear that they can rest on God and that they can cry out to Him at any moment. These promises from God that He will hear us, protect us, and never leave us are so easily forgotten in a time of crisis, but they are reverberated in our conversations with every client. They all need to hear in some way the truthful message of hope, and they’ll feel it with our compassion, and they’ll receive it through our help.
And though restaurants have shuttered their amusement parks, theatres have postponed their entertainment for several months, and event planners have called off their parties and events, the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center remains open for women like Amber.
Amber came back for a scheduled ultrasound. Her baby showed hands and feet, and had a healthy heart beat. John came in as well, held her hand and laughed as he saw his little baby moving in Amber’s stomach. He hadn’t left her and he wasn’t going to. They were afraid, but they were holding each other tightly. Amber and John were going to be parents.
-Julie Sepulveda, Community Outreach Coordinator
To protect the privacy of our clients, we have altered the names.