By Gayle Irwin
Is there something in the water? Located along Michigan’s Lake Huron, Blue Water Pregnancy Care Center has experienced an astounding number of twin pregnancies just two months into the new year.
In 2018, Jennifer MacDonald, Blue Water’s executive director, says the center saw a total of four sets of twins. By mid-February—or just six weeks into 2019—the center had diagnosed three women with twin pregnancies via ultrasound.
“We’re excited to have our ultrasound machine to be able to show moms and dads their babies,” said MacDonald.
According to What to Expect, twin pregnancies in America have “jumped more than 75 percent in the past 30 years.” Sometimes learning you are carrying twins is happy news. But many times, especially in cases of unplanned pregnancies, the discovery is less exciting.
The women who have come to Blue Water Pregnancy Care Center and learned they are carrying twins have been surprised, MacDonald said.
“Shock, and total amazement—they never thought they’d be pregnant with twins,” she said. “One woman was pretty overwhelmed.”
Assessing her as abortion-minded, staff have not been able to reach her for follow-up.
“That’s still a matter for prayer,” MacDonald said.
Located in Port Huron, an hour north of Detroit, Blue Water serves a county comprising nearly 150,000 people and is a 30- to 40-minute drive from the nearest abortion clinic.
“We’re the only pro-life pregnancy center in our county,” MacDonald said. “Our county ranks 13 out of 83 for the highest abortion rate in the state.”
Which makes ultrasound even more important.
The Importance of Ultrasound
“Women who are seeking an abortion need to know if their pregnancy is viable; there are so many medical conditions that would preclude a viable pregnancy,” MacDonald said. “They need to know how far along they are so they know what procedure would happen if they’re considering abortion. It’s one way to encourage them to come in, slow down, get all their options, and get to know all the practical help they have (through the center). Abortion is an enormous decision that affects them for the rest of their life.”
The center expects to receive a new ultrasound machine by the end of the month. The current six-year-old machine will be replaced, thanks to the local Knights of Columbus chapter. A dedication event is planned for April 10, consisting of a short program and tours of the facility. MacDonald said she and her staff are looking forward to receiving this special gift.
“The Knights have been a huge blessing,” she said. “Ultrasound is a great tool. Women that come in get to see how far along they are and see their own baby. Most women don’t fully comprehend how fast the babies grow; 90 percent of all human development happens in the womb. Also, ultrasound helps moms and dads bond with their baby.”
A Center of Service Near the Water
MacDonald and her staff, which includes a nurse manager and a job-share volunteer and client services coordinator position, see about 50 new clients a month. On average, 46 women come in for pregnancy tests and the nurse manager conducts 35 to 40 ultrasounds monthly. Most client advocates and some of the nurses are volunteers, MacDonald said, and those who give of their time are equally important to serving clients and their guests.
Volunteer nurses teach the center’s prenatal classes and assist the nurse manager with client follow-up. The nurse manager conducts all the pregnancy tests and ultrasound scans. She also provides, through the medical director’s protocol, prescriptions for prenatal vitamins, which clients can often have filled for free at a local grocery store pharmacy.
Soon to be renamed “Spero Center,” the Bluewater Pregnancy Care Center has been serving women in the community since 1986. MacDonald says the name Spero comes from the Latin word for “hope, which is what we offer our clients” and the center’s phone number, which has been “985-HOPE” for the last 32 years.
MacDonald assumed the helm as executive director in 2005, right as the center was introducing medical services to its list of offerings. She is the first to serve in this capacity full-time. The center is open five days a week. In addition to providing pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, options education, and prenatal classes, Blue Water provides a weekly Bible study taught by a male volunteer. Participants in the center’s Earn While You Learn program, both women and men, receive additional “baby bucks” to use at the on-site Baby Boutique. About 12 participants attend these sessions each week, MacDonald said.
“They aren’t required to make a profession of faith; we truly believe the word of God does not return void,” she said.
Additionally, male volunteers meet with fathers of the babies; last year, about 130 were reached and more than 160 the year before.
“We love being able to serve them; we wish we could get more of them in,” MacDonald said.
As the center winds down from its annual “Everyday Heroes Gala” this month and prepares for the new ultrasound machine next month, MacDonald and her staff and volunteers look forward to serving more women, men, and families in the future.
“We served 731 individual clients later year, conducted 523 pregnancy tests and 373 ultrasounds, and had 546 spiritual conversations,” she said. “Children are a gift from God, and He is faithful and good. We may not know the outcome of each pregnancy, but we celebrate each life that is saved from abortion.”
Editor’s note. This appeared at Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.