By Dave Andrusko
If you did not have the opportunity to read “The Power of Hope” yesterday, I would very much like to encourage you to take the time.
Like every untimely pregnancy, Yascara’s story is unique.
What is not unique was the love and comfort and solace and concrete aid offered to her by HOPE in NOVA, a woman-helping center, located in Northern Virginia, which has provided offered pregnancy counseling & assistance since 1971. I’d like to take five minutes to highlight what she wrote, because what HOPE provided to a woman whose first child had multiple disabilities is a roadmap for what we can do on a much smaller, individual scale.
Yascara was alone, utterly alone, away from her family which lived in another country when she became pregnant with her second child. A recurring theme in her story s that her doctor assumed she would abort. This assumption no doubt grew when she not only developed placenta previa but because she also bled a lot and was in constant pain.
That is where a woman-helping center like HOPE came in. Before she met the woman from HOPE who provided hope, Yascara felt “bad and guilty” and was so despondent she didn’t know if she wanted to live.
As she wrote in a line I won’t soon forget, “My soul was broken.”
Here’s a key paragraph:
From the beginning the person who took care of me was kind. I think she knew how I was feeling. My soul was broken. She told me to choose whatever maternity clothes I wanted. She gave me a plan of what to expect from Hope during and after my pregnancy. She gave me hope and confidence that day, and the most lovely hug that put all my pieces back together.
Let’s flesh this out.
*“From the beginning…” Even if a woman coming into a woman-helping center isn’t necessarily abortion-prone, she is highly vulnerable. That first impression is all important.
*And “she was kind,” Yascara wrote. “I think she knew how I was feeling.” It is not at all uncommon that the volunteers are women who have been through a crisis pregnancy themselves. “Empathy is a much over-used word, but it applies perfectly here.
*The volunteer who worked with her provided her with maternity clothes. To the outsider, that might seem either obvious or unimportant. It is neither. It was an example of meeting a need, and quickly, and signaling that you understand the rigors of what she is going through.
*She provided a plan….this cannot be emphasized enough. Not just what she could “expect from HOPE during and after my pregnancy” but also as a way of getting her life under control.
*Hope and confidence. Remember, her first born, among other difficulties, was partially blind. Yascara had placenta previa, (when the placenta covers the opening in the mother’s cervix), bleeding (which often accompanies placenta previa), and constant pain during her pregnancy. She feared she would lose her baby.
Who could possibly use “hope and confidence” more?
*And she gave Yascara “the most lovely hug that put all my pieces back together.” The human touch, the healing touch, the touch that told her she had a friend who cared. All this helped her put the pieces of her life back together again.
This particular story has a happy, happy ending. Her daughter, Rebecca, was born “happy and healthy.” And Yascara has maintained a relationship with the woman she met that first day at HOPE.
“The people at Hope are sensitive and caring,” she writes. “God bless their hearts for caring for families like ours.”
God bless them, indeed! And bless all of you who help women through this incredible challenge.