Watch Jenna’s story here
(video by Tyler Wines)
Sometimes in life, things don’t go according to plan, and I’m here tonight to tell you about how my life took an unexpected turn. It was just last year. I had just started a new job and, not too long after that, I felt confident enough to buy myself a car. I felt like I was finally making some progress in my life and becoming a real adult. My plan was to get to a place where I could support myself, become independent, move out of my parents’ house, and get established on my own.
About that time, I met a guy and we started dating. He worked out of state, so we would see each other on the weekends when he was off and we would talk to each other frequently throughout the week. Well, things progressed quickly and before I knew it, I found myself staring at a positive pregnancy test. I always knew I wanted to have children. I would love to be a mom. But this was not the way I had envisioned it happening. This was not the right time for me, or for him. He wanted what was best for me, and for us, and he was not ready to be a daddy, either. He did what he thought was best and told me he would pay for me to have an abortion.
I felt miserable. I knew I was being selfish. I didn’t want this baby because I wasn’t done just being “me” yet. I struggled with myself during that time. I was scared and I knew it probably wasn’t the best option, but at this point in my life, I didn’t feel like there was another way out.
When I told my parents I was pregnant, they were so happy, but they also knew that my boyfriend and I were not ready to be parents and that we wanted to abort the baby. They were upset, and my dad told me I could no longer live at their house if I aborted the baby. In that instant, my whole world was turned upside down. I didn’t know what to do.
Shortly after that, I googled “pregnancy” and found that there was a local ComfortCare clinic right here in Lexington. I didn’t even know they existed before that. I just felt like I should make sure I really was pregnant before I went through with an abortion. During my appointment, my patient advocate explained the abortion process, but she also talked about adoption and parenting the baby. I knew adoption was out of the question for me. I couldn’t imagine giving birth to a baby and think of him or her living somewhere else with another family. That broke my heart. The more we talked about my options, the more I realized I COULD be a mother to this child inside of me.
When I left the clinic that day, I had a lot to think about. I told my family that I had thought about it and I still wanted the abortion. They were disappointed and even a bit angry with me. They wanted me to have the baby. My mom even offered to adopt the baby and raise it herself. But I decided if I was going to have the baby, I would be his mother.
My patient advocate had given me a lot of literature to look over. I read it and gave it to my boyfriend, but the consequences of this decision didn’t seem to click in our heads. So, we decided to go ahead and make an appointment to have the abortion.
The night before my abortion appointment, I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned and thought about everything I had learned at ComfortCare. I thought about the baby. I thought about what my life would be like with him—or without him. The next morning I talked to my boyfriend and found out he could not sleep, either. He had been reading the materials from ComfortCare and was having second thoughts, too. We decided together that we had changed our minds. An hour before my appointment to terminate my pregnancy, I called the abortion clinic and cancelled the appointment.
I’m so thankful that I cancelled that appointment because, not long after that, I went back to ComfortCare for my ultrasound. That’s when I first saw him. My child, a tiny little baby, in my tummy, right there on the ultrasound screen. It was amazing! Although I was still quite anxious at that point, I am so glad I decided to keep him. My boyfriend was nervous too. He had never even held a baby before, so he was overwhelmed at the prospect of being a daddy. But we knew we could do this together.
I’ll be honest, if it wasn’t for ComfortCare, I probably would have gone through with the abortion. But the love and respect I was shown there gave me the courage and confidence I needed to get through my pregnancy. Those women took me in during my appointments and made me feel like family. I owe them a lot, but the best thing I can give right now is just these two words: Thank you.
Thank you to the patient advocates, the nurses, and the staff who took care of me and encouraged me. Thank you to the financial donors who made all of this possible. If it weren’t for you, I would not be sitting here with my son today. This organization is so worthy of your support. People just like me need help when faced with such a big decision as to whether they keep their baby or not. If it wasn’t for ComfortCare, I’d be living with the biggest regret of my life right now. One step into the ComfortCare clinic, and my life was changed forever. Please support ComfortCare so they can continue to change the lives of other women in our community.
It was May 17th, 2015. The moment I had been working toward for so long had finally arrived. It was my college graduation day. That commencement day, I saw my whole life before me. A life of promise, new beginnings, and a future full of potential. I was thrilled to see what laid ahead for me in the next step of my journey. Little did I know that the next chapter in my life would not be one that I had planned at all.
A month or so after my graduation, I took a job at a restaurant as a means to provide income for myself until I was established in my new life as a “real adult.” Not long after I started working, I met a guy, a coworker, and he didn’t waste any time sweeping me off my feet. We spent the next several weeks dating and getting to know each other and before I knew it, I found myself feeling sick every morning. At first I was in denial. I knew in the back of my head what could possibly be going on, but I just couldn’t grasp the reality of what was happening. Finally, my boyfriend saw it too, and he suggested that I take a home pregnancy test. Sure enough, there it was… two lines. I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was positive.
A million thoughts ran through my head. I wasn’t married. I had just graduated. I had just started a brand new job. I had just met this man. And now, I was carrying his child. What would this mean for my future now? I wasn’t sure where to turn. I never wished so much to talk to my Mom in my life, but unfortunately she passed away after a brave fight with Lupus just a few years before. I do have brothers and sisters who would understand and be supportive, but I wasn’t sure how they’d react to finding out I was pregnant by a man they’d never even met.
That’s when my best friend told me about ComfortCare Women’s Health. Now my best friend has been there with me through thick and thin since middle school and I knew she wouldn’t steer me wrong. So I trusted her. She even came to my appointment with me. That’s when my pregnancy was confirmed and indeed I was pregnant.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t consider abortion. I had always known I wanted to have children, but not quite yet. I wanted to get my feet on the ground and get more established first. This was just not the right time. Plus my boyfriend who was supportive of the pregnancy at first, decided it was too much for him to handle, so he left. I felt alone and scared and out of options.
But then I found hope. When I came to ComfortCare, everyone was so supportive and caring. My patient advocate was completely honest and upfront with me about what all of my options were. She was not judgmental and she completely supported any decision I made for myself. I really appreciated that and felt respected. Even after I was referred to a local obstetrician, the staff at ComfortCare continued to contact me to follow-up with how I was doing and to see if I had any questions or needed anything. That reassurance kept me going throughout my pregnancy.
It wasn’t long after that, I had my ultrasound at my Doctor’s office. As she moved the device around on my belly, she said, “Oh, there’s two in there!” Not thinking, I said… “Two what? Arms? Legs?” and she said… “Two babies!” I remember she stepped out to tell the front office she’d need a little more time with me. I could not believe it. Two babies. I wept. I was overwhelmed already, but now two babies? But I also cried tears of joy. What a blessing. I knew twins ran in the family but I never imagined that *I* would have twins. But I don’t think it really “hit” me until the day they were born…
My twin boys were due on May 8th of this year. Mother’s Day. However, the boys must have had other plans. On February 1st, my doctor discovered that one of my sons was in distress, so I had to go ahead and delivery the boys by C-Section at UVA hospital. Over the next 2 months, I spent many days and nights at that hospital with my precious sons. Thankfully, the new job I was working in at this point was gracious enough to give me time off to be with my sons. As you can imagine, being born so prematurely, they had many medical issues and had to be closely monitored by their doctors and nurses. Finally, after 80 plus days in the UVA NICU, the day arrived when Jase could come home on April 11th, and I was able to bring Isaiah home on April 21st. Finally, me and my boys… all together at home as a new little family.
Looking back, I’m honestly not sure how I made it through that time, but I know God must have been carrying me through as I was surrounded with support from my church family. If it were not for the support system I received through my pastor, and through ComfortCare, I probably would not have made the decision to even carry this pregnancy. But they both gave me the knowledge and the courage I needed to face this struggle, and I’m a stronger person because of it.
If I could say one thing to the people at ComfortCare who empowered me to see that I COULD do it, I would say, Thank you. Thank you for helping me make the best decision of my life. Every woman needs that support at some point in their life. Married, unmarried, no matter what age, this organization is there to help women just like me. Not everyone has the means to pay for a doctor visit for that initial pregnancy test, or for an ultrasound, or counseling. So the fact that ComfortCare’s services are completely free is a huge blessing to the women of this community. That’s why it’s so important to give to this ministry. Women deserve to be educated, to be supported, and to be empowered to make the best decision of their life.
Just before I graduated from high school, I met a really sweet guy at a local shop when I stopped in to get new tires for my car. I joked with him that if my hubcap fell off, I’d be back. He told me I didn’t need an excuse to come back. And so our friendship began and soon blossomed into a serious relationship. We knew we wanted to get married and start a family, and a couple of years later, when I was 20, we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Calleigh. We welcomed her into the world and our little family felt complete. I was working full time, being a mom, and trying desperately to be an “adult” in the world’s eyes.
You know, they don’t always tell you that you can get pregnant so quickly after having a baby. So you can imagine my surprise when Calleigh was four months old and I discovered I was six weeks pregnant. I was scared. I was worried. And yes, I was freaking out. I really just needed someone to talk to, someone who would understand my fears and concerns, who could just listen to me and not be judgmental. I knew I could talk to my mom, but at that point, I just needed an outside, objective opinion.
I knew I wanted to keep my baby. Being a believer in God, and in the sacredness of life, I knew this little creation in my belly was going to be a part of our family. But at that point, I just wasn’t sure what that was going to look like or how it was going to work. That meant I would have two children barely a year apart in age and I knew it was going to be hard.
I remembered I had heard about a Pregnancy Help Center (now ComfortCare Women’s Health) on the radio, so I found the closest clinic to me at the time, which was the location in Waynesboro. There, I met the most amazing patient advocate, Connie. I still remember how she listened intently as I shed tears and shared my heart with her for what seemed like hours. She was so patient and offered sound advice and emotional support. I felt respected and encouraged. Even after that initial appointment, I came back two or three more times just to talk to her again. New worries or concerns would arise … “But what about bathing two babies? How am I going to feed two babies at the same time? How in the world is this all going to work?” … I just needed a listening ear to hear me out and give me vision for how I could get through this.
That was nearly 12 years ago. Hard to believe, but I now have not one, but TWO tween girls, and what a blessing they both are to me. A few years after our second daughter was born, we had a third daughter, who is now seven. And then just over two years ago, I became pregnant again, and I knew exactly where to turn. I was excited to learn that there is now a clinic in Lexington, which is closer to my home. I knew they could give me the pregnancy test and ultrasound to confirm my pregnancy. I also knew I could count on their moral support if I just needed someone to talk to as well.
With this last pregnancy, we were excited to learn the baby was a boy! After three girls, my husband was thrilled to welcome another guy into the household. Our sweet Remmington was born in July of 2014, and he hasn’t stopped moving or smiling since. He is certainly a bundle of joy and energy.
We are a family of six now, and I can’t imagine my life without ComfortCare. Without this organization, my life would surely be different. With my second pregnancy, I was completely NOT prepared. In fact, I was pretty much in shock. And when you find yourself in a state of shock, the fear of an unknown future soon takes over all of your thoughts. That’s when ComfortCare steps in.
The staff and volunteers at ComfortCare take the time to help you realize life CAN go on and it WILL be ok. They helped me to just step back, take a moment, and look at my life. They helped me look at all of my resources and encourage me that I COULD be a great mom to two young babies at the same time.
I’m not going to lie; it still wasn’t easy mothering those two babies 13 months apart. I felt like I had twins. But as each day progressed I got closer and closer to the vision ComfortCare showed me. I became more confident. I felt more capable and successful at parenting. The girls got older, and it got easier. Well, maybe not easier. Did I mention these girls are now tweens? But now I’m walking in the hope ComfortCare laid out for me. They gave me the courage to see beyond that initial crisis and I’m so thankful they did.
And even now, all these years later, as a seasoned mom, I am still so blessed by ComfortCare. You see, I attend Patchwork parenting classes almost weekly. I’m so incredibly thankful for not only the resources and information that are provided through Patchwork, but also the social aspect – meeting other moms and spending time together. And where would I be without all the diapers, wipes, and formula you’ve provided through ComfortCare? Just in the last year, I’ve been suffering from a medical issue, which causes me to have seizures. And for that reason, I am not able to drive or work. The staff at ComfortCare has really gone out of their way to make sure I had all the diapers and wipes I needed for my little boy. I’m really not sure how I would have made it through the last year without ComfortCare.
So, thank you for supporting this unique ministry with your prayers, donations, and time. It’s impacted my marriage, my family and me throughout my life. It’s gotten us through shock and given us peace. It’s walked with us through joy and given us support. Please continue to help this effective ministry so that all women in our community – no matter their situation- can be blessed with this same compelling support.
When I found out I was pregnant I did not no where to turn. I had remembered seeing a woman from ComfortCare at my church one Sunday explaining what they were there for. So I decided to turn to them. They are exactly what they say they are, “Comfort Care” for Women. From the moment of conversations with all the staff to the care and concern for you as a person definitely defines who they are. I’m blessed to have come across them. I support them and all they do. Thank you Comfort Care!