I have always been a planner, and the birth of my first child was no exception. I had been married for 7 years, graduated college, had a high paying job in the IT industry, we had remodeled a bedroom into the perfect nursery, and purchased pretty much every piece of baby equipment sold – we were ready!
After our son was born we felt so fulfilled by our little family that we weren’t really sure if we would have more children, then 3 years ago I was laid off from my job – it was also the start of the recession that hit the housing industry hard and my husband’s remodeling business was suffering as well. As a result of the layoff, we not only lost income, but also our health insurance.
It was at this point that we decided we definitely were not going to have any more children, we would not be able to afford it, and we had no medical care. So we sold the crib, gave away the baby clothes we had saved just in case and instead spent the next years focused on trying to survive a very tough economy.
Last spring our son was about to turn five, and I had plans to enroll in a master’s program in the fall to help me pursue a new career, when I found out I was pregnant. At first I was in denial thinking this isn’t possible, this can’t be right.
Then the denial turned to anxiety – over how we could possibly afford a new baby – with no insurance, the hospital bills alone could bankrupt us. I worried about how difficult it would be to go back to school with a newborn and felt dread about “starting over” again – waking up in the middle of the night, changing diapers, hauling around a stroller – it all seemed overwhelming.
Without a doctor, I didn’t even know where to begin, but I was able to receive a free ultrasound at our local pregnancy resource center to determine how far along I was in the pregnancy.
I felt so much anxiety going in for the ultrasound appointment; I was still filled with worry over how this would possibly work. The volunteer began the ultrasound, started taking different measurements, and after several minutes she stopped, looked at me and said, “There is something I need to tell you.” My immediate thought was that I wasn’t pregnant, it must have been a mistake, and in that instant I felt such relief!
Then she said, “You are pregnant with twins” and I just burst into tears! The anxiety I felt before the ultrasound turned into complete panic. We couldn’t afford one baby, how could we possibly afford two?
I panicked over what it would be like to carry twins – the chance of medical complications, or having to be on bed rest – perhaps for months. I worried about the likelihood of twins begin born premature and everything that would mean – from extended hospital stays, to astronomical medical bills, to the possibility that a premature birth could lead to a baby with special needs.
I worried about everything – our house wasn’t big enough, my car wasn’t big enough, I couldn’t possibly go back to school with 2 newborns. How could we afford cribs, highchairs, car seats, everything times 2, not to mention the cost of diapers alone? There was no way we could have 2 babies, and without health insurance, it felt irresponsible to do so. I was unsure if we would be able to provide for them, and I knew we could not afford medical care for them.
I was so overwhelmed; my body was shaking, and seeing my distress the volunteer asked if she could pray for me. Then another volunteer came in, and another and they formed a circle of prayer, and thanked God for the blessings of the babies – but it did not feel like a blessing to me. It felt like an impossible situation with only one solution. But I believe it was their prayers led me to the StandUpGirl.com website and what I read convinced me that it was possible and there was another alternative.
The stories that impacted me the most were from unmarried, teenage girls who hadn’t completed their education – here I was 35 years old, college educated, happily married, if these young girls could do it, we could too! I realized that we had to make this work; we had to make a new plan, one that included the lives of our 2 babies!
On Dec. 12th of 2011, I gave birth to identical twin boys, both very healthy and weighing over 7lbs each and they are a blessing.
StandUpGirl.com and our local PRC played such an important role in the decision making regarding my pregnancy and I cannot emphasize enough how important I think it is for StandUpGirl.com to list and make available access to the local pregnancy resource centers on their home page. First, StandUpGirl.com shows us that we can stand up and say “no” to abortion, and the pregnancy resource centers provide on the ground support in our own neighborhoods.
At one point it seemed impossible to imagine having twins in our life, but thanks to all the young women who shared their stories on StandUpGirl.com, I could never image our lives without them.
By- Angela, devoted mom of 3!