Names, photos and other identifying information have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

Rachel gains confidence

Abria U helps her grow from teenager to mother.

Rachel came to Abria 14 weeks into her pregnancy. The high school student was nervous about becoming a parent.

“I really don’t know where to start,” she told Teresa Naughton, education and material assistance program manager.

Working with Naughton in the Abria U Parent Education Program provided a great space for Rachel to prepare for motherhood. Her hesitation started to turn into eagerness as she designed her own curriculum, picking out lessons that spanned fetal development to breastfeeding, bonding with baby, labor, newborn care and infant milestones. Rachel faithfully attended every Abria U class, even while juggling a fulltime job and online classes to finish high school. Her dedication earned her the material basics she needed to care for her newborn, including a Pack ‘n Play baby crib, car seat, and other items from the Abria Boutique.

Rachel looked forward to her due date with much more confidence and was excited to welcome her baby home. After some very busy months of parenting, finishing high school and working part time, Rachel stopped by Abria with her beautiful baby daughter to thank the staff for supporting her and giving her the confidence she needed to parent with love.

Cyndy finds support for life

Refusing to have an abortion, she finds help at Abria.

Cyndy came to Abria one morning with a sidewalk counselor. Early in pregnancy, the father of her baby brought her to Planned Parenthood from an outlying suburb. She had only known the man for six months, and he already had another child. Cyndy had two. Waiting inside Planned Parenthood, though, she was nervous. She didn’t want to go through with the scheduled chemical abortion. She told the father she wasn’t going to do it, and he walked out, leaving her alone. She reached for her cigarettes and went outside out for a smoke.

That’s when she met the sidewalk counselor who brought her over to Abria where she talked about her situation with Judy Kruger, nurse manager. Cyndy first told Krueger how relieved she was that she had decided not to go through with the abortion. Cyndy also started to think about how she would move forward. She shared that she had been raised by her adoptive parents, who also helped her care for her son and daughter. She told Kruger she was going to place the child she was carrying now in an adoptive home. Kruger encouraged her to follow up with her doctor for prenatal care, gave her a referral for adoption agencies, and connected her to a pregnancy
center closer to her home.

Brianna finds balance

Personal attention helps her prioritize family.

Brianna came to North Side Pregnancy Options stressed out, and the positive pregnancy test only added to her anxiety. She shared with Cindy Lorsung, client advocate, that she already had two young children and worked well beyond full-time. She loved her children and her job, but the overtime hours were more than she could handle. Brianna also faced more than the usual challenges in becoming approved for the state’s Medical Assistance program that would help her afford prenatal care, but North Side’s prenatal program allowed her to begin care immediately. Meanwhile, staff helped her through the bureaucratic gauntlet to get medical insurance and provided the personal attention she needed.

Lorsung helped Brianna look at the life she wanted for herself and her family. They brainstormed ways to cut expenses so that Brianna could have a more manageable work schedule. With her husband, Brianna decided she could go down to working part time hours. At her final visit before delivery, she and Lorsung had a wonderful discussion about natural family planning. Brianna was intrigued by her body and the natural rhythms of her fertility. She knows the she has the help of the North Side staff to continue to improve the life of herself and her family.

Editor’s note: North Side Pregnancy Option’s prenatal program comes at no cost to the client. Clients can begin prenatal care immediately while they become approved for Medicaid or other insurance. Clients are only billed after delivery and Medicaid or other insurance covers the entire cost of prenatal care and delivery.

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