I really felt like the work I was doing at the CPC was worthwhile, but it was hard on me emotionally. Some nights, I would come home drained and troubled. I prayed for each one of the women that I saw, and there were times that I would cry for them and their babies.
And I saw such a wide variety of women. There were so many different stories and so many difficult situations.
One thing that I learned through seeing so many different young women was that there was a lot of pressure on them from their families and friends. I think that many of the women I saw did not want to abort their babies, but they faced tremendous pressure to do so. Their boyfriends threatened to leave, or their parents threatened to kick them out if they didn't abort.
I learned early on that the mothers of teenage girls are often not the allies of their unborn grandchildren. When these women got involved, the result was often abortion. From what I could tell, they didn't like the idea that they would have a large role in helping their daughters to parent, and because they didn't want the responsibility, they would threaten and push abortion. I saw this a lot, and it made me really sad.
I met one woman who had had too much to drink on a trip overseas. She wasn't even sure that she'd consented to have sex with the man she'd met at party. She was pregnant, and she was mortified. She was a young professional, and she was afraid of what everyone she knew would think of her getting pregnant this way. I saw her once, but she didn't come back for her scheduled ultrasound.
I counseled a young, newly married couple. They had gotten pregnant unexpectedly, and they were very worried that the baby wouldn't be healthy because the wife that been very tired around the time the baby was conceived. They told me they were considering having an abortion because of their worries that the baby wouldn't be healthy. I was able to explain that pregnancy makes you very tired, and that tiredness didn't mean that there was anything wrong with the baby. I scheduled an ultrasound for them, and I heard that they decided to keep the baby.
Right before we moved, a teenage girl came into the clinic visibly pregnant. She signed in and asked for a pregnancy test, and I was a little stunned. Of course, it was positive. She had very irregular periods, so she hadn't thought much of it. She was at least 6 months along based on her last period. She wanted to have an abortion, and I told her that she was probably too far along to have one in that state. I showed her pictures of fetal development, told her all the amazing ways her baby had developed, and scheduled her for an ultrasound.
I guess you can see why I felt so burdened for all these clients. :) I'm glad I got to help then, and I feel like I'd probably be a more informed counselor now that I've had 3 pregnancies, but finding the time is difficult. But one of these days, I hope to return to this.
For now, I'll pray, and we'll give to help fund our local CPCs. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments.