Unplanned pregnancy, Single Mom, Teen Mom, Brave Mom

I am 36 and a mother of 3 children. I was fifteen when I had my first child, life was crazy. At 15  I thought I had all the answers, but the moment that I found out that I was pregnant I had no idea what life was going to look like. I had dreams of things I wanted to accomplish in life, but it wasn’t about me any more I was 15 and pregnant. I knew this pregnancy was not planned but I felt like this is my child, my blessing that would bring me to a new chapter in my life. I had my baby a week before I finished 9th grade which led me to get my GED. Then came my second child. I was married at 19 to a man that was physically abusive. At the age of 22 I was divorced with 2 kids. I had met someone new and became pregnant. At 8 weeks I miscarried. I felt alone, guilty, and ashamed that it was my fault. That I had done something wrong, and something was wrong with me. The father was not supportive or understanding. Instead he was the opposite, verbally and mentally abusive, controlling and possessive. A few months later I found out that I was pregnant again and had my 3rd baby. After being in another very controlling and abusive relationship that lasted several years I was given the courage to finally be free. I was now in a place where again I did not know what life looked like. The unknown was so vast. The “how’s” and “what ifs” of being a single mother were so over whelming. I had no family close and I was legally ordered not to leave the state with my middle baby. I was alone and a single mother with mountains in front of me. I had been told that I would never amount to anything, nobody would ever want me because I had 3 children. We moved into an apartment with almost no furnishings.  But I had some amazing coworkers and friends that helped me get the things for our apartment. I worked as a waitress but when times were slow, and I wasn’t making ends meet I started a second job cleaning. In court we decided on shared custody with no child support. So, I found myself working full time, cleaning 2-3 times a week while being a single mom. It was overwhelming, but I would not have changed a thing. I made the decision to have a career to show my kids you can do anything as long as you put your mind to it, so I applied for college. I was blessed to be able to make my own schedule at school to work around my crazy life. One year later I graduated with a  Medical Assistance Certification. My schedule...

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Parenting 101

As you make your decision about how to proceed with an unplanned pregnancy, some of the thoughts going through your mind may be:  I’m not ready to be a Mom!! Or,  What do I know about taking care of a baby?!  These are common concerns for many expectant women.  Thankfully, this is another area where ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center’s can help! ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center’s trained client advocates are here to meet with you weekly, at a time convenient for you, to help you navigate a healthy pregnancy and prepare for parenthood.  As with all of ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center’s services, these 60 minute appointments are free and confidential.  During your time with a client advocate, you will view up-to-date programming about pregnancy, labor and delivery and/or parenting.  Some of the pregnancy topics offered include: what to expect during each of the trimesters; eating for two; your developing baby; and comfort techniques for labor and delivery.  Parenting classes cover subjects such as:  infant hygiene; bonding with your newborn; infant nutrition; and learning through play.  Most programs also include information that you can take home to further your pregnancy and parenting knowledge.  In addition to watching a video, your appointment will allow plenty of time to ask questions and discuss whatever’s on your mind with your client advocate.  While the programming can make a big difference in helping you feel more confident in your parenting skills, most clients also appreciate just having access to an experienced and empathetic listening ear to talk over their questions and concerns. Because we know your time is valuable and your resources may be limited, every time you come to ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center for a parenting class you will earn 25 points that you can use to “purchase” items from our baby boutique. Each 25 points you earn entitles you to choose 3 items from the boutique, or you can save your points for a gift certificate to purchase larger items such as cribs or strollers. The boutique offers a large selection of new baby clothing, blankets, diapers and other needed supplies. Those clients who have come consistently to parenting classes will also receive a free pack of diapers,  a free baby layette after their child is born.  And, the good news is, you can continue to come to ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center for weekly classes for a year or more after your child is born, gaining more knowledge on such topics as understanding newborns; your baby can sleep; and first year milestones. As your child grows, your points at the baby boutique will continue to accumulate. Embarking on the journey of pregnancy and parenthood can seem daunting. But resources are available and ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center is here to come alongside you and help you to take good care of yourself and your baby.  Call today and...

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Finding a Home

In One Client’s Own Words “I don’t think Thank You is enough” I would like to start off by thanking each and every one of you for keeping ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center alive and thriving. ABBA has been a place of comfort, support, and a help in guiding me on my journey to an amazing life… your generosity has helped me and so many other women!   When I first heard about ABBA I was pregnant, with no place to call home. I was scared because I felt hopeless…how can I bring my child into a world when I had nothing or how was I going to be a good parent, would my relationship last? All these thoughts ran through my head and scared me. But ABBA, the women at ABBA, opened their arms, took the time and effort to teach me in things I really didn’t know or understand completely… how to be a good parent, techniques on how to take care of my child properly and how to have a great relationship with my partner so my child could grow up in a stable environment with two parents not just one.   ABBA has also helped me in understanding Christ better. There’s so much more than I was told or taught and when I came to ABBA they gave me the choice. DO I want to learn more about our Savior? The best part about ABBA is they never forced anything on me they let the decision lay in my hands but gave me options and choices which made it a lot easier.   Today I have my home, which is my family, I have a wonderful partner who has also been there for me, we have a wonderful son that God has blessed us with and thanks to all your support I have taken all the tools given to me by ABBA and applied them to my life and I couldn’t be happier! I’m a great mother thanks in part to the work of ABBA!   I don’t think thank you is enough but it’s all I have “Thank you so much!”   More about ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center: Read another client testimony here: Single Moms Visit us on Facebook: ABBA Pregnancy...

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Single Moms

To all the single moms, whether you’re expecting your first, or have multiple children. Whether your spouse passed away, or you’re divorced, or you’ve never been married. God wants you to hear this message. I have never been married and I was single when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I had so many questions about what he would do without a dad. I had hoped and prayed that my sons dad would come back into his life someday. I had also hoped and prayed that he wouldn’t. I suffered through many sleepless nights when I was pregnant just wondering what would happen with my son’s and my future. “Would he ever know his real dad? Would I find a man who wasn’t his biological father but could be a father figure to him?” These are the thoughts I went over and over in my mind, night after sleepless night. I asked so many people who had been through What I had been through to share their stories with me. I heard stories of reconciliation where the parents of the child got back together and became a family. I heard stories where the Biological father of the child never came around but the child had a step-father who he called daddy. And I would also hear stories where the child had two fathers. His biological father and his step-father, and the child was loved by both. Each time I heard one of these stories, I would think “that could be me”. I would create the same exact scenario in my head and implant my son and myself into it. I compared myself to everyone else’s stories constantly. I wasn’t happy. I felt like I had to know my future and it killed me that I couldn’t. As time went on, my pregnancy progressed and I gave birth to my son. He is now 8 months old and it’s taken me a long time to realize what I wish I had always known back then. Your story is not someone else’s. It’s unique. And God is writing it just for you. As I grew and matured in motherhood, I also grew and matured in my relationship with Christ. He helped me realize that it wasn’t the unknown that was making me so unhappy, but the comparison of other people. He showed me that my story is special. It’s going to happen in His timing (and His timing is perfect). So my message to you, single mothers is this: Don’t compare yourself to other people. God is working ALL things together for your good (Romans 8:28). I was never content in my singleness until I realized that God’s will for my life would be accomplished whether I worried or not. So I’m leaving it in His hands. I trust Him. He knows what is truly best for my son...

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Pro-Woman

Recently I went on a business trip to California with my husband. I thought it would be a great time to get away and soak in some California sun vs. Maine sun! We went to the usual conferences and dinners. Interestingly enough there was opportunity to share about ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center even at these events. People would ask what I did for work and I explained I was a Registered Nurse.  And of course the next question was what kind of nursing do you do? I love this question. It allows me to really share ABBA and our love for people. It always surprise me how interested people are to hear about ABBA.  As an RN and working in the women’s health field it is so much more common to hear people talk about women’s rights, and how abortion options flow freely from physicians’ mouths to patient ears. Sometimes during these opportunities I find myself holding my breath waiting for the negative comments to start but typically I find the interest to be welcoming and curious. I explain that ABBA is a non-profit Christian organization offering free services. Our medical clinic offers FREE pregnancy testing, FREE limited STI testing, FREE limited obstetrical ultrasounds (all performed by our licensed and trained RN’s), options counseling and abortion information. Our support services offered include our Teen Parenting programs, Parenting courses, Pre-Natal courses and education,  Abortion Recovery program, Sexual Integrity programs, to name a few! We offer referrals and resources (including adoption referrals and info) for a variety of organizations in our area that help with many challenges of pregnancy and parenting. I like to call what I do Pro-woman. What is Pro-woman? It is shutting out the voices of the world. This includes friends, family, co-workers and sitting down and having a one-on-one conversation with a woman who is struggling. Discussing the now:  work, stresses, stressors, support, living situations, financial pressures, church, spiritual life, nutrition and much more. Discussing all three options of a pregnant woman:  parenting, adoption, and abortion. It is making a pros and cons list and discussing consequences of all decisions. It is giving ALL the information. It is crying, laughing, hugging, praying, celebrating and mourning together. Pro-woman is throwing out all my judgments and expectations and walking into this clinic praying that God’s love will shine through me and his words will be heard. It is sharing hope to hopeless women who may have had one or more abortions and are struggling inside. That desperate need to lean on someone to share this burden and not feel condemned but to know there is compassion.  It is the intimate moment of holding hands with another woman in deep sorrow and praying to a God who cares. Praying not just for her decision with her pregnancy, but for ALL of her- her family, job, faith and courage. We...

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Client Christmas Party

Thank you to all the mothers and families who came to our Client Christmas Party this year. We had such a great turn out and were blessed to be able to honor our moms and their children, old and young! For those of you who missed it, we had games for the kids, pictures with Santa, festive food, fun, and gifts for the moms and their children! Many of our client advocates were here as well with their children. We are already looking forward to next year’s party! If you or anyone you know is pregnant or has children under 2 years old and is interested in some extra help with pregnancy options or parenting skills give us a call at 207-253-5555 or text us at 207-200-5746. We would love the chance to meet with you, help you, and have you be a part of our ABBA community!             ...

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