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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How Soon Can You Tell You’re Pregnant?

Think you may be pregnant? If yes, then likely you’re looking for every little symptom to confirm your suspicions. The important thing is, don’t panic! Adding stress to the mix can affect the way your body functions, making it seem like you’re pregnant when you actually aren’t.   One of the first steps to figuring out whether you are pregnant is to learn how pregnancy works, from implantation and conception to common pregnancy symptoms. Then, you’ll want to know how early you can take a pregnancy test and what happens next if you find out you’re pregnant. Listed below you can find some helpful information to guide you through the process of confirming a pregnancy.   How Conception and Implantation Works The process of conception is the fertilization of an egg, or where the sperm meets the egg in your uterus. The fertilization turns the egg into an embryo that will continue to develop into a fetus as the pregnancy continues. Conception can only occur after ovulation. Ovulation is on average a 24-hour cycle of the egg being released. Sperm can live in the woman’s body for 3-5 days. If sperm is present during the time of ovulation, then conception can occur. If you are not currently ovulating, then conception cannot occur.   After fertilization, the process of implantation occurs, where the embryo actually attaches to the uterus, which is needed for further development. During this stage, women are likely to experience symptoms similar to periods, including cramping and light bleeding. Because of this, it is often confused as a period. Common Symptoms of Pregnancy While the symptoms listed below are all signs of early pregnancy, it’s important to consider your menstrual cycle, as well as current events and possible stressors in your life. Many of these symptoms may stem from something other than pregnancy. In addition, the possibility of being stressed or anxious about pregnancy can cause you to have these symptoms, even if you are not pregnant. Spotting or light bleeding. If you are pregnant, this is likely due to implantation. Missed period. The most common sign of pregnancy, but it’s also possible to still get your period in the early stages of pregnancy. Frequent urination. This is due to an increase in blood supply during pregnancy. Swollen breasts. Headaches. Fatigue. This can be because of increased hormones in your body after conception. Nausea. Similar to fatigue, increased hormones also heighten your senses, like increased sensitivity to smell. When Can I Take A Pregnancy Test? Before taking a test, it’s extremely important to wait until you’ve missed your period. First, this eliminates the possibility that the symptoms you may be experiencing are from something else. Second, urine pregnancy tests are most effective after a missed period. Urine pregnancy tests identify the pregnancy hormone hCG that is present after conception, so the more time after your missed period...

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What is the Abortion Pill?

What is the abortion pill? What does it do? How much does it cost? These are all questions you might be asking yourself if you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant. If you are pregnant and aren’t sure what to do next, it’s totally normal. Truth is, even women who do want children experience second thoughts and anxiety when facing an unplanned pregnancy. The most important thing is to be fully educated and knowledgeable of the abortion pill, and all your options, and how your ultimate decision will affect your life.     What is the abortion pill? Because they’re both pills, the abortion pill is often confused with Plan B. Plan B, an emergency contraceptive, is very different than the abortion pill, which is an actual abortion procedure. The main difference in the two is where the pills are received and how far along in pregnancy you can take them. Plan B is available over-the-counter and is taken immediately after intercourse, up to 72 hours after unprotected sex or birth control failure. The abortion pill, also known as RU-486 and Mifeprex, must be administered by a medical professional and can be taken up to 10 weeks after intercourse, but is more successful the earlier its taken.   How does the abortion pill work? The abortion pill is a two-step process. A medical professional administers the first pill and the second pill is taken on your own at home, up to 48 hours later. The first pill stops your body from producing a hormone that is needed to further develop the fetus, while the second works to remove the tissue and empty the uterus, having the same effects on your body as a miscarriage. There is no set amount of time on how long it will take to start to empty the uterus after taking the second pill. You will likely experience severe cramping and bleeding during this process.   Am I eligible for the abortion pill? The abortion pill is 98 percent effective if taken in the first eight weeks of pregnancy, but can be taken up to 10 weeks after conception. In the event the procedure fails and is not successful, a surgical abortion will be required. To determine how far along you are, schedule a no-cost limited obstetrical ultrasound with a pregnancy care center, like ABBA, A Women’s Resource Center.   After passing the eligibility period for the abortion pill, it’s important to consider state laws for other procedures. In the state of Maine, aside from health-related exceptions, it is illegal to have an abortion if the fetus is viable, meaning that it could successfully live outside the womb. Fetuses are usually viable around the end of the second trimester, sometimes third trimester. In addition, women under the age of 18 require parental, guardian or an adult family member’s consent before receiving the procedure.   Cost of the abortion in...

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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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