A Lesson in Trust
by Annette Downey, RN
October 2017
As the Nurse Manager of the Mobile Medical Unit for J. Rophe Medical, I meet many people from all walks of life. This particular situation was very personal to me as I found myself in similar circumstances 38 years ago. I knew just how she was feeling. My heart was beginning to twist with anxiety as soon as she began her story.
The young lady and her partner came to us for a pregnancy test and ultrasound. He was busy on the phone and chose to stay outside the van until he finished his call. As I began our interview, I asked her to give the name of the father of the baby, but she refused to say. This polite 25-year-old woman told me that she should only be about 9 weeks along because this is how long she and her current partner have been together. She broke up with her previous partner just before she met this current one, so this possible pregnancy HAS to be with her new partner! She was very nervous and scared. I reassured her that we would find out when we did the ultrasound so no need to worry just yet. I asked her how she thought he would handle the situation if she were further along than expected and she said she didn't know. What she did know was, that depending on how he took it, she would base her decision to continue the pregnancy or not. She tearfully expressed the desire to carry but didn't know just how the rest of the scenario was going to play out. 
Her partner then joined us for the remainder of the appointment. He seemed like a kind, gentle man who expressed excitement at the possibility of her being pregnant. He was very respectful to us, saying, "Yes, ma'am," and "No ma'am," when we asked him questions. He asked a lot of questions about how we operate our mobile unit and why we do what we do.
We completed the PT which was indeed positive. She was teary eyed, he was smiling nervously.
We then performed the ultrasound. As soon as I put the transducer on her abdomen, I knew that she was further along than what she had hoped. My heart began to beat faster as I continued the procedure knowing that there was going to be some uncomfortable conversation in a very few minutes.
As the image on the screen focused before them, they were both very excited, she apprehensively, he
more so than she. I talked them through the images while pointing out the various anatomical features
of the growing baby. He was again asking all he could about the size, gender, and features of the baby.
I finished up the ultrasound and told them the outcome of what the ultrasound revealed. He began to shrink back a bit as I told them that the baby was more like 14 weeks than 9 weeks. She again had pools of tears forming in her eyes. He said, “So, she’s further along than we thought?” Yes. She was.
I allowed them a little time to let that sink in while I finished printing the photos, assembling the
paperwork for her to sign, and getting everyone seated again.
He began to ask more questions about our outreach and the types of women that we help. I used this as an opportunity to tell them that we get women from all walks of life and in many different types of life situations. I mentioned that many of our volunteers have been in situations that are similar to our
patients. This was the moment that I could interject my story.
I told them that many years ago, I was single and having a fun filled time in my life which led to an
unplanned pregnancy. I didn't’t really want to divulge to my family that I wasn’t sure who the father was. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. I decided to continue the pregnancy and moved back into my childhood home with my mother. The future looked foggy and bleak as I had no idea what I was going to do or how I was going to raise a child.
A few weeks later, I was introduced to a young man who was a school friend of my brother-in-law. He began calling on me, asking me out on dates and walks. I told him I was 3 months pregnant and that he shouldn't’t get involved with someone like me who had messed up her life like I had. He continued to pursue me and soon after that, we began a relationship. He wanted to get married and parent the child with me as his own. I told this young couple sitting before me that we wound up getting married and this very day, we are celebrating our 37th wedding anniversary. We went on to have 5 more children and have had a beautiful life and family together.
So you see, I told them, you never know how the future will unfold for you. We put our trust in God and pray that He will find a way for us to work it out and He does. I looked over at her and saw her silently form the words “Thank you.”
We asked if we could pray for them before they left. The young man agreed and said that he was excited about becoming a father. He assured her that he would be a part of her life by telling her that he was just on the phone and thinks that their realtor may have found a house for them!! We blessed them with a pregnant mom gift basket and sent them on their way. I encouraged them to return for any
further services that they need as they anticipate the birth of their child.
This is another reason why we do what we do. We love to paint a future of hope for the patients who
come in to see us. When their situations are foggy and bleak, we help them see through the fog to a
future that holds joy, not despair; promise and optimism, not hopelessness and grief. This is by far
enough reason to be out there, day after day, in all kinds of weather, in our Mobile Medical Unit!
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