They sit nervously on the waiting room sofa, clutching hands. They are a striking couple. The young woman’s hair is long and dark; she has a very slender build and large, expressive eyes. Her boyfriend looks like the classic college athlete—big and brawny with handsome facial features. He is trying to comfort her, but one can see that he is scared . . . just scared. In their normal day-to-day lives, these two are the kind of young people who are always at the top, well-thought-of, admired, and in control.
But today is not a normal day.
This beautiful young couple just took a home pregnancy test, and it was positive. They are stunned. This is NOT in the plan. This cannot be. It threatens everything they and their families want for them. So they begin thinking about what can be done. Like so many members of this young 20s generation, they search the Internet for options. They type GET AN ABORTION IN PITTSBURGH in the search engine box. They dial the phone number that appears on the screen. They are terrified that they are going down “that road.”
The woman who answers the phone is helpful, concerned. She makes an appointment for them at the pregnancy resource center.
Now they are sitting on the waiting room sofa, fighting the fear.
A nurse asks the woman to come with her into a counseling room. The young man is alone.
After the first few tentative minutes in the counseling room, the client is reassured. The nurse seems genuinely concerned, and she really listens as the young woman pours out all of her hopes and fears. She shares how much she really cares for this young man. She loves him. And she hopes to marry him and have children with him “one day.” She repeatedly says they are “too young” and “not ready.” She fears that having a baby will impact her boyfriend’s chances for getting his dream job. Offers are coming in now. Meanwhile, she is finishing college and is excited to begin her life, but she is not quite there yet.
The nurse speaks to the woman about her options: keep the baby and parent the child herself, put the baby up for adoption, or abortion.
The beautiful young woman hesitates. She hasn’t really thought through her options. At first she is adamant—“I can’t have this baby!” But now she hesitates. She didn’t know so many resources were available to help them: childbirth classes, parenting classes, spiritual support. Is it possible? Her boyfriend says he will support her no matter what her decision might be, but she isn’t sure she believes that.
The beautiful young woman speaks at length with the nurse about what she believes spiritually. She believes in God but hasn’t thought about what He says about abortion. The young woman looks away, silent.
As the young woman meets in the counseling room with the nurse, the young man still waits. The assistant director of the pregnancy resource center comes along to talk with him. She listens to all he has to say. The beautiful people just want to be loved, heard, and cared for too.
The young woman now enters the ultrasound room. Another nurse spends time with her there, letting her speak and just listening. This nurse has something else to share with the woman: her own testimony.
The ultrasound nurse once aborted her own child. It scarred her for life. In fact, the spiritual wound is so deep that it continues to influence her life 40 years later. And while this terrible wound was healed through Christ, it still left a scar. Now in that ultrasound room, the nurse shares her story with the beautiful young woman.
Then the nurse places the ultrasound probe on the young woman’s abdomen. On the TV monitor a beautiful baby appears, fully formed and very much older than the woman ever imagined. She cries out at the sight of the baby. She is almost five months pregnant.
The young man is called back to the ultrasound room. His eyes are wide with fear. As he spoke with the assistant director, he said he’d always been against abortion . . . until this happened to him. He kept repeating, “Someday when I have a kid . . . .” But then she gently reminded him that he does have a kid—now. The question is, what will he do for his child right now?
As he enters the ultrasound room, the young man sees the beautiful young woman in distress, sobbing. He goes to her. They clutch each other’s hands.
Again, the nurse places the probe on the woman’s abdomen, and the beautiful baby appears on the monitor. The young woman cries out again, this time to the young man. He gasps, sits down, and turns pale. “I don’t know what to do. It is so big,” he says. The young woman reaches out to comfort him. “I don’t know if I should laugh or cry or throw up,” he says.
They speak with the nurses. They decide they must tell her parents together—no matter what they decide. The young man is estranged from his own father, and he fears her parents will be so mad that they’ll throw him out of their house. But one of the nurses says, “Give them a chance.” The couple does.
Several days later during a follow-up call, the beautiful young woman tells the nurse that she and the young man are keeping their beautiful baby. She laughs with joy and explains that they are still trying to take it all in. Her parents were shocked at first, naturally, and then excited. This couple’s life is changing in a way they had not expected, and they know it will only get harder. Yes, they have an unplanned pregnancy, but they chose life—beautiful, beautiful life.
—Nurse Manager, Cyndi