September can be an exciting, hopeful time of transition and promise, as folks settle into their routines, children go back to school, and new beginnings abound. But for “Regina,” September held anything but promise.

Suspecting she was pregnant, Regina called Human Coalition – Pittsburgh to make an appointment. Her first thought was to abort. Regina had a boyfriend, but he was a married man who was separated from his wife. With four divorces in his past and four other children, his life was tumultuous and unsettled. He was in no position to commit to Regina.

However, after talking with her mother and some friends, Regina started leaning toward keeping her baby.

When Regina visited our women’s care clinic, an ultrasound revealed a nearly 10-week-old baby with a low heart rate and abnormal development for a fetus of that gestational age. Because she’d been unaware of the pregnancy, Regina had been drinking and smoking up until she took the pregnancy test. She’d also been taking medication for a heart condition. The baby’s low heart rate and unusually small size worried Regina, making her think abortion might be the best option after all.

For the next two months, a battle raged within Regina. Vacillating between keeping the baby, placing him or her for adoption, or aborting, she stayed in constant contact with our clinic’s director and ultrasound tech, who both prayed for and encouraged Regina to carry the baby to term.

In October Regina decided not to abort but to place the baby for adoption. Unfortunately, the baby’s father told her in no uncertain terms that he would NOT sign the papers to allow the baby to be adopted, nor would he financially support or help her in any way. Abortion was now back on the table, although in her heart Regina knew that was not what she wanted to do.

November brought more fear and anxiety. Regina’s obstetrician requested that she seek genetic testing because the results of some of her blood tests seemed to indicate her child might have Down syndrome.

The emotional roller coaster continued; but thankfully, Regina did have an anchor. She’d been raised in a Christian home, and she found herself clinging to her faith. Our team spoke with Regina almost daily, at her request. They encouraged her to follow her beliefs; they also promised they would walk beside her throughout the pregnancy no matter what the outcome. They loved Regina and patiently counseled her as she changed her mind over and over again. The staff simply showed Regina unconditional love.

The turning point came when our director had an idea. A while back, we had ministered to another client who’d been a worrier like Regina. So we connected these two young moms; and as God would have it, it was a perfect match. They became fast friends who mutually encouraged each other on their pregnancy journeys.

Over the next few months, Regina took advantage of our parenting classes. And then she gave birth in April. “Robbie” is a beautiful baby boy and perfect in every way. But Regina continued to vacillate between raising Robbie or placing him for adoption. After many counseling sessions with our Care Coordinator, Regina finally settled on parenting.

It was the long-term commitment by our director and the other clinic staff that eventually changed Regina’s mind from abortion to parenting. The decision wasn’t an easy one for her to make, but it was the right one. Today, Regina takes joy and pleasure from her beautiful son!