The Right Support at the Right Time
Sometimes, you don’t know how strong you are until you have no other choice. Elise has had to be strong her whole life. Coming through a complicated and rocky relationship with her parents, she intimately knows the impact of parental stressors on a child, which extends into adulthood. Often, she has felt as if she’s going through life alone.
Her strength is shown by the difficult choices she’s had to make. Moving out at the age of 16, facing anxiety and depression, experiencing eight miscarriages, and being diagnosed with leukemia, it seems that life has not been easy for Elise.
However, Elise has created a life she loves through the timely support and guidance of an Any Baby Can nurse, a healthy partnership with her fiancé, and sheer determination.
Exactly the Right Time
Elise was at a turning point in her life when she found Any Baby Can. She had just learned that she was pregnant, she had a shaky relationship with her boyfriend, and her lease was expiring. She was looking for counseling when she saw a flier for Any Baby Can.
“There was a flier up in the waiting room about Any Baby Can. It said they could help low-income first time moms who needed a little extra support. I was out of a job; I was almost 28 weeks pregnant. I knew I had to join,” recalls Elise.
Within a few weeks, Elise was matched with Melissa, a nurse with Any Baby Can’s Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program, which connects first-time pregnant mothers with a free nurse. The nurse is available to the family until the child turns two years old. The goal of the program is not only to maintain a healthy pregnancy, but also to gain skills in parenting, access community resources for women and children, and to pursue personal goals that give the whole family a better future.
A Team for Mom
Elise didn’t have a model for how to be a good parent. She also lacked a model for a healthy marital relationship. But she had the self-awareness, courage and support team to help her do the work. With her nurse Melissa by her side, Elise no longer felt alone. She had someone to call and text when she was feeling uncertain. She knew she had another person on her side that had her best interest at heart.
Melissa answered questions, gave advice and did regular screenings while Elise was pregnant. She collaborated with Elise’ obstetrician to provide her the best care possible during a difficult pregnancy.
Due to her history with depression, they prepared a plan for post-partum depression, which included counseling through Any Baby Can’s No Estás Solo program.
“With my nurse’s help, I overcame major first-time motherhood fears and anxieties. I had a second opinion and an ear to listen when my kids had health issues, and with my pregnancy complications. They provided me and my partner invaluable counseling, as I struggled severely with postpartum depression,” says Elise.
Her fiancé was also matched with an Any Baby Can counselor, who helped him work through his own trauma and be the dad he always wanted to be.
Elise found out she was pregnant with her second child one week before everything shut down in March 2020. Through virtual visits, Melissa was able to maintain contact and a sense of much-needed stability.
More Than a Nurse
Any Baby Can came through in amazing and unexpected ways, including with basic needs assistance during a difficult year with the pandemic. Elise shares a story about how she was on her way to the grocery store with a $15 budget to buy food for the week, but she stopped at her mailbox on the way out. Inside was a letter and a $100 H-E-B gift card from Any Baby Can.
“Melissa was a huge sense of support to me, sure, but also to my fiancé and to our kids. I cannot tell you the number of times she showed up at exactly the right time with formula and diapers or a grocery store gift card. She was an angel, and every nurse who works with Any Baby Can is the same,” Elise shares.
Elise also found a community. When she joined in 2019, she attended the client holiday party and mom-baby yoga hosted by Any Baby Can. She felt more empowered to reach out and join online mom groups, and even reconnect with her own family. Over the last few years, Elise’ mom has made strides to be an involved and supportive grandmother, bringing a sense of healing to their complicated past.
Ultimately, Elise gained the confidence to change her life for the better.
A Whole New Woman
Elise is smart and entrepreneurial. She began making baby bows after her daughter was born, and a hobby became an Etsy store, and now she runs a website selling bows, bowties, hair clips, key chains, and more for moms and babies. Everything is hand-crafted and so unique, she’s working hard to keep up with demand!
Not only that, Elise regularly gives back to her community, raising money and donating proceeds to causes that resonate with her family, including Any Baby Can.
Just recently Elise and her fiancé bought their first house, and the girl who left home at 16 is now a woman doing quite well for herself and her family. She’s giving her kids a childhood full of love and security, and breaking the cycle of family trauma.
We partner with first-time moms to bring answers, guidance and confidence to this stage in life.
We give families a safe space to process life’s challenges with the support of a licensed therapist.
A network of support is critical for parents of kids with healthcare needs and families in areas that lack access.