Living in Joy, Not Scarcity
Instability and trauma have overwhelmed most of Megan’s life. She was born prematurely when her mother’s placenta separated from the womb, a serious complication called placental abruption. Megan and her mother nearly died before being saved by a paramedic named Bryan who has stayed connected to her family. Megan has a complicated past with her family and as a young adult, she faced her own challenges: poverty, job loss, health scares and depression.
In 2016, she met her now-fiancé. He has been a positive force in her life. He was accepting of her past and hopeful for their future. In 2018, six months after doctors told her she may not be able to have children, Megan found out she was pregnant. She wasn’t prepared for the pregnancy; she felt alone and overwhelmed.
"We weren’t engaged yet. We weren’t living together. It all happened so fast. I legit thought he was going to leave me," says Megan. "I was scared how I was going to provide for my kid."
Megan didn’t feel like she was in a good place to be a mother. She had a lot of uncertainty and fear. As soon as she found out about her pregnancy, Megan was connected to Any Baby Can, where she met Mandy, a nurse in the Nurse-Family Partnership program.
With Mandy by her side, Megan began to settle into her role as a mother. Mandy answered questions, provided comfort and visited with Megan on a regular basis. She connected Megan to therapy through Any Baby Can’s No Estás Solo counseling program where she worked through her past. In becoming a parent herself, she was able to mend, forgive and find better relationships with her own parents.
"Some of her anxiety in building a family stems from her own unsteady past," says Mandy. "Her instincts are really good, but she has a lot of doubt. I just helped her trust herself."
Just like her own mother’s pregnancy, Megan’s pregnancy wasn’t without strife. Her blood pressure was high, and Mandy monitored Megan for pre-eclampsia. One day, as Megan was driving, she suddenly lost eyesight. She was admitted into the hospital and induced three weeks prematurely. She ended up with an emergency c-section and a traumatic birth and post-partum experience.
Megan faces post-partum depression and works hard every day to be the best mother she can be. Her confidence is growing.
"Mandy is the only person who ever asks how am I doing. That is sad to say. Everyone forgets about you when you become a mom – they’re all asking about the baby. Mandy makes me feel like a person," says Megan
A Brighter Future Ahead for First-Time Mom
Megan’s daughter, Anilina, turns two in May, and is a beautiful, cheery child, surrounded with love. She likes to dance, sing and perform. Megan is fiercely protective of her daughter, and is always looking for ways to improve their lives. She wants her daughter to have a strong mom and role model.
"I want to encourage Anilina to be successful in ways I couldn’t. I don’t want her to have to fear being alone, or to experience a lack of security. I know that feeling," says Megan.
Megan is very intentional about the choices she makes now. She’s taking time to stay home but has plans to go back to school and build a career. Megan and her fiancé are getting married next month. She’s able to stand on her own two feet.
"Megan has rounded the corner. She's more willing to trust her gut," says Mandy. "Her daughter helped to make her whole. She helped Megan step into who she is meant to be."
It Takes a Village
Despite the pandemic, Megan has found a rhythm in maximizing her own network, and she knows where to go if she does need help. She’s proactive, she seeks advice from family members and friends, but she still turns to Mandy when she wants reassurance in her parenting.
Megan and her fiancé are saving for their wedding and their future. Over the holidays, Mandy was able to nominate Megan for Adopt-a-Family, an Any Baby Can program that partners client families with people in the community who can provide gifts.
"It just took a huge weight off of my shoulders! You always want to give your kid the best. You want to feel full of joy and not scarcity."
And it is with that feeling of joy, not scarcity, that Megan wants to live every aspect of her life. Through her hardships and triumphs, Megan demonstrates that commitment—and a supportive hand from a stranger who becomes like family—can change a someone’s trajectory.
Bryan, the paramedic who saved her life when she was born, has stayed connected with Megan and her mother. He is a part of their family, attended Anilina’s baptism, and has even donated to Any Baby Can on behalf of Megan.
Now Mandy is a part of the family too. She is a part of Megan and Anilina’s story of success.
Nurses partner with first-time moms to bring guidance and nurture confidence.
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