“An unplanned pregnancy is a challenge in it self. When you add to that raising two older children (one of which was diagnosed with autism) and a lack of a true support system, you panic! I was embarrassed that I had found myself in this position. However, I was willing to embrace the challenge and come out stronger.
This pregnancy was met with many obstacles including the emotional death of my Dad to pancreatic cancer. For awhile I lost focus of the bright side. I was already struggling. How was I going to make this happen? How was I going to hold it all together? Am I making the right choice or being selfish?
Luckily, for me, I had [my Healthy Start Care Coordinator] Jennifer! Jennifer could walk into my home visits and completely turn things around. She had an uncanny ability to get me back on track. Slowly mounds of pressure were relieved. Somehow every time she would give me a lead they worked out, which is not common for me.
I was also connected with [Healthy Start Counselor] Chip. An amazing man who could bring me down a few levels. He talked me thru the night my Dad passed and allowed for frequent “check ins”. I found a breast feeding class in which I earned a pack and play. There were also countless social service organizations that I was able to establish assistance with.
Let me not forget, the use of a maternity photo on the front cover of Healthy Start brochures which are recognized around the area. Rather than boast about it sighting these brochures reminds me that I represent the good that comes from Healthy Start. My struggle, my hour of need, is used to bring hope to other mothers who feel overwhelmed during pregnancy. Those who chose to hold themselves accountable but just need the opportunity for a support system to shine it’s light. I see the brochures and I am humbled. My struggle is real but how I proceed to handle it is being observed. I’m a role model for those who too seek out the support of healthy start.
I’m reminded of a quote from my Dad which I have taken as his greatest lesson, “The way to find success is to give up yourself and give to others. . . . Go out of your way to benefit your fellow man, and the return is phenomenal.”. I live every day with this concept close to my heart!” – Meagan McMullem