Crisis Pregnancy

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Fedline, Denver CO

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Born in Haiti, her parents decided that a better life waited for her in America. When she was 15 years old, they packed up her belongings and she had no choice but to move. Her parents had made arrangements for her to live with her brother and his young family.

She attended high school, and though she met a lot of new people, she failed to find friends. She got lost in a new culture and language. She remembers reading her Bible every night to combat loneliness: “I read it. But I wasn’t really getting what I needed.” She felt distant from her brother and had no one to talk to, no one to teach her about being a teenager.

After being in Colorado for over a year, Fedline was ecstatic to finally make friends at school. But her world became wrapped up in keeping these friends, and she often abandoned her beliefs to fit in: “I thought, ‘This Bible isn’t doing anything for me.’ I put it away. I put my faith in my friends,” says Fedline. Her brother noticed the changes in her lifestyle, and their relationship quickly worsened. “He wanted me out of the house. One day, I came home and the locks had been changed on the door,” says Fedline.

Shortly after, Fedline discovered she was two months pregnant. She had no money, no job and hadn’t even graduated from high school. She started staying with friends, moving from place to place: “I was homeless, but I never had to sleep on the streets. But when people found out I was pregnant, they weren’t as willing to help. It was only God. He worked everything out and found me places to stay.”

On a Saturday night in June, Fedline decided she was not going to have the baby. On Sunday she went to church and received prayer. On Monday she changed her mind: “I was terrified. I thought, ‘What is the next step? What is the plan here?’ I didn’t know the answer to those questions but I was going to keep my baby,” she says.

Fedline lived with a friend during and immediately following her pregnancy. She had no idea how to take care of or provide for her baby. Her French teacher had become a close friend and knew there was a place Fedline could live that would teach her everything she needed to know about being a mother: Champa House. She took her to Champa House for an interview and Fedline was accepted into the program. She moved in on June 6, 2011.

When Fedline speaks of her past, her eyes stay down, fixated on her fingers as she recalls some difficult memories. She says, “I guess I was just surviving.” But when she speaks of moving into Champa House, her eyes lift and greet the room. She says: “When I came here, somehow, God changed me inside out. I started to pray that He would point me away from the darkness and into the light. Before Champa, I was powerless. Now I feel powerful. I don't put my faith in other people; I put my faith in God.”

Fedline has completed classes, become a Dental Assistant and started a job at a local dentist's office. She is even learning how to drive. She has successfully completed three of the five phases in Champa House’s program and hopes to graduate by June.

Fedline speaks boldly about plans to go back to Haiti and help her country one day. She talks about going back to school to study medicine. But more than anything, she wants to be a good mother and follow the Lord’s plan for her life: “My daughter comes first. I’m waiting on God to tell me what to do.”

“Champa House was the first place I learned that I needed a personal relationship with God. That will always stay with me,” she says.

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Meg Carafa, West Chester PA

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I am now blessed as the mother of two beautiful, healthy children. Last year, God provided a way for me to stay home with them, and I spend almost all of my time with them, taking care of them and enjoying them. But four years ago I had no children. My heart was broken and my spirit crushed after my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. One minute I was a mom, making plans for a new baby, preparing for the biggest change of my life, and happy and excited about it. Then there was the night when I came home from an evening church service, saw blood, and everything imploded.

A miscarriage is a horrifying thing. For two months my womb was a source of life, then for four weeks it was a tomb, and then I found out my baby was dead. Before, when I heard people talk about miscarriages, I couldn’t relate the way I do now. I didn’t know that while you experienced the worst heartache of your life you could also experience the worst physical pain of your life. I didn’t know how all my senses could be assailed at once and there would be no way to cope with it but to get through each moment. I didn’t know the mental pain was inescapable because the physical pain reminded me of it hour after hour for days.

Several things played into my miscarriage to make it particularly horrible. The physical pain and heartache were worse than anything I ever experienced. Tensions within my family that made it difficult for me to feel comforted by them. And while I was losing my baby, one of my good friends was two hospital floors above me delivering a healthy boy. I tried very hard not to think about that.

I took a week off from work to heal. I let my church family take care of me. People made meals for us. Women invited me into their homes and poured their love and attention on me. My needy heart soaked it up. Someone volunteered to take on our job of cleaning the church that week. Families had me and my husband over and shared different ways that they had suffered. It reminded me that I was not alone in my pain and gave me a degree of comfort. I felt God’s goodness in the midst of the pain, and I was encouraged in my sadness. I wasn’t happy, but I clung to the promise that “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

When I returned to work no one said a thing to me. Nothing. They didn’t know what to say, they didn’t know how to approach me. Most of them were young and single, but several were older with families; I was surprised that even they had nothing to say. Trying to hold it together at work, with all the pressures of that position, was a constant challenge. Sometimes I just cried.

I wanted to be pregnant again—to have a little life growing inside me again, even while I mourned my loss. In the weeks and months that followed, I wrestled with depression, and felt crushed by its weight. I was hurt, angry, and enormously sad. I felt so engulfed in hopelessness that I wondered if I would ever be my old self again. I knew the whole experience was God’s will, I knew that if He wanted, I would be pregnant again, but I also knew that He could just as well not want me to ever have a baby.

Then I thought of how Corrie Ten Boom followed the exhortation in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” She begrudgingly gave thanks for the fleas in her concentration camp, but she and the women in her bunk were blessed because of them. The guards would not go into their barracks and they were free to study their forbidden Bible with the other women. I knew I needed to give thanks for terrible things as well as enjoyable things, but I couldn’t do it in earnest. Not yet.

My final agony came in September, around the time the baby was due when a friend commented to me, “Aren’t these babies so cute? Don’t you just wish you had one?” After not breaking down, and not strangling her, and spending several days being terribly offended, I was able to let go of the pain and anxiety that had overwhelmed me for six months. I let it all go and relaxed. I thanked God without anger or bitterness and just allowed Him to run my life the way He wanted to. I didn’t know why He let it happen, I still wasn’t thrilled about it, but I knew it was part of His plan and I accepted that.

That December I found out I was pregnant again. Terrified and elated, I struggled with my fears and emotions. Could I trust God…to make me happy? I couldn’t control God or the pregnancy, stress was unhealthy for it, and although worry threatened me throughout, I made the conscious decision to trust God over and over. My healthy son was born the following August.

Since that difficult trial, I’m better able to relate to others who suffer in a way I previously could not. I don’t feel that I always need to offer advice or try to fix a friend’s problems. Sometimes all I can do is acknowledge that what a friend is going through is rough, express sorrow for their pain, and pray. I’m thankful that I learned from my experience. I’m thankful for the friendships that grew from it. I’m thankful that I grew as a Christian and learned to trust God more. And I’m thankful, of course, for the two children who would not be here without that miscarriage.

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Sarah Brown, West Chester PA

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As long as I can remember I have always loved babies with a passion and longed for the day I could have one (or more!) of my own. So when that day finally came I was overwhelmed with joy but also with apprehension. I had a fear that I was finally going to have a baby of my own but what if something happened to me to test my love for God over everything. It was silly but still nagged in my mind, so I just continually went to God in prayer.

Everything was looking great and the doctors seemed happy…that is until about 36 weeks into it. My Obgyn said I was measuring a little small, which is no big deal, but did warrant another look with an ultrasound. I was excited because that meant I could see the baby in 3-D, so I brought my parents along to watch too! In the room the nurse said a couple of times, “ so…does he move much?” “Do you feel him move often?” I replied that I have felt him kick a handful of times, which I didn’t realize was an abnormally low amount at this point in the pregnancy. The doctor then came in and said, “well, we think something is very wrong with this baby. He doesn’t move much and he is very small. We’ll have to keep an eye on you and check him twice a week from now on.” I don’t remember much immediately after that, it was all a haze. I called my husband in shock and crying and trying to tell him exactly what I could remember the doctor saying.

The next few weeks I just constantly spent time in prayer and pleaded with God. Any few quiet minutes I had, I begged God for a healthy baby. I held out hope that my unborn baby was just calm and small as my OB suggested was probably the case. Visit after visit though it didn’t seem promising but didn’t show anything truly bad either, so we just had to wait. I was in a constant fear that I couldn’t feel the baby moving and felt so stressed at work all day.

Finally March 25th the day finally came, I was getting an ultrasound and his head had measured growth but rest of his body hadn’t and I needed to immediately head over to the hospital to get induced. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. I was getting my baby finally but would he be okay?

I rushed home, grabbed my stuff and called my husband to meet me at the hospital. Once we were there I was given Cervidil to get my cervix softened so I could then be induced, surprisingly though it just started me right into labor. Things seemed to be going smoothly, though very painfully! After a while I decided to get an epidural because I was so exhausted, afterwards I was finally able to get rest. Around 7am Joe got up from sleeping to use the restroom and just as he closed the door to the bathroom my room door opened and a doctor and three nurses entered quickly with a sense of urgency.

We are taking you in to get an emergency C-Section, your baby has no heartbeat,” the doctor said frankly while quickly pulling out all the cords I was connected with, putting in new cords, adding new IV bags, yelling directions to the nursing and whisking me out the door. Joe groggily stepped out of the bathroom and had scrubs thrown into his arms and told to quickly scrub up and follow along. Poor Joe had no idea what was going on!!

All I could think was, “my baby! God give me my baby. Let him be alive. Let him be healthy. Let him be normal. God please protect my baby!” Tears rolled down my eyes silently as they sliced open my abdomen and reached in to take out my little boy… I held my breath and everyone seemed to glance over at him and he let out a shrill cry! My tears turned to ones of joy and I praised God with my whole heart.

The doctor proclaimed shortly later, “ you have a healthy baby 5 lb 6 oz. 19 1/2 in. long baby boy. Congratulations!

As I held Isaac in my arms later I just gazed at him with adoration and all I could think was how awesome God is and how now I knew a fraction of the love our Lord has for us, who can do nothing to deserve it. It is amazing how God brings these trials into our lives to strengthen and mold us. I know I could have had an unhealthy child but by the end of the pregnancy I felt I fully trusted God to take care of me either way. I now have a happy, active, healthy four year old boy and I will always see him as God’s amazing gift to me. Praise God.

(Philippians 4:19) “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus."

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