I (Ashley) was scared & anxious as I stared down at the positive home pregnancy test. I was in a relatively good relationship…now, at least…but I was still suffering the memories of a past abusive relationship. Living at home with my parents, & not having any extra money, I thought, “How could I possibly care for a baby?” I didn’t think there was any way I could be a good mom. So, in my fear & panic, I decided if there wasn’t a heartbeat yet, I would definitely get an abortion. It felt like my only option.
So, I went online to try to find a clinic or something, & that’s where I found Starting Point. At my first appointment, they exceeded my expectations & helped me feel safe. I felt important as the staff I met with helped me slow down, take a breath & think more clearly. Their main goal was to make sure I had enough emotional support & medically correct information about all my options, adoption, abortion & parenting, so I could make a decision that I would feel peace about even years from now.
I (Tony), didn’t even know Ashley had gone to Starting Point. I was still in shock that the home pregnancy test was positive, but the shock turned to fear when Ashley said she was planning to abort. I had always thought I wanted to be a father, but this seemed too soon. I was really scared & unsure I could be the person I needed to be in that moment.
Then, after Ashley told me about Starting Point, I found emotional help & support there, too. They actually had a male staff member to meet with me, one on one. He let me share my fears & helped me sort out all the emotions surrounding this decision. He also helped me understand why Ashley was on such an emotional roller coaster & how to be there for her in the ways I had always wanted.
I (Ashley) will never forget the moment when I saw my baby’s heartbeat on the ultrasound screen. I realized this child might actually be a blessing in disguise. With my personal history, it has always been difficult for me to trust people. Could I really trust Tony would be there for me and we could become the kind of parents our baby would need? With the help of our Starting Point friends, that is exactly what I learned… we were not alone & we could actually learn to be a loving, supportive family for one another…all three of us!
This has been an incredible journey. Now that Rayden is here, Tony & I actually have a better, relationship than ever before. Everyone who sees me today cannot believe how much happier & settled I am as a person. I can’t even imagine all we might have missed, had it not been for the love, education & encouragement we have received from Starting Point!
If we were to offer advice to a friend facing an unexpected pregnancy, it would be this – don’t let the fear overwhelm you. Be open-minded & trust Starting Point to help educate you on all your options. You’ll never regret it!
Tony, Ashley & Rayden’s story & photo used with their permission.