I'm a firm believer in the saying "Everything happens for a reason". My life has taken its own twists and turns and has brought me through experiences that I could have never imagined. Back in 2008, my life took a turn that required me to make decisions that have changed my life eternally. I came into the Sacramento Life Center worried, stressed and afraid of what news I might receive. I came to the center with my mind set to get an abortion if I was pregnant. I had plans for the way my life should be going and it did not include a baby. I didn't think it would be possible to have a child and be in school; I was preparing to leave for college in Los Angeles to pursue my dreams. I also did not know if I wanted to have a child with my son's father, because sometimes our relationship was good and sometimes it was not. The bottom line was I just didn't feel ready to bring a baby into a world that I was just getting ready to explore. Well, I came in with my mind set on getting an abortion and I left with an entirely new outlook.
I went to the Sacramento Life Center with my boyfriend in hopes of getting an official pregnancy test. He was supportive of whatever my decision was going to be. He wanted children, but not now. It was just bad timing and our relationship wasn’t secure.
I can remember meeting Lynne and feeling so welcomed by her. I was able to share so much with her without feeling judged. It was the first time in a long time that I felt heard and that I felt understood.
I remember that day watching a video about a baby's rapid development. This video made such an impact on me because it truly solidified that I was carrying LIFE.
My baby had a heart beat. For the first time ever, I was able to see my baby and hear that precious heart beat. The Sacramento Life Center gave me a moment to remember and cherish! Although I couldn't fully appreciate it or understand it then, it means the world to me now.
Still struggling with my decision, I agreed to watch the video that showed the abortion procedures. It was then that I knew that I could not go through with it.
Lynne provided me with so much support and compassion, reassuring me that she would be there for me, no matter what decision I made. She spent so much time just listening to me and understanding my concerns. She gave me information for resources I never knew existed. But, even more than that, she believed in me, at a time when I needed it most, at a time where I thought my dreams, hopes, and goals were shattered. This is what the Sacramento Life Center was about for me. For the first time, I did not feel alone.
After my boyfriend and I left the Life Center, we drove to a nearby park and I broke down. We discussed so many different things. Having the opportunity to view the video really made me understand the precious development of my baby and getting to experience that development in the form of my child's heartbeat, had such an incredible impact on me. Lynne asked me if I truly thought it was OK to make this decision based on that fact that this didn’t happen in MY timing. My heart was full of so many emotions; sadness, anger, shame, fear, and yet now above all, love and compassion. Lynne showed me that. We sat at the park and tried to take it all in. It was then that I realized I had to figure out a way to work toward my goals with my new reality.
After I had a nice long cry, I began to move toward a new future. I went through so much during my pregnancy and postpartum, yet every step of the way I had Lynne in my corner, whether I called her frequently, or whether it took months for me to get back to her, she was there with open arms. That's what the Sacramento Life Center is about.
When I was approaching my due date, Lynne gave me blankets that were handmade, clothes for the baby, diapers, helped me get a car seat and many other items. It felt like every worry and concern I had, she provided a way to help me. She even gave me advice on how to tell my parents, which was not an easy thing.
Well as a result, I now have Terrance, my wonderful son.
Now today, I cannot see my life without my son. He has brought so much joy and light into my life. Since that time, I went on to graduate from the University of the Pacific with a Bachelor's in Sociology and a minor in Pre-Law. I graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa and many other high honors. I was honored as an Outstanding Student Leader at the graduation where the Vice President of Student Life presented me with the award. I was recognized with other major awards for my work and leadership including establishing an organization on campus called “Taking Baby Steps”. This organization helps to raise the awareness for the need for childcare and other important resources for students, faculty and staff parents. It was my son, and the understanding I gained from having a child at that time in my life, that inspired me to initiate this program. He was so prevalent on the campus that the Vice President mentioned him when granting me my award at graduation. He helped to shine light and perspective on everyone's hearts and minds. That's what the Sacramento Life Center is about. Support, mind-changing information, heart-changing compassion, kindness, resources and the list goes on.
I am still charging forward. I am currently working on my Masters in Social Work through USC so that I can continue the work that has inspired and impacted me on my journey and I have so many blessings in my life.
Lynne said I could do it and I'm here as living proof. That is what the Sacramento Life Center is about! Thank you!