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The Pregnancy Resource Center of Cambridge was the recipient of a grant from Focus on the Family's Option Ultrasound Program for a new ultrasound machine. We completed our medical conversion process and began offering limited obstetrical ultrasound services to women at-risk for abortion.
On Wednesday, September 10th, 2008 at 4:20 pm a young couple walked in to our Center. I recall this day perfectly, as it happened to be my birthday. I was due at a restaurant shortly for a birthday dinner with my family, but, as divine intervention was about to exert itself, everyone who needed to be there that day still was. It was 20 minutes past our closing time, but a late client was just finishing up and, because of this, our doors were still open. And, while our Nurse Manager, Judy, usually leaves by 3 pm on Wednesdays, she had been delayed in leaving and was still at the Center. The young couple was greeted by one of our advocates.
Abortion seemed the only answer
However, Taylor was not sure exactly how far along she was. Since Taylor had stated she might be 3 or 4 months, I explained it would be very important to know how far along she was, as abortion procedures are different in the first and second trimester of pregnancy. I told her we could do an ultrasound to determine that, for free. Taylor and Dustin felt that it would be beneficial to see how far along she was. I told them I was not sure if we could do the ultrasound today, but I would check with our nurse.
It was clear to me in talking with Taylor and Dustin that they were very scared, and I was not sure they would return for an ultrasound if we did not do it that day. I talked with Judy, our Nurse, and asked if she was willing to stay with me and do the scan. Judy agreed that it was best to do it now, rather than ask them to come back. We would stay and do the ultrasound.
Looking at the options
This young couple was clearly intelligent, had logically thought through their situation and was now resolute in their decision. They both had college plans. Both knew they would have a hard time financially supporting a baby and did not feel they could properly care for an infant. Both Judy and I were struck by the determined absoluteness of their decision. We discussed all the options available and what each one meant for them. We went over abortion procedures and risks, and we especially discussed that if Taylor was over 12 weeks already, the risks were even higher.
What Taylor and Dustin saw
We finally gave up on measurements and invited Dustin into the room. Judy asked if they wanted her to turn the monitor so they could see they baby. After a bit of hesitation, they agreed. Judy turned the monitor so Taylor and Dustin could see for themselves. They were clearly amazed to see how big and fully developed the baby was! And the baby continued to move around—even appearing to wave. What had seemed like a solid resolution now showed as great conflict on both of their faces.
In a heartbeat . . .
Judy asked if they wanted her to print a picture that they could keep. Again, they hesitated. Taylor looked to Dustin and asked if they should. Dustin indicated he was not sure. I let them know it was totally up to them. Dustin finally looked at Judy and said, "Yes, we want one." I knew the reality was slowly breaking through to them. The baby settled down and we were finally able to get measurements. Taylor was 13 ½ weeks pregnant already.
After the ultrasound, we went back to the counseling room. I asked them how they felt about what they had just experienced. They both seemed overwhelmed, but Dustin was very overcome with emotion and could barely speak. We talked a bit more about what kind of help would be available for them, and that if they went forward with an abortion, Taylor would need to undergo the more complicated procedure due to being in her second trimester. However, they still did not concede that abortion was no longer an option and were trying to stay resolute in their decision.
Time to decide
Because we also do sexually transmitted infection testing along with the pregnancy test, Judy needed to call Taylor the next week to give her those results. When Judy asked how she was doing, Taylor stated, "I'm keeping my baby." What great joy!
A gift of life
This young, hurting, confused couple walked in looking for abortion information, and we were able to talk with them, educate them, and then immediately do an ultrasound to determine how far along the pregnancy was. And with that, we were able to show this young couple exactly what they were making a decision about—a baby. We have since repeated this experience, but just like we were told during the medical conversion process, there is nothing to compare to the first one!
Option Ultrasound is doing exactly what it was designed to do. Save lives. And not just the life of the baby, but it is saving parents years of pain and regret. Ignorance may be bliss initially, but it definitely is not in the end. Option Ultrasound imparts a gift that really does Reveal Life to Save Life! Thank you Focus on the Family for helping us to be a part of it!
All Pregnancy Medical Clinics in the Option Ultrasound Program provide limited obstetrical ultrasound as medically indicated. Clinics are licensed to operate under the supervision of a physician, using only trained sonographers. Focus on the Family does not endorse the use of ultrasound outside of a medical clinic setting and does not endorse the use of ultrasound for non-medical reasons. Patient referrals are made to physicians for follow-up diagnosis and care as needed.
Copyright © 2008 Focus on the Family All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
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on the Family