(Heartbeat International) – In February 2007 I found myself in an unexpected pregnancy.
I was alone in this country trying to make it on my own. I was not married and I was not sure how the baby’s father was going to handle the news.
I went to a doctor and he told me that I was at a 90% risk of having a Down Syndrome baby because I was 35 years old. He recommended that I have an abortion. I felt all alone, desperate and all I could do was cry.
As I was driving home, I turned the radio on and there was a gentle voice answering questions at a Christian talk show. She was saying how this organization could help women with an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. She said that Heartbeat of Miami Pregnancy Help Medical Clinics could help. I was not sure how they could help but I was desperate.
When I called the number, I spoke to Martha who told me that they could offer alternatives to women that did not want or could not have their baby. She asked to meet with me just to talk and share with me the options that I had.
I had already made an appointment with an abortion clinic but I decided to meet with Martha first. She arranged for me to have an ultrasound. That is when I saw my baby for the first time and heard her heartbeat. The ladies in the clinic treated me with much love, dignity and respect, never judging me and giving me the opportunity to see my baby. They offered to help me with different resources and also a plan of adoption. They spoke about faith, about life. Even if my baby was indeed Down Syndrome, there were people willing to adopt her. At that very moment I knew I did not want an abortion. How could I end the life of my baby?
We prayed at the Clinic and I felt strong even though I knew there were very difficult times ahead of me. However, I didn’t feel alone anymore. I felt there were people that cared about me and the baby with no hidden agenda, with no other interest than my well being.
Martha kept her word to be there for me. She followed up on me. I was a total stranger, yet she treated me as family. I felt more encouraged that I wanted my child more than anything.
The girls at the clinic continued to follow up with me making sure I had the resources I needed it. The joy came back to me and I had hope to face tomorrow. I no longer felt alone, I felt I had a new family that truly cared.
When the time came to have my baby girl, Martha and Jeanne (the Clinic Director) were in the hospital with me. When my baby Marella was born, she became the first baby born to this wonderful ministry.
Five years have passed and my daughter Marella is everything for me. She fills my life with joy and she is the most beautiful gift I have ever received. I work as a Realtor and I am able to raise my daughter with everything she needs and her father is a very important part of her life. He loves her and helps support her. She takes dancing and music lessons. She also takes art lessons and paints beautiful pictures that I proudly frame. She is intelligent and well behaved doing wonderful in school.
I thank God for Heartbeat of Miami Pregnancy Help Medical Clinics. If it hadn’t been for them, Marella wouldn’t be here today and I might have never had the opportunity to experience the blessing of being a mother.
Mapi was the first of over 30,000 women to find life-saving help at Heartbeat of Miami since the group opened up its doors in 2007. Today, Heartbeat of Miami serves in four locations—two of which were once abortion mills. Click here for more about Heartbeat of Miami’s life-saving mission.
Editor’s note: This article was first published at Heartbeat International and is reprinted here with permission.