I was worried about having a baby at the time, because, first of all, I’m in a foreign country, I just came here as a student. Secondly, the father of the baby isn’t here. When I found out I was pregnant it was really scary., I am a Christian and I was very guilty because I got into the position where I felt like abortion was the only option, I was so scared. And I said, “Okay, how will I even take care of her, like financially? If I tell my parents, how will they understand? Because they are the ones supporting me. And they already planned everything, this is the fee for education, this is what you are going to use and then after a year you are going to come back. So it was all scary to me.
I was very, very scared, I was very, very stressed. And then everybody I talked to about said , ‘‘if you abort the baby, it is going to be the best for you, the best decision for you.’ I still felt really guilty about it so when I went to my GP I told him I was going to keep the baby. After that though I started breaking down in tears when I was in school. After a while I started thinking to myself ‘Maybe I should consider having an abortion, see what the procedure is like’.
So I just went on Google, and I found Marie Stopes.
On the day of the appointment I walked towards the clinic and the lady from Good Counsel outside the clinic said “Are you going for the abortion? I can help you if you don’t want to do it” Then I said ‘What? You can help me?’ And then it just took me a second to say ‘Okay’ Then I was relieved, she took me to the office, to the Women’s Centre, and I met Alina there. I was also introduced to Julia and she said: ”We are going to take care of you, we are going to support you in every way we can.”
Julia started really helping me by meeting with me and listening to me. Very often I would walk out of class and go straight to the Women’s Centre and, really stressed out, I would cry and cry.
I think I just needed someone to talk to first of all, and then second of all, I was in real need of financial help. They gave me the money in my account. So I gave them my bank details and every time I had a financial need they helped me. I used to go to visit them all the time and they said to me “Come any time you want to talk or are stressed out”. I always spoke to the same person, Julia, and always felt really comfortable with her.
The day I had my baby she came with me to the hospital and was there with me. I had a C-section and she was with me for that. She held my baby and it was truly special. I was so grateful for the help as it was a difficult time for me. I feel like those people were sent from heaven to help my baby and me. Before I had my baby they had a Christmas party for me and I got so many clothes and her first shoes and everything, because I knew it was going to be a girl by then.
And after that, when I had the baby, I didn’t know where to start with taking care of her, but they gave me everything from the buggy, money, blankets, basket, clothes, everything that I wanted for my baby, they gave it to me.They even gave me the sterilizer for the milk because it would have been very expensive; everything, they gave it to me. And then also they gave me vouchers for Tesco, and then they gave me money as well. I don’t know how my child would be if it wasn’t for them. I’m so grateful for them. People have often asked me “How are you going to cope, it’s so expensive to have a baby, like a bag is so expensive, a bed, everything.” But right from the person standing outside the clinic through to Julia who helped me so much, they have been there for me and my child and I am grateful for that.
It has been quite a difficult journey with my baby, because after she was born, it turned out that she was blind, deaf, and she had so many problems She stayed in the hospital for so long. I didn’t expect to stay for 7 months in the hospital before she came home. She was born with congenital rubella infection, which left her with a lot of problems. But despite everything I’m so so much in love with my baby, and I love her very much. She’s everything to me, and she’s the best thing that I’ve ever seen in this world. She holds my heart and I love her very much. She’s very charming, very lovely, and I’m so grateful for all of the help and support that I’ve received until now.
Note: This testimony uses a pseudonym to preserve the identity of the woman involved.