How the Pregnancy Crisis Service aided a teenager when she decided to keep her baby
It is not easy to deal with an unplanned pregnancy. This is especially so when you are young, single, and financially unstable. Gail (not her real name) is living with no regrets as she raises her child. Life, as she knows now, would be vastly different if not for the support given by the Pregnancy Crisis Service volunteers.
Here is her story:
It was Gail’s 18th birthday when she discovered she was pregnant again. This was her second pregnancy following an abortion merely a year ago. She was lost, afraid, and could not break the news to her family for fear that her mother would force her to go through yet another abortion.
Gail was brought up in an abusive environment. To escape her predicament, she ran away from home at 16.
During her first unexpected pregnancy, her family coerced her to have the unborn baby aborted. Even though she was not staying with her family then, her mother found out about the pregnancy and demanded she get an abortion.
Being young and without the support of her boyfriend or any loved ones, Gail could only proceed with the abortion.
Little did she know it was going to be a part of her life she would never forget.
“I was told to lie back while the baby was being pumped out of me. I sat up too quickly and caught a glimpse of my dead baby. It was very traumatic. Till today, I still get nightmares of the incident,” said Gail.
However, things were different this time. Her boyfriend, the father of her child, was supportive of keeping the baby. And so they did. However, many challenges awaited them as they made that decision.
Gail was working as a car washer and juggling odd jobs at that time. Financially strapped, she sought help from AWWA, a local non-profit organisation that provides community-based programmes and services. AWWA linked her up with Pregnancy Crisis Service (PCS).
PCS is a community support service under the Singapore archdiocese’s Family Life Society which helps women dealing with unplanned pregnancies. Through PCS, Gail found a shelter to take her in while she was pregnant. The PCS team regularly followed up with Gail and provided support when she needed it.
She recalls, “When I first came in contact with PCS, I was very lost. I knew I wanted to keep the baby but I had other problems to deal with. PCS gave me the comfort and support I desperately needed when I was feeling absolutely helpless.”
The team’s volunteers were able to relate to her situation. According to Gail, one of the volunteers was so patient and helpful that it gave her and her boyfriend the strength to go ahead with their decision.
After Gail had given birth, PCS continued to accompany her to doctor’s appointments. Through its After Care Support, PCS provided her with tangible support such as milk powder and diapers when she could not afford these necessities.
Baby Crystal is now about nine months old. The team will continue to help Gail until she has the ability to support herself and Crystal.
Gail’s is one of the many lives that PCS has touched in its 31 years of service. In 2016, 16 babies were delivered and the
After Care Support given to those in need. PCS continues to work with women with unplanned pregnancies.
Pregnancy Crisis Service has a 24-hour hotline (6339-9770) that provides assistance to anyone who may be facing an unplanned pregnancy. The organisation helps women with counselling, parental intervention, financial planning and after-care support. Its website is http://pregnancycrisis.sg/