We sat down smiling in the counseling room to get acquainted better. She was so pretty, so together looking. I was startled to hear her say with such conviction, "I can't have this baby. I don't have a job or a place to live. No car. No license. Having a baby is impossible."
We looked at the fetal models of babies the same age as hers. We looked at photographs of perfect little fetal babies. We talked about her three parenting choices: parenting, adoption and abortion. Adoption didn't seem like an option for her. So we turned to the option of abortion. She had already had one abortion and knew the emotional toll it took on her, but was willing to risk it again. I explained all the ways we could help, but she wasn't budging.
She wanted an ultrasound, though, because she didn't know how far along in the pregnancy she was, so she scheduled an appointment. When she returned, Leah, LifeCare's director, was able to give "Julia" several contacts to help her with housing and other needs. Abortion was still her intent, Julia informed her. She had already made plans, had the money and was ready to move ahead - without a baby in her life.
They proceeded to the ultrasound room where Ellen hooked her up to the monitor and slid the sensor over her stomach. And then it happened - "Julia" met her baby for the first time through clear 3-D sonogram images and the steady sound of a heartbeat. When she saw the sweet face of her baby, hands moving so fluidly, her spirit melted and abortion faded from her mind. She cried, fell in love, and exclaimed, "I can't wait to hold my baby!"