For some clients, Grace House is more than just a pregnancy assistance center. It’s a place they can take classes to learn about parenting—classes about shots, kid-friendly foods, what babies should be doing at different stages, and infant CPR. It’s a place they can get ask questions or get help with items they need. And, for some clients, Grace House is a home away from home.
Aryan is a two-time Grace House client with a toddler and a newborn. When she found out she was pregnant with her son, she was in her senior year of high school and she wanted to graduate early, but couldn’t because she was in college classes and didn’t want to waste the time she’d put into those classes, or the money. Then she went to a Teen Parenting class at Weatherford High School and met Rosemary.
At first, she was skeptical, and Rosemary didn’t think she’d be back. But Aryan did come back. Every week. She enjoyed the classes and they gave her confidence that parenting was the right choice—and a choice she could excel at.
After her son was born, Aryan kept coming back. When she found out her son needed special formula that was far outside what she could afford, she didn’t know what to do. She knew he needed the formula, but there was no way she could afford it. So, she came to Grace House. Someone had just donated a huge amount of that special formula, and they were able to help her with formula for a long time.
But that’s not the only reason Aryan continues to come back to Grace House. It is, she says, like a home away from home. She sees her mom friends here, and they sit on the couches and talk while their kids play. It’s a break from the stresses of their lives.
Then there’s Rosemary.
“She’s like my mom,” Aryan says. “Any time I’m stressed or worried or need someone to talk to, I can talk to her.” Those talks with Rosemary are a lifeline for Aryan, who works full-time and goes to school while caring for her children and her fiancé.
When Aryan went to Options Clinic to confirm her second pregnancy, she didn’t tell Rosemary, because she didn’t want her to be mad.
Instead, Rosemary told her, “It’s going to be okay. We’re going to get through it.”
And they did.
There was a complication in the second pregnancy, and she had to go to multiple appointments a week, but Aryan kept showing up. She even invited Rosemary to the hospital when she was in labor the second time. Now she visits Grace House with both of her kids.
“I get so stressed out and I bottle everything up and Rosemary and I talk and I feel better, and we talk about life, we talk about kids, and we talk about how I stress out,” Aryan says with a laugh as she holds her newborn daughter. “I just love her.”
When asked what she would say to Grace House’s donors, gratitude fills Aryan’s voice as she cuddles her tiny daughter closer.
“They bless so many people. They may think they’re blessing one person, but they bless every single one of us. Anything they donate helps: clothes, pacifiers, socks, the smallest thing helps. More than they know. They might not think how much they’re blessing someone, but it does.”
Gratitude might not be a strong enough word.
“If Grace House weren’t here, I don’t know what I would have done in that situation. Because I don’t know of any other place around here that helps pregnant moms,” Aryan says.
Aryan is no longer a scared high school senior pregnant with her first child. Now she’s mom to a toddler and an infant, she works full-time, and she goes to college and prepares for nursing school. She is, as Rosemary says, a star.
What would this star mom say to anyone who’s pregnant and worried how hard life is going to be?
“You’ll be okay. Life is hard. No matter what. You just have to do it. No matter how hard times get, you still have your baby to raise. Everything you do affects your baby’s future, so if you’re contemplating school, go to school. You don’t want to struggle. Your kid will see that, and you want better for your kid.”
Grace House: a home away from home. Pep talks included.
Written by Misti Pyles, Grace House Volunteer