“When Megan first told me she was pregnant, I was unsure of what to do next,” recalled new dad Jacob. “I felt relieved when we decided to reach out to Nurse-Family Partnership ® (NFP) to get some help. I was even more reassured when we learned that NFP is a free program,” he said.
Jacob was 22 years old and his partner, Megan, was 21 years old when they found out she was expecting their baby boy. “I heard about NFP through my twin sister who had been through the program two years before,” said Megan. She called VNA Genesis Nurse-Family Partnership in Clinton, Iowa and was paired with nurse Paula within the first five weeks of her pregnancy.
Jacob and Megan met virtually with nurse Paula during telehealth visits throughout their pregnancy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were nervous to meet with nurse Paula at first, but we liked the idea of knowing I could get information and answers from someone who is a nurse and is credible,” remembered Megan.
Everything nurse Paula gave us was extremely helpful. We learned at least one new thing during each visit.
“Jacob and Megan were always involved and open to new information. I sent materials for them to review while Megan was pregnant. Jacob was engaged and interested in learning about upcoming milestones,” said nurse Paula. Likewise, Jacob recalled, “Everything nurse Paula gave us was extremely helpful. We learned at least one new thing during each visit.”
Megan was induced in June 2021 and after a long and slow labor, she delivered their son, Benjamin. Jacob said, “I was so excited to see him for the first time.” He continued, “Megan and I both liked the name Benjamin, and his middle name is Eugene – named after my dad’s middle name.”
Nurse Paula was finally able to visit the family in-person after COVID-19 restrictions were lifted when Benjamin was three months old. “I got really excited when nurse Paula would come visit!” said Jacob. “I liked seeing how Benjamin was growing when she weighed him, and the reassurance from a nurse telling us he was meeting his milestones.”
After maternity leave, Megan returned to work as a sushi chef in the kitchen department of a local grocery retailer. Jacob had been laid off during the pandemic so they decided it would save costs and be most beneficial for him to stay home as Benjamin’s caretaker. “I like to take him on walks and snuggle,” said Jacob. “Benjamin loves to play with our cats and has an interest in monster trucks.”
Jacob has really shown how loving and attentive he is to Benjamin. He is just very sweet and nurturing and a very involved dad.
Nurse Paula said, “Benjamin is one year old now and it’s evident he likes to mimic his dad. Jacob taught Benjamin how to throw a ball overhand!” Jacob affirms, “Oh yes, we like to play catch. He picked up on it quick – if I throw him the ball, he will catch it and throw it back to me.”
“Jacob has really shown how loving and attentive he is to Benjamin. He is just very sweet and nurturing and a very involved dad. Truly, seeing parents who seek out information and want to improve their parenting skills – that motivates me as a nurse!” said nurse Paula.
Since both of his parents have culinary skills, Benjamin has transitioned from bottles to solid foods easily. “We enjoy cooking at home. We recently introduced him to meats, so he loves to eat diced steak or ham with mac ‘n cheese – but his favorite food is French fries,” said Megan.
Now, Jacob and Megan are working on what most new parents try to figure out – a work/life balance. Jacob is back to working part time at the same local grocery retailer where Megan works. When they both work at the same time, a family member watches Benjamin. Megan said, «Balancing back and forth is still a struggle, we’re both adjusting to that.” Nurse Paula said, “It’s not always easy attaining a work/life and family balance. I encourage Jacob and Megan to nurture their relationship and spend quality time together.”
Megan said, “Everything I know about being a mom, I learned from nurse Paula. I must have asked her thousands of questions!” Jacob agrees, “She taught us so much. Before Ben came along, I knew nothing about having a baby.”
Jacob and Megan are taking Benjamin on his first family vacation this summer. Megan said, “It is a fishing trip where we are staying in a cabin on a lake. Benjamin is interested in anything his dad does, so I know he is going to love it!”