At 18 years old and three months pregnant, high school graduate Rosa moved from Houston to Round Rock, Texas, to be closer to her baby’s father. When she was four months pregnant she learned that Nurse-Family Partnership provides a personal nurse to first-time moms throughout pregnancy, when the baby is born, and until the baby turns two years old.
Although she was insecure about meeting a nurse, she pushed through her shyness and decided to give Nurse-Family Partnership a try. Rosa soon met with Desiree, an NFP nurse at Any Baby Can, at her home.
“It felt weird to talk about my life and my pregnancy, and I didn’t want to say something if it wasn’t appropriate,” shares Rosa. “But Desiree explained that her role in the program is to make me feel comfortable. She also shared that I could ask anything I wanted. I began to feel more confident and enjoy my time with her.”
Rosa describes Desiree’s calm demeanor when discussing difficult or would-be embarrassing topics, and knows Desiree is there to support whatever decision Rosa makes. Expressing feelings or opinions was hard for Rosa. At times she was very emotional before she gave birth because she never had a mom in her life. Her parents haven’t been there for her and her paternal grandmother has been the one constant person in her life before Desiree.
“Desiree is there for me, sharing information and never judging me,” says Rosa. “And I really was grateful for the time she spent with me. It was valuable. All of my OBGYN appointments were very quick and didn’t feel as if my doctor really had time to talk to me or answer my questions and concerns.” Desiree also monitored her blood pressure in between doctor appointments because it was elevated at times.
After giving birth, Rosa didn’t know why her baby was crying so much. At Desiree’s next visit, Rosa asked her if this much crying was normal. Desiree shared a video about “purple crying,” and shared that parents can put their baby in a safe place if they are crying. Rosa then felt like she could handle the crying, and she then listened closely when Desiree shared information about self-care for moms.
“Self-care is important and I don’t think I’d be as successful in my classes at Austin Community College if I wasn’t taking care of myself,” Rosa shares.
Now 19 years old and studying to become a nurse, Rosa and her baby’s father are married and building a life together. “We want to buy a house in a few years and I want to become a nurse, working in a good job. We want to provide a better future for our daughter,” she says.
Rosa is also trying to build a relationship with her mom because she now has her own daughter and wants to create a bond between the three of them. Desiree is still giving her support and feedback, encouraging “smaller steps” in the relationship when needed.
“This program is a good experience and the nurses are full of knowledge for first-time moms,” says Rosa. “Desiree was never negative. And I always felt supported and loved.”