When she was six months pregnant, first-time mom Tinnekia learned about Nurse-Family Partnership through the WIC Office of Tarrant County in Texas. She was glad to learn that her nurse, Janelle, also known as Jay to Tinnekia, would be with her throughout her pregnancy, giving her advice and much-needed support.
“Jay always encouraged me and gave me advice I can trust. She made me feel comfortable from our very first meeting, and was there to just listen to me when I needed to talk,” says Tinnekia.
Tinnekia’s journey includes overcoming a bi-polar and schizophrenic episode at age 17. When she became pregnant 10 years later, she was living with her mother and dealing with the effects of the disease on her health and well-being. Enrolling in Nurse-Family Partnership at Tarrant County Public Health was a turning point for her. Tinnekia credits her relationship with her nurse for helping her fully come into herself. “Jay was a great support system being that I was just seeing life as a normal adult six months prior to meeting her,” she says.
Whether she was facing questions about how to wean Booker from his bottle or how to set and reach her own goals, she knew that she could rely on Janelle for support and information. Being a part of NFP helped her learn to care for herself and her baby while creating an independent life for them.
“Janelle helped me the very most by telling me to never give up, set goals, and then get to where I need to be. Whenever I accomplished something she would give me amazing feedback, reminding me that I can do anything. Updating her on my goals and what I’ve achieved was exciting for me, and her smile made me proud,” Tinnekia says.
Booker is now a walking, talking toddler, and they live on their own in Tinnekia’s first apartment. Tinnekia takes him to see her mom and Booker’s dad regularly. She takes Booker to the park every day after work. “He is a very happy, friendly baby who likes getting into stuff. He’s smart too, tracking ahead on his pediatrician check-ups. Booker is growing every day, learning his ABCs right now and can count up to 13! He loves the outdoors,” she says.
Looking ahead five years, Tinnekia sees herself with a stable income and job, with Booker in school continuing to learn and thrive. She recently started her own cleaning business and named it after her grandmother. “It’s a small business but I plan for it to blossom like a beautiful rose bush!” she says.
“Nurse-Family Partnership is a great program that gives you support outside of your family. Nurses keep you motivated, help you set goals and achieve them and give you help when you need it,” Tinnekia says. “This is the best program anyone can join.”
Janelle admires how much Tinnekia has accomplished for her family, having saved money to buy a car and live on her own. “She has blossomed and this carries over to her child,” says Janelle. “NFP has helped her with her confidence level. She now believes, ‘I can do it!’ — she will accomplish her goals one step at a time.”
Tinneka is a participant in the Nurse-Family Partnership program at Tarrant County Public Health in Fort Worth, Texas.