At Life, we are creating a world where no one faces pregnancy or pregnancy loss alone. Here's how Yvette found acceptance, kindness, and friendship with Life on her maternity journey.
A courageous decision
Yvette* is 19 years old. She was living with her family until it wasn’t suitable for her and her child anymore. Making the decision to leave her family home was just the start of her journey with her child.
Following her acceptance into the Life House, Yvette was faced with a mixture of emotions – including excitement, fear, guilt, and apprehension. On move-in day she questioned herself. “Is this the right decision?” For her, making the first steps through the front door into the Life House was one of the scariest things she had experienced. It took all her willpower not to change her mind. That first night was the hardest.
The beauty of kindness
Although Life House tenants receive ongoing help from a Support Worker during their time with Life, they also receive huge kindness and support from those other tenants living with them in the House. For Yvette, the knock on her door on the first morning to see if she was okay, the offer to cook her dinner on her first weekend, the support to show her how to use the washing machine, and the simple words of “Would you like to come to town with us?” were huge in her eyes.
Tenants living in the Life Houses can often relate to some of the emotions and feelings a new tenant may be experiencing. One tenant who has been living at the House for six months said, “These were the things that other girls did for me when I first moved in. So I thought it would be nice to do the same as she is new. I have said she can always just knock on my door.”
Small things matter. Being included in the Christmas take-away evening. Having her child’s foot prints added to the House canvas (see right). Being invited to watch films with the other tenants. These all meant a lot to Yvette. She says, “Everyone here is so lovely.” For a tenant who often struggled with meeting new people and making friendships, she was welcomed into the House by the others with no judgment, just acceptance. One tenant commented, “She fits right in with us.”
She won’t face her journey alone
Today I, the Support Worker, walk into the Life House to see Yvette. I find her in the kitchen with all the other women smiling, laughing, and joining in with a biscuit decorating activity. This is only the start of her journey, and the coming months will bring new and different challenges. However, the courage she has shown to take those first steps, combined with the support from Life, and the acceptance and friendship shown by the other tenants will be the foundations she needs. She won’t face her journey alone.
*Please note that all names have been changed.