Helping With the Unimaginable: A Story from our Community Home Visitation Program
on Tuesday, September 4, 2018
At 17 years old, Sonia Jimenez found herself facing the unimaginable: she was pregnant.
Just a junior in high school, Jimenez turned to her school nurse, who suggested she reach out to HCI Care Services & Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa. At first, Jimenez declined the suggestion, thinking she would be able to do it on her own, but she soon changed her mind.
She was partnered with one of our community home visitation nurses who would see her through her pregnancy.
Our community home visitation nurses conduct home visits with expectant mothers, focusing on education, nutrition, depression screening, and referrals to community and family planning resources. The support continues until the child is 6 months old.
Through the program, Jimenez learned about what would happen in the months leading up to giving birth, the experience of going into labor, and the motherhood role that would come afterwards.
“It helped me a lot,” Jimenez says. “It was nice to have someone there to help me out.”
Her nurse’s support – coupled with the help of her mother, stepfather, and siblings – allowed Jimenez to continue to attend school and work, all while adjusting to motherhood and raising her son, Andrés.
“Being a high school student and then having to work and then having to come home and be a mom has been difficult,” Jimenez said. “It hasn’t been easy—I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But I love being a mom. It’s changed me for the better.”
With high school graduation now behind her, Jimenez is looking toward a future that, she hopes, includes college and nursing school.
“[HCI Care Services & VNS of Iowa] made me want to become a nurse even more,” Jimenez said, “I’ve always wanted to become a nurse. I see how nurses treat other people and how nice they are, and I just want to help other people.”
If you are a mom-to-be and seek pregnancy and parenting support, call 515-288-1516 or visit www.vnsia.org.
This story is an edited excerpt of a piece written by Drake University student Hallie O'Neill.