Monday, 14 June 2021
When I became a nurse, I never saw myself doing what I do now Karolina Grabowska/Pexels

When I became a nurse, I never saw myself doing what I do now

Editor's note:  National Nurses Day is celebrated each year on May 6 to raise awareness of the significant role nurses play in society. It marks the beginning of National Nurses Week, which ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale. (From Pregnancy Help News offers National Nurses Week greetings and gratitude to all nurses for their service to others through the healthcare profession. The following column comes from Amanda C., a nurse with the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN). Heartbeat International manages the APRN and Pregnancy Help News.

I always saw myself doing what everybody else did when they graduated from nursing school—work a conventional nursing job in a hospital or clinic. And for a little while, I did just that. I had no other plans for my nursing career at the time.

While I have always been pro-life, it wasn’t until the past few years that I became more outspoken or even did anything practical about my beliefs. 

When, after a series of unfortunate events, I couldn’t continue working at my hospital job, I struggled with my purpose as a nurse. Compounded with the fact that traditional nursing jobs were becoming less and less appealing to me, I felt lost and disillusioned. What was I supposed to do now that my plans had changed?

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That’s when, after many months of prayer, by God’s grace, I learned about the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network

After watching the movie “Unplanned” and getting involved with 40 Days for Life for the first time, I quickly discovered the many different opportunities to help and serve vulnerable women contemplating abortion.

I still remember the night I first came across Abortion Pill Rescue®.

Amazing testimonials of women who reversed their chemical abortions and had healthy babies 

I was on my laptop looking up one of the websites I had seen on a sign at my local 40 Days for Life prayer vigil, and one of the organizations listed on that website was Abortion Pill Rescue. 

I thought, “Hmm, that sounds interesting...that’s a thing?” 

Before I knew it, I had spent who knows how long surfing their website, reading about the reversal treatment, frequently asked questions, and amazing testimonials of women who had successfully reversed their chemical abortions and went on to have healthy babies. 

When I heard that each of these women had called and spoken to a nurse about the reversal, something instantly sparked in me and I thought, “I want to be one of those nurses.”

I quickly got connected with some of Heartbeat International’s staff, who explained more about the nurse hotline consultants who helped women connect with health care providers near them to assist with the reversal process, and how to apply to become one of their hotline nurses. While the application process was lengthy (partially due to the pandemic), I still remember the sheer amount of excitement that filled my heart when I learned I was accepted and could begin training in this life-saving work.

Heartbeat’s orientation was absolutely phenomenal and extremely practical, and it prepared me very well for the work ahead of me. 

I had quite a number of good, happy days my first few times I was on the hotline. Getting to help desperate but enthusiastic mothers start the reversal process and hearing the renewed joy in their hearts for their unborn babies was so rewarding, and I was incredibly thankful and joyful to have the opportunity to be part of something that was so meaningful and life-giving. For the first time in a long time, I truly felt fulfilled as a nurse and like I was doing what I was meant to do.

Ministering to others - The need for self-care

I really liked my job. But I also became very rattled when tough cases came up.

Nothing could prepare me to learn the news from women who bravely started the reversal process, but unfortunately ended up miscarrying. To talk to the teenage girl whose mother forced her into the abortion, or the woman whose own husband made her take the abortion pill. To hear a woman disclosing she’s being abused and her life and her baby’s life are both being threatened. To hear from women interested in reversal but later tell me they read articles online that supposedly showed the “dangers” of reversal (and for them to not know how biased and untruthful that information was), and subsequently back out. To counsel women who are on the fence and can’t decide whether to reverse or not, and they later end up telling me they went ahead and took the second set of abortion pills to complete the abortion (and sharing how devastated they were).

During my initial training, I learned about “vicarious trauma.” It’s feeling and experiencing someone else’s trauma as if you were there going through it yourself. 

I greatly appreciated Heartbeat’s emphasis on self-care and always relying on God for strength for the work we do because I quickly realized how much I needed that. 

I didn’t understand why, the first time I had a multiple-day string of very tragic cases, I just couldn’t stop crying at the end of the week. I broke down crying on the phone with one of the other hotline nurses, I bawled my eyes out to a 40 Days for Life friend, and I realized how much my heartstrings could be pulled doing this kind of work. 

Offering hope in a woman’s darkest time 

I realized for the first time that the work we do has both the power to drive us forward with so much hope and excitement for the future, and the ability to drag us down to emotional lows that are so deep that it feels like all the tears cried can’t express how much the pain hurts. 

I realized that working for one of the most controversial movements in history, and being on the side of life, often comes with excruciating backlash and disapproval from a hurting world that has been lied to about abortion. 

But with the loving and faithful support of other hotline nurses and my team managers, I also realized that even in the midst of utter chaos, challenges, stresses, and sorrows, the work we do is so vital, not just to the pro-life movement, but to women and their families all around the world to give them a second chance at choice when they have nobody else to turn to.

Tweet This: The work we do is so vital to women & families around the world to give them a 2nd chance at choice when they have nobody else to turn to

It’s offering hope in a woman’s darkest time. It’s showing grace for the decision she regrets. It’s letting love overflow from my heart into hers. It’s having that tender heart in the midst of her sadness. It’s giving a listening ear to hear the struggles and desperations of this mother. It’s coming alongside her in whatever she’s going through. It’s extending care and concern for her physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It’s lending a helping hand to get her the treatment, support, and resources she needs to continue her pregnancy and have her beautiful baby. And ultimately, it’s being the hands and feet of Jesus to reach and touch her life and the life of her unborn child. And it’s doing it together, as a team.

Tweet This: Ultimately, serving women through APR is being the hands and feet of Jesus to reach and touch her life and the life of her unborn child.

I have loved learning from my fellow nurse hotline consultants and managers all these months about how to do all these things and more—and to these women: I am so thankful for each one of you. 

You have helped me grow tremendously as a young woman of faith, a nurse, and a champion of life and hope. I truly appreciate how you have been there for me, especially as a new hotline nurse. You’ve helped me navigate the various challenges, answered my dozens of questions, boosted my confidence in my work, taken the next new case (or two, or three) when my brain is overwhelmed with outstanding cases, and built me up and encouraged me on both the high and the low days. 

It has been such a blessing and honor serving women from all around the country and the rest of the world with you, and I’m looking forward to continuing in this wonderful work with you all. 

Tweet This: It's been such a blessing & honor serving women from all around the country & the rest of the world w/the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network

From 1,000 saved babies to the 2,000 milestone and to 3,000 and beyond, it’s been such a pleasure working together!

While our tangible reward is often seen in the adorable and precious babies born after successful reversals, and the amazing testimonies of their happy and thriving mothers who are so thankful for their children, I know our eternal reward lies in the hope of heaven when we meet Jesus face to face and He says to us, “Well done, good and faithful servants!” 

Have a wonderful, blessed, and happy Nurses Week, APR nurses!

Amanda C. has been serving on the APRN hotline since the fall of 2020. As an APRN hotline nurse, she explains the reversal process to clients seeking reversal, answers questions, provides education, completes intake forms with clients, obtains client consent, and connects clients with nearby APR health care providers who can assist them in starting the reversal. The nurses also help connect clients to life-affirming resources near them, including post-abortion healing resources. Amanda is very passionate about coming alongside women and empowering them to choose life for their babies. 

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