Ryan and Sam each had “a past” by the time they met each other. They were wanting to leave those days behind and begin new, better lives. When they found out they were pregnant, they were surprised but excited. This was a chance for a new start. Their experience at Align was life changing for them and their new baby, Nova. Katie Rutt, Pregnancy Services Director in Ephrata, recently sat down with Ryan and Sam as they shared their story.
Katie: How did you find out about Align?
Sam: I remember in high school, my friend who was pregnant went to Align. I remembered from her about the baby boutique and the classes… So I knew you existed. I thought, “I don’t really know what they do, but let’s go check them out!”
Katie: So you came in together for a pregnancy test appointment, and then an ultrasound, and then our prenatal classes. Talk a little about the classes Align offered and what that meant to you.
Ryan: We were trying figure out what to do with our time outside of work because she lost her job when she got pregnant, and hanging out with our old friends at those places… we didn’t want to do that anymore. So really, the parenting classes helped set a new trend for us. Tuesday was class night – and that became our date night. We’d go to class and then go out to eat either before or after the lesson. We had homework, and so we’d set another day of the week aside to complete it and talk with each other how we were going to be parents.
Sam: We knew we’d get to see our client advocate there and be able to chit chat with her and the others at the center. We loved it! We never missed a lesson – not because we thought we’d get in trouble, but because we wanted to be there.
Katie: That’s so awesome! You also mentioned that the lessons themselves were helpful. Would you talk a little more about that?
Sam: The prenatal lessons were HUGE for us! There was a lot we didn’t know. Like, the first time I felt her move – I wasn’t even sure what that was. We learned things like how to soothe a fussy baby or what would happen to my body when I went into labor. At one point someone asked what our birth plan was. We were like – “what’s a birth plan?” We didn’t know until we started coming here, and so we were able to set up a nice little birth plan that met our needs.
Ryan: We eventually realized that the things the doctors were telling us, we had already learned here 2 weeks prior! That gave us time to think and talk about things, which helped us ask better questions.
Katie: You shared how the knowledge you gleaned helped you in a bigger way – tell us about that?
Sam: I had been addicted to an anxiety medication for years When I got pregnant, I wanted to get off my anxiety medicine. I did NOT want to pass my anxiety on to Nova. At one point, our client advocate even put her hands on my belly and prayed with me. Those withdrawal weeks were really hard. On the meds, the medicine handled my stress. Off the meds, I had to learn how to handle the stress.
Through all this, we started to see that because of what we were learning – when a certain situation arose – we already knew what to do. That helped make things less stressful. Knowledge was replacing medicine in my life. That is so much better.
Katie: Would you want to share some of the ways you were impacted spiritually while at Align?
Ryan: Church was definitely a part of our lives growing up. We knew when we’d come here there would be prayer, and we looked forward to it. There was a sense of calm after we would leave Align.
Sam: Having Nova and coming to Align has helped us with our faith, and we’re doing a lot better. We recently went to the Creation Museum & Ark in Kentucky with Ryan’s work. We saw the “Fearfully & Wonderfully Made exhibit” and felt really connected to that.
Katie: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Ryan: We just want to assure you that Align really makes a difference! The information, emotional support and the material assistance was a huge help! Coming to Align was a really big stepping point for us. It allowed us to be able to become this new couple. We are committed to each other and to Nova.
Sam: Her name, Nova, means “new”. She’s going to have a better life than I did. I’m thankful she has a good family and a good life. She can be the new generation.