ELM has been an enormous blessing in my transition of becoming a first-time mother. There is no way I can thank enough the women running the program, and all of those who contribute to the program. From day one, I felt welcomed and was so glad I stopped by the office shortly after I found out I was pregnant.
Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think about all that ELM has done to prepare my home and me for a child, and all the program has done for my child! First and foremost, the knowledge I gained from the DVDs and sessions has been very beneficial. Learning new lessons each week before my son came eased my mind quite a bit and helped me to mentally prepare to welcome my son. Although I may not be a “young” mother, I’m still a first-time mother and this was a new territory for me. Learning about everything from bonding and breastfeeding to first aid, bathing, and baby massage has been wonderful!
Another huge benefit has been the small items gathered from the “homework basket”—I looked forward to bringing home little hats and bibs to get our collection started, and being able to redeem points that I earned each week for larger items we needed, such as a car seat. ELM even hosted an awesome baby shower in our honor and provided us with more needed items. ELM has greatly relieved financial angst by helping provide clothing and diapers.
After 10 months with ELM, I still look forward to the weekly visits and chatting with the volunteers who have helped me with more than preparing for a baby. They are truly caring people who will make sure a mother and baby have what they need, but who will also teach, guide, and listen. Not only have I talked to them about my views as a parent, but also everyday dilemmas—and I’m never rushed or ignored. It was great, also, being able to take my partner to sessions to learn what would be coming along with the baby; he enjoyed it and was amazed to learn what was happening in the womb during the pregnancy.
At ELM, I feel like I am with family who I can trust and rely on. I look forward to the day I can give back to this program and pay it forward to others.
When I first found out about the ELM program, I had just moved to a new town. I was alone and I did not know anyone. I was scared. I was on the edge of 30, already had two children, divorced and starting over. Life is not easy, is what I had grown to know. I hate to say it now, but at that time, I did think about abortion, and even adoption. I was neither ready or prepared to have another child. I thank God that I was able to get some help. Thanks to the wonderful staff at ELM, they showed me that I do not have to do this alone and they were with me every step of the way. I gave birth to a beautiful 7# 9oz healthy baby boy on March 3, 2013. He has shown me all over again how to love and stay strong. He is a wonderful, happy, smart, and loving child. I could not picture a day without him in my life, and I owe that to the love and support of the wonderful ladies at ELM that helped me along the way.