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Newcomer parents holding baby after receiving support from the Pregnancy Care Centre

Unexpected Pregnancy in a Foreign Country Emelia's Story

Newcomer parents holding baby after receiving support from the Pregnancy Care Centre

Newcomer parents holding baby after receiving support from the Pregnancy Care Centre.

Two years ago, I was living in the U.S., with a secure job as a personal support worker and taught workshops part-time in my field. Compared to when my family and I lived in Yemen, I was very busy and had everything I felt I needed. My son was 9 years old at the time when the political climate in the U.S. was changing. We felt unsafe and decided to come to Canada. My husband went months before us. Then, in the summer of 2018 it was our turn to move to Toronto. I felt a dramatic shift in my life when we moved. I started to feel isolated and this frustrated me. During this time my husband and I had grown far apart in our relationship. Our separation brought divorce up.

One day, I started to feel sick and I didn’t think I could be pregnant because I had, had 3 previous miscarriages since the time my son was born. When I found out I was, in fact, pregnant I became very scared. My husband didn’t seem happy about it. The loneliness worsened as I needed special care and ended up having to stay in bed throughout my first trimester. This fragile season of life made me very emotional because I was new to Canada, I had no friends, and I couldn’t go outside. I got more depressed and felt alone. At this point, my husband and I were no longer talking to each other. I had many thoughts of wishing this could all go away, thoughts about no longer being pregnant.

A few weeks later I confronted my husband because I came to my last straw of needing support. I constantly wondered why I would want to keep this child if I didn’t have support. I felt so alone in this country and in my marriage. How was I going to do this?

One day I went to our local food bank because I was searching for maternity clothes. I asked if they had any, but they said no. Thankfully, however, a worker there found the Pregnancy Care Centre (PCC) online for me. So, I made an appointment and went to PCC right away. For the first time in months, I really felt that someone was listening to me! I shared about my struggle as a newcomer and what was happening in my marriage. A lot of tears were shed in that session. I was so full of emotions and needed to be heard. They gave me an outlet to share what was on my mind. The staff comforted me, shared with me the resources they had available, specifically for me. I needed more material and community support and I found that through the PCC.

The session brought great relief because the PCC overwhelmed me with compassionate care. They called to check in on me regularly, sent me job opportunities, and offered help if I needed to move. They were there to help with me anything and everything. I really appreciated it. The support of the PCC staff, volunteers, and donors who made it possible for me to access free help empowered me to make me feel like myself again. My renewed strength helped me rejoice and say, “I do have support.” Since then, my baby girl was born in September 2019, my marriage has improved, and I am happily adjusting to life in Canada.

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