Leah’s Story

Ella and her family came to Canada with dreams of what her future would look like; she hoped to complete her college degree, pursue a career in nursing, get married and have children. Ella was enjoying her new life here, which included hanging out with her friends, studying, and starting a dating relationship, like many girls her age.

Within her first year of being in Canada, Ella missed her period and thought that she might be pregnant. She took a pregnancy test, and to her surprise, the result was positive. Ella smiled when she first saw the positive result, but then intense feelings of shame and fear started sinking in. Would her mom and family be disappointed in her? How would she finish school? Would her boyfriend support her?

[I thought that] I never wanted to have a child, because I don’t know how to take care of myself… I [couldn’t] imagine myself being a mother… I [didn’t] want to go through the feeling of disappointment from my family members, but that’s what I ended up with.

She was young and still had a lot of things to learn in life – she did not expect motherhood to be one of them right now. She felt lost when thinking about becoming a parent so unexpectedly. This pregnancy was not a part of her plan. She felt overwhelmed and alone.

Ella called her boyfriend to tell him the news, and his response was one word, “Yikes.” Although abortion went against Ella’s values, as she believed in God and was raised a Catholic, her boyfriend suggested, “Why not get an abortion?” This was not reassuring for Ella. Ella did not want to have an abortion, but now she thought that abortion was her only option.

Ella sought help from her school who referred her to a social worker. With the help of the social worker, Ella was able to find out about Pregnancy Care Centre Toronto. During an appointment with Lesley [PCC Staff Member], they discussed her pregnancy options and the support available to Ella to help her make an informed decision. It was then that Ella decided to parent.

I consciously and actively made the decision of dealing with my life, dealing with what’s in front of me, facing the challenges, no matter how hard they were at that moment.

PCC Toronto provided support to Ella by providing baby items and a travel system, and through our prenatal classes and our LifeBoat parenting program, which she completed with Kim [PCC Volunteer]. This program and their time together really made an impact on Ella and changed her initial fears of motherhood to feeling more equipped and encouraged in her new role as a mother.

[Kim] would allow me to talk about the things that are going through my head or with my life. She was like a friend [to me.] [This] helped me to process [and] release it instead of carrying that weight and not dealing with it… Kim pushed me to the positive side of things.

Thanks to your support, Ella gave birth to a baby boy, Dominic. Although motherhood comes with its challenges, Ella now has a community of people supporting her and her son, and she is embracing the beauty and joy of motherhood.