In the waning days of summer 2017, eighteen-year- old Maria wasn’t surprised or shocked to find herself pregnant with her first child. She was, however, a most vulnerable young mother. Unmarried and uninsured, she had no access to Medicaid. A friend agreed to help her to search for a place and a way to receive prenatal care. Together, the two women set out to find a provider on whom Maria could depend to bring her baby safely into the world.

What did surprise and shock Maria, as her search continued, was the reaction of the “health” care providers she saw. Without exception, they pressed her to abort. “You’re only eighteen; surely you aren’t going to want….” “You’re too young; you have school to finish….” “You have your whole life ahead of you….” Being urged to take her child’s life by physicians–
whom she had been taught to regard as guardians and saviors of life—was shocking and discouraging to Maria. Although we at Tepeyac and Divine Mercy Care are sadly aware that this kind of abortion promotion to very young mothers is a regular occurrence in what might be called “mainstream” practices, she came to those practices as an innocent. Fortunately, she also had an innocent’s conscience, and it was strong enough to resist any influence that might lead to the abortion of her child. 

Both Maria’s family and her baby’s father (now her husband) were firmly in favor of her decision to give her child the gift of life. Once she found Tepeyac OB/GYN, her own convictions and those of her already formidable support network were bolstered by the dedication of an entire practice filled with pro-life providers. Maria’s financial needs for receiving Tepeyac’s care were met by a Divine Mercy Care contribution. She settled quickly into a secure, trusting, and blessedly uneventful prenatal appointment routine. 

In February 2018, Tepeyac midwife Kim Terhune delivered a son to Maria. His mother named him Santiago in honor of St. James, patron saint of Spain and the first of the apostles to be martyred. Although Maria had hoped for a natural childbirth, at the last minute she required an epidural to deliver. Suffering from a punctured lung and having aspirated meconium, small Santiago spent about a month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Once Maria was able to bring him home, he made up for lost time by quickly assuming his rightful place as pride and joy of his entire family. 

Now pregnant with her second child (gender still unknown), Maria is again under the painstaking care of Tepeyac–and she can’t say enough good things about the practice.

“They really do go above and beyond, not only in caring for your physical health, but also in making sure to nurture your mindset about becoming a mother. Right from the start, they prep you differently than other medical practices. Right from the start, you feel welcomed and protected at Tepeyac.”

Together with Maria, the Tepeyac doctors and staff are looking forward to meeting Santiago’s sibling. No matter how many deliveries they perform, the joy that these doctors experience in welcoming new life never dims!