Jessika and Lilly
“I never thought I wanted to be a mom, and I know it sounds cheesy, but it is so gratifying. When you teach them something and they learn it, it’s incredible. It’s rewarding to know that I taught her — that I did that.”
Jessika, NFP mother, Michigan
It was hard enough for Jessika to learn that she was pregnant at age 20. What made it even harder: few others seemed to have faith in her ability to be a good mother. The reason: Jessika was a recovering heroin addict. Though clean for three years leading up to her pregnancy, she was still in a methadone treatment program. “Everyone still thought of me as a junkie,” Jessika says. “It hurt my self-esteem a lot. But it kind of pushed me to show everyone that I could do it.” Together with her nurse home visitor Julie, Jessika worked to prepare herself for her delivery. At first it was touch and go; her boyfriend, with whom she was living but later left, began cheating on her, which in turn caused her to smoke more. At one point Jessika almost quit the program, until Julie said, “Give me a couple more appointments to change your mind.” “And I am so glad she did,” Jessika now likes to say, because from then on it was full steam ahead. Jessika quickly reduced smoking and then quit altogether while pregnant. With Julie’s help, she applied for food stamps and other assistance programs, improved her diet, and began walking several times per week for exercise. Jessika also took a keen interest in prenatal health, but the methadone made the pregnancy a difficult one. When her daughter Lilly finally arrived she was methadone positive, which drew the attention of Child Protective Services. Thankfully Julie’s presence alleviated their concerns, and since then Jessika has been able to raise Lilly so that she is currently healthy, happy, and ahead on her developmental milestones, all while Jessika pursues her heart’s desire: a career in nursing. We are grateful for your support to be able to help new moms like Jessika during their most trying moments.Read more impactful stories at Nurse-Family Partnership's page.