Dear Unexpected Mom: “Show the world that it is possible.”

Claris was my foundation to making motherhood possible. I get emotional thinking about how much progress we have made. My name is Stephanie. I’m a first generation Mexican American and was raised with a Catholic upbringing. I moved out of my parent’s home when I was 18-years-old, because I wanted to live on my own. 

When I first found out that I was pregnant, I didn’t believe it. This was not what I was expecting for my life. I first went to Planned Parenthood to check again, and they confirmed it. I didn’t know who to turn to or what to do. My relationship at the time with my boyfriend, Chad, was very shaky so I wasn’t sure if he’d be ready to take on such a huge lifestyle change.  I felt confused and alone. It was a very dark time for me.

A few days later, I wanted to see how far along I was so I Google searched clinics that provide ultrasounds. Claris Health popped up on Yelp so I called in and met with one of the counselors named Nancy. Unlike me, she was very calm and supportive. Even when I cried so much in her office, she comforted me. For the first time, I didn’t feel alone. Claris never shamed me, judged me, or made me feel like I was less of a person no matter what I said or did. It’s amazing how my perspective changed when I was able to talk to someone, process my emotions, and express my concerns.

It took me a long time to tell my parents. My mom gave birth to me when she was 15-years-old and the last thing she said to me when I moved out was, “If you’re going to leave, you better not come back pregnant.” I thought my parents were going to kill me. My fear of disappointing them made me really unsure if I was going to keep my baby. I began to consider the abortion option. But in talking things out with Nancy at Claris, it gave me more courage. When I finally told my parents they were incredibly supportive.

Today, I’m happy to share that Chad goes with me to all the Claris classes (labor preparation, bonding with your baby, birth positions, etc), and it’s brought us back together. This pregnancy not only saved my relationship with Chad, it also helped restore Chad’s relationship with his estranged son. We also met our baby girl, Athena Rene Cazares, on Friday, April 17th, 2020! We’d love for you all to meet her as well (pictured below).

I work part-time now as an onsite property manager and continue to get my prenatal care through Claris! Nancy and the Claris medical team have helped me balance my lifestyle of being pregnant while working from home. To the girl out there who thinks she can’t do both, defy the odds and show the world that it is possible

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