By Lauren Knight
Seven years ago, Cathleen Ordonez was living in Michigan where she and her husband Robert were happily expecting their first baby. But when Cathleen's water broke at five months, she knew something was wrong. The doctors put her on bed rest for a week and then forced her into labor to try to save the baby. But it was too late, and Cathleen gave birth to a stillborn baby girl named Emma.
“It was a devastating experience. The whole time I was trying to hold on to the hope that Emma could be saved,” said Cathleen.
Two years later, Cathleen and Robert moved to Pacific Union College where she became pregnant again. Given her past experience, Cathleen's doctor put her on strict bed rest at home for most of the pregnancy. During her time on bed rest, Cathleen was web surfing for information about her condition and how she could get answers for her questions when she came across an organization called Sidelines.
Sidelines was founded in 1991 as a support group for women and families who are dealing with high risk pregnancies and issues such as gestational diabetes and hypertension, pre-term labor, and bed rest. On the Sidelines website, pregnant women who are in need of support can sign up and receive the caring encouragement of a person who can relate to them. Services and mothers’ information are confidential.
“The members I talked to knew exactly what I felt at this stressful and dangerous time. They reassured me things could be good in this pregnancy,” explained Cathleen. These reassuring conversations with Sidelines volunteers helped Cathleen stay positive about her situation and not let her past experiences affect her.
In the last stages of Cathleen’s pregnancy, she was put on hospital bed rest. These trying efforts paid off and she gave birth to a healthy boy named Matthew. “Even though Emma's death was devastating, we are very blessed because if it didn't happen, the doctors would not have known what to do in my second pregnancy,” said Cathleen.
Cathleen is now an active member of Sidelines, using her own experiences to help other women dealing with a loss or being on bed rest. Volunteers must go through training to deal with the emotional and psychological effects a mother might have. After finishing the training the volunteers are referred to mothers in need of help. The volunteers make encouraging phone calls and e-mails to their referrals.
“I have helped and encouraged one mother who was on bed rest for three months. She was fortunate and had a healthy boy. I also helped mentor another mother who had recently lost her baby at 21 weeks,” said Cathleen.
Cathleen could have focused on the trauma of her first pregnancy. Instead she uses her experiences to give helpful advice and encouragement to other mothers who are scared for the health and safety of their unborn babies.
For more information about Sidelines visit http://www.sidelines.org.
Spreading the Good Financial News
By Jay Miller
We all know that bad news travels fast on the grapevine. That’s why we have to be intentional about helping good news get out there to counteract the bad news.
One bit of bad news circulating is that PUC’s sticker price is really big. As a result many families never even bother to ask us how much financial aid we have to offer. Instead they assume that their only option is the local community or state college.
So this year as you speak with people in your corner of the Adventist world, the topic of how expensive PUC has become may come up. When it does, please share PUC’s good news with these two points.
First, acknowledge that the “sticker price” for PUC looks really big, but follow up that most families’ bottom line costs are actually quite affordable after financial aid is deducted.
Second, point out that on average, PUC students finish three to five years earlier than students at community or state schools. As a result, PUC students pay three to five years less in out-of-pocket costs and will have three to five years more earnings in their pockets with the head start that PUC gives its students. This important head start can equal hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road.
If you know a prospective student or family member with more questions, refer them to a financial advisor at PUC for all the good news on affording a great education.
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