Stormee describes herself as having been a bad teenager. When she lived at home she says she had a hard time following the rules and most of the time broke them. Eventually, that along with domestic violence issues on the part of her father led to her running away from home at the age of 17. While on the run she mainly stayed with friends, and it was during this time that she became pregnant. Recognizing the reality that she was homeless – Stormee was fortunate to land in a local program that assists young people who wish to overcome poverty and homelessness. Through the program she gained assistance leading to her being able to get an apartment.
In the midst of the many changes and challenges going on in Stormee’s life, the biggest and most important factor was that she was pregnant.
The child’s father had domestic violence issues. Early on he exhibited control issues as well as actual physical abuse toward Stormee. She recognized that if he was abusing her, he would most likely abuse the baby and Stormee was determined not to let this happen. She demanded it end and the physical abuse did – but the verbal abuse continued. The biological father is still in her life. “He wants to be a good Dad, but can’t be there consistently. He doesn’t understand that’s not good for kids.”
Fortunately for Stormee, at school she saw a flyer about the Nurse Family Partnership® program. As Stormee describes it, “I was so lucky they sent Rosie. She was calm, she didn’t judge me and she said it was time to set goals.”
Stormee was still early in her pregnancy when she met Rosie. “I was about three-months pregnant when I met Rosie. I then began meeting with her every two-weeks.
Rosie showed me the good and the positive about my situation. I had been told there was the possibility my child would be born with a birth defect and Rosie continually told me to have strength and believe that my daughter would be OK and that we would get through whatever challenges arose.”
Stormee’s daughter, Sophia, was born with a particular medical condition, one that could be treated with surgery which was done following her birth. The surgery was successful and now Stormee describes her daughter as healthy and thriving.
Today, at age 22, Stormee feels more optimistic about the future than ever before. “I was able to get my Associates Degree and now work as a medical assistant at Denver Health. I have a close family member who cares for my daughter during the day. MY daughter and I love to be outdoors, we love hikes, the zoo, walks – anything outdoors.”
Stormee’s near-term goal is to return to school so that she can become a nurse. Giving back to the community remains vitally important to her and because of the miraculous difference it made for her daughter, her long-term goal is to become a surgeon. “Imagine being able to change a person’s life. That’s what was done for me and I would enjoy doing that for someone else.”
Heidi became pregnant her sophomore year in high school. She felt especially alone in this life-changing experience and lacked a supporter, someone, anyone, who could help her to understand the many changes that her life would be taking on. Many of these feelings were a result of having lost her mother about one year before becoming pregnant.
What do I do, she thought. I don’t feel that I can tell my dad but her thinking changed and eventually she did share the news with her dad. She was pleasantly surprised that her dad was actually excited and enthusiastic about the news. Having her dad’s support was helpful but she wondered how much support her dad could provide especially considering that he, too, was still grieving the loss of his wife, (Heidi’s mother).
Being pregnant was not something that Heidi was happy about. She felt lost and confused. Fortunately, one day at school she was called into the nurse’s office and the school nurse told Heidi about Nurse-Family Partnership®.
Arrangements were made and very soon Heidi’s N-FP nurse began visiting in Heidi’s home on a weekly basis. Heidi found that having the nurse tell her what to expect in her pregnancy and important things she should be doing was a great help. Then, more tragedy struck.
The person who provided Heidi with reassurance, who said he would be here to support her, her dad — also passed away. The pain for Heidi was palpable but she now had a baby to think about and that’s where she directed her thinking.
Heidi shared that, “My baby was born and it was very important to continue meeting with my N-FP Nurse. I felt bad about leaving my baby in someone else’s care while I attended school but my N-FP Nurse assured me that getting an education was something important that I was doing not just for me but for the baby, too. The meetings with my nurse were so important during this time and actually were what made me feel good about being a mom.
Now, Heidi is feeling much more encouraged about her future. “My life today is the best it has been in four years. I am now a full-time college student and I approach each day and my future with confidence – a great deal of which I got from my N-FP Nurse. I always enjoyed reading to my daughter, Ellena, and with my nurse’s help have come to understand the importance of books in Ellena’s life. When I do my college studies, Ellena is right there at the table with me reading her books, too.”
Heidi noted that she has always enjoyed school. “I investigated the scholarships that were available to me and they have helped make college possible. I realize now that I can make a good life. I can have a happy life and so can Ellena. I do want to have a career and make Ellena proud of me, and I want to be a good role model for my daughter. Ellena is a wonderful daughter and she and I enjoy living in Greeley and I have lived there since I was in the 6th grade.”
When asked about Heidi, her N-FP Nurse describes Heidi as having been heavily involved in, and dedicated to the N-FP program and making it work. Heidi is herself involved in a separate program that helps young mothers-to-be. Her N-FP Nurse describes Heidi as being an advocate for herself and her daughter, a person of strength and one driven by commitment to her daughter and achieving the goals she has set for herself.