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Open Arms Blog

Wisdom. Strength. Adventure. Protection. And a whole lotta Fun! The Open Arms team shares things our dads taught us and the funny things our dads did that created fond memories and that still bring a smile to our face:

Celebrating the Fathers who raised us up

"My dad is the kind of man who is always there to help anyone who needs him.  He so often sets aside his own comfort and ease to jump in whenever and however he is needed." D.H.

"The day my dad brought home a hula hoop and the day he took me down to San Pedro to ride a boat." S.W.

"My dad would always sing songs and tell me stories at bedtime.  Every night, he would pat my back until I fell asleep." P.C.

 "Dad, you held me in your strong arms and told me that God has something good planned for me." G.N.

"I remember my dad joyfully dropping me off and picking me up from kindergarten every day. It meant so much to look up and see him there to get me." S.L.

"My dad has taught me patience, taught me how to drive, how to love by the way he loved my mom unconditionally. It's impossible to try to think about it all without being overwhelmed with tears." D.E.

"I remember standing on his feet while he danced at the bottom of our stairs and then how I would try to hold on tight while he went on to walk up the stairs with me." A.L.

"My dad emptied his pockets of change every night and when the grandchildren came to visit he'd say, "go get a handful." CP

"I remember watching soccer with my dad on Sunday afternoons. We would sit in the living room to watch soccer and he always made us chicken alfredo to eat for lunch." M.P.

 "My dad took me fishing and he invented different snacks for us to have."  D.R.

 "I remember having hair salon time with dad and having him sit in a chair while I would try to pull out all of his white hairs." A.L.

"Hands down I was 5 years old at the Father daughter dance, I felt so beautiful and so proud." M.O.

 "My dad would spend time talking to me to prepare me to be the man of the house." K.W.

"I have fond memories of my dad bringing my mom and I home some of our favorite Mexican food." S.B.

My dad would ask me "who loves you baby?"  I would say "you do" and he would say "don't ever forget it." S.J.

"One of my favorite memories is making shortbread with my dad. To make the dough come together, it takes a lot of hard work and perseverance – Qualities he modeled and instilled in me." A.M.

"My father forced me to stand on my own two feet and made me a man." MP

"I remember my dad as a loving dad who wanted to provide for his family the best way he could. He often took in odd jobs in addition to his fulltime job so he can give us more than just the basic necessities." C.J.

"Dad, thank you for being a great father to me.  I know you did your best.  You were a great role model for me too. Thank you for caring and being in my life." KS

Thanks for stopping by, be sure to share your memories of your dad in the comments below.

(If you are unexpectedly facing fatherhood and would like some support, we can help.  Click here for information on our services for fathers.)
 


 

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Taking a Fresh Look into 2018

I'm not leaving behind all that I have learned in the previous years that have made me who I am today. No doubt that I am a woman with goals, dreams, and aspirations. We all can lose perspective at times, so let me encourage you that these dreams positively DO have the possibility to thrive through the unexpected. The unexpected phone call, the pop quiz in your World History class, an unexpected break-up, job loss and yes even if the unexpected comes to us in the form of a new little life. There are resources available, so please know that we are just a phone call or a text away in case you find yourself asking "Am I pregnant?"

I cannot count the number of times I felt alone in making some of life's hardest decisions and grasping to find my way through. I could have benefitted from a person to talk to who cares, who understands the decisions that I am faced with, someone to walk me through solutions that I can trust. It is our desire to come alongside you as women and men who are facing an unexpected pregnancy to offer you our resources along with community referrals to support you in the best possible ways. We don't profit from your reproductive choices, we are solely donor supported by people who sincerely care. They make it possible for us to offer you free clinical pregnancy testing and confirmation. In addition, all of our services are free & confidential.

I love the beauty of a rainbow, the colors, the warmth.  For me it represents hope. Like the new year ahead of us, it reminds me of the possibilities and a valuable insight: I have the amazing liberty to embrace the unexpected by being courageous, thoughtful and engaging in light of the pressures that we all face. We encourage you to visit our client testimonials page. You can also request an appointment here. We look forward to the opportunity to get to know you.

Happy New Year!

Samantha Jackson
Office Administrator

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A true story of how I grew up in a wonderful home knowing the love of two parents and knowing the love of a mother I had never met.

A Letter to My Birth Mom

Dear Sharon,

I've never had the chance to truly tell you how your decision to make an adoption plan for me has impacted my life. I know a bit of your story which led to my adoption, and I'd like you to know a bit of mine. Shortly after my birth, I was placed in a loving family that had previously adopted a little girl. They wanted two girls, so I made our family complete. My adoptive mother wanted nothing more than to be a mom, but she was unable to conceive.  She was thrilled to have her little girls and dedicated her life to our care.  She made me clothes, cooked and taught me to bake. In addition, I was the apple of my adoptive father's eye. He taught me about camping and fishing. They both supported me in my interests. I always knew I was adopted and that I had a birth mother who was so beautifully self-less that she made the difficult choice to give me a family and home that she was unable to provide.  This is the gift that you gave me, and I know it must have been very difficult since you were unwed and pregnant. I want to thank you for valuing me enough to withstand all those difficult moments and feelings. Because of your act of love, I grew up in a wonderful home knowing the love of two parents and knowing the love of a mother who I had never met. I was proud of being adopted, that I had a unique story with more than one mother; both are equally important in the life given to me, how I perceive the world and the life that I have led.  Thank you, Sharon for being an incredible mother to me in a way that mattered most. I treasure who you are and I am blessed that my life began with you.


Love,

Monica
 

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One morning, I woke up feeling nauseous. I felt pregnant, but I was not sure if I should trust the two faint lines on the home pregnancy test that I took; I had a lot of medical questions.

The Morning After Pill and The Abortion Pill

What Every Woman Should Read       

"One morning, I woke up feeling nauseous. I felt pregnant, but I was not sure if I should trust the two faint lines on the home pregnancy test that I took; I had a lot of medical questions."

I took the morning after pill during the week that I had unprotected sex, so I thought I was safe. I felt pregnant, but I was not sure if I should trust the two faint lines on the home pregnancy test that I took. I sat in shock, alone in my bathroom, my thoughts racing all over the place.

"Did it still work even though I didn't take it the morning after?"

With a quick Google search I was able to find a great deal of information online, but that only led me to ask more questions that were more unique to what I was experiencing.

Of course, first I wanted to know if I was pregnant. I was concerned that the morning after pill did not work for me. How effective is it? Did I take it correctly?

"What is the difference between the morning after pill and the abortion pill?"

I really did not want to involve any friends or family at that moment, but I did find Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic and they made me feel safe and supported.

"The case manager and nurse were able to answer my questions. During my appointment I was educated on pregnancy and so much more."

I learned how the morning after pill works depending on where I am at in my menstrual cycle. The morning after pill could not guarantee that I wouldn't get pregnant and I could experience possible short-term side effects when taking it. 

The morning after pill and the abortion pill are different but neither pill prevents sexually transmitted diseases. I learned that the abortion pill does not work if a pregnancy is ectopic (meaning if the pregnancy is outside of the uterus) and what signs to look for in case I needed to seek emergency care.

They really took the time at Open Arms to listen and provide me with accurate pregnancy testing and same day results. I felt so much better having someone to come alongside me and to gain the understanding of what was going on with my body, it was truly a freeing experience.

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Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic can help you know if you are pregnant and, if so, consider your next step.  All services are confidential and provided at no cost. This can be an uncertain time in your life.  We get it.  The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic specializes in helping women and men facing unintended pregnancy. We have helped talk through questions and evaluate options with thousands of people just like you -- and we have a 99.3% satisfaction rating. We can help you, too.

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Pregnancy and Mood Swings: Surviving the Rough Patches

"I remember the day I got irritated over something extremely trivial. Just moments before, I was hopeful and excited about my pregnancy, the thought of being a mom and someday meeting my new baby."

My mood swings can be so unpredictable, complete with crying spells, but it's not an excuse to lash out and break dishes.

Pregnancy can also be a joyful life event with friends and family celebrating us, with sweet moments to savor.  When I laugh, I can laugh hysterically. I can even laugh at myself, like when I'm in the middle of a conversation and I'm fishing for common everyday words that I can't remember. Or I love this one, when I place the egg carton in the freezer and find it later when I'm going in for my absolute favorite: Chocolate malted crunch ice cream. Well, thankfully, I found some strategies to manage stress and emotional eating.  

The Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic and their amazing Pregnancy and Parenting Program provides the education on pregnancy and life skills that will prepare you for this beautiful journey of becoming a mom. I'm so glad there is support for moms like me who desire more in-depth training.  Training that goes beyond the short period of time that our prenatal doctors have to spend with us during our check-ups. Open Arms provides a variety of classes for all stages of pregnancy up through your first year of parenting.

"What you do here is life changing for women and moms-to be-! You provide peace of mind to confused and helpless people like me. I now have a very healthy boy close to 2 months old today. We are so appreciative that Open Arms truly opened their arms to us when no one would help us back then. As first time-parents, we can't thank you enough! You make a difference in this world!" 

I learned that hormones are not my enemy after all.  They actually regulate different functions in my body which play vital roles in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

Exercise is my friend, a mood lifter for my pregnant body and mind, and I learned to relax and enjoy the journey because this emotional rough patch won't last always.

 

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It's late, where is it? It is normal to initially feel shock or other emotions all in the same moments. Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is a safe place to talk about all of your emotions and your decisions when facing an unplanned pregnancy, you are not alone. No worries, no insurance needed. We offer free quality medical grade urine pregnancy testing and more. To be sure, take your first step by making an appointment with us.

3 Pregnancy Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore- How to be Sure?

Missed your period?

It's late, where is it? It is normal to initially feel shock or other emotions all in the same moments. Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic is a safe place to talk about all of your emotions and your decisions when facing an unplanned pregnancy, you are not alone. No worries, no insurance needed. We offer free quality medical grade urine pregnancy testing and more. To be sure, take your first step by making an appointment with us.

As one of our clients shared:

"I was nervous about coming but seeing how loving and how literally we were welcomed with open arms, I will definitely recommend to whoever is in this situation."

Food Cravings?

Pregnancy can often trigger food cravings. I wasn't actively trying but I got pregnant. Before I got pregnancy testing to be sure, one symptom that was screaming at me was this strong desire I had. It was past 10:00 at night and I was in search of french fries with ranch dressing. "Please don't skimp on the ranch Mr. Waiter, bring it!"  It was all I could think about. You may also experience food aversions which basically means that certain food could totally gross you out too, even foods that you normally would like.

Exhausted?

So many thoughts and questions are running through your mind regarding pregnancy and women's health. If you don't have the physical or mental energy to face them on your own right now, our services are provided with confidential care. Bring your questions and your immediate concerns, our professional case managers and medical staff work in detail with you to ensure that you are fully informed.

So, if you are experiencing these symptoms and suspect that you may be pregnant, don't ignore them. We can help you be sure.

 "With our holistic approach, we care for your whole person and we value your choosing us. Schedule your appointment today." OAPC Staff

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We offer free pregnancy testing and confirmation along with a written proof of pregnancy that will help you during the process of obtaining health insurance. We also offer referrals to prenatal providers as well as other free services for you and your partner.

Pregnant With No Health Insurance?

We can help you.

We offer free pregnancy testing and confirmation along with a written proof of pregnancy that will help you during the process of obtaining health insurance. We also offer referrals to prenatal providers as well as other free services for you and your partner.

Did you know...

  • Medi-Cal coverage is free insurance offered year-round. Check the income guidelines to see if you qualify to apply.
  • Presumptive Eligibility for pregnant women is designed to provide immediate, temporary coverage for prenatal care to low income pregnant women pending a formal Medi-Cal application and approval.
  • If you do not qualify for Medi-Cal you may qualify for MCAP or Covered California health plans.  There may be immediate coverage options for you! http://mcap.dhcs.ca.gov/Home/
  • Even though open enrollment for 2018 through Covered California is now closed, there are special circumstances that may allow you to enroll. For more information visit:  www.coveredca.com
  • Some hospitals offer payment plans for those whose income is too high to qualify for free insurance or may have low-income health plans available for you

What to do: Some practical advice

  • Check your employer benefits (if any)
  • You can apply for Medi-Cal at your local DPSS office
  • Research a medical discount plan or call hospitals to see if they provide payment plans.
  • The Child and Family Guidance Center offers free enrollment assistance for everyone visit: www.childguidance.org

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