Imagine if you were pregnant with twins during a pandemic. Now imagine that you have three kids about it and no one in town can count on support except your husband. That’s the reality for local mom Ariana Rodriguez.
This time, 34-year-old Rodriguez is pregnant without her mother and family by her side to help on a daily basis. You see, Rodriguez moved to East Bakersfield in 2017 while most of her loved ones reside in Riverside. Enter the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center:
“I was just googling where to get a free pregnancy test near Bakersfield and it was the first thing that came up,” said Ariana Rodriguez, customer of the Bakersfield Pregnancy Center.
Rodriguez went to the pregnancy center in July when she was only four weeks pregnant, but her visits didn’t stop there. Rodriguez says the people, the services, and the resources made them want to come back, including the “Earn While You Study” courses. These are parenting courses where you can collect points and use them for baby items and goods in the “business” of pregnancy.
“As a mother, you think you’re doing the right thing, but sometimes we aren’t. If I watch the videos, I’m a better mom, ”said Rodriguez. And in those classes, she bonded with a specific instructor named Donna.
“I have a good connection with her. I see her every Tuesday when I can and I can get out of the house for a bit and we can talk. She asks me questions about how I feel. They make me feel good, ”said Rodriguez.
Before COVID-19, these classes taught mothers and fathers twice a week in groups of fifteen people. Keeping in mind CDC guidelines like wearing masks and social distancing, these sessions are now held individually and once a week.
“It’s been a great blessing because we really get to know people … It’s nice to know that I see them every Tuesday. She text me from time to time and says, “Hey, I just had my ultrasound,” said Donna Chaffee, Bakersfield Pregnancy Center volunteer. It’s very exciting. “
According to Chaffee, the weekly courses include videos, worksheets, and homework for parents on a different topic. Examples include infant CPR, information about sudden child death (SID), and what to do if your baby is crying.
She adds that in order to be a center instructor, one must have “intensive training” and be an active Christian.
“To be a god-centered center and to love the people who walk through the door, even if they are really different from who we are and not to judge people, that’s why we are successful,” said Chaffee.
Now, at 18 weeks pregnant, Rodriguez continues to take these private classes, learning more about maternity skills and earning points for necessities like diapers and car seats.
And as you know, the November 19th Bakersfield Baby Shower is just around the corner. Here is a list of the charity items we wanted to help out mothers like Ariana.