Full of hope Pia’s family prepares to celebrate the first Christmas with their third child.
Full of hope, Pia’s family prepares to celebrate the first Christmas with their third child. (Symbolic image)

Three times Christmas – Different Each Time!

It is Epiphany 2014. Pia (31) calls the helpline of the SAMC. The biggest worry of this mother of two children at the start of the new year: She has inadvertently become pregnant.

It is Epiphany 2014. Pia (31) picks up the receiver, calls the helpline of the SAMC and begins talking about her plight. This mother of two children didn’t have a happy Christmas. Her biggest worry at the start of this new year: She has inadvertently become pregnant.

Pia’s husband suffers from depression. He was unemployed for a long time. A short while ago, he was at least able to begin a part-time job. Just before Christmas, they were shocked to discover that a third child is on its way! The fear of falling back into deprivation is strong. Pia starts looking for abortion possibilities on the internet and accidently lands on the website of the SAMC. Could they help her to have an abortion?

Only Real Help From the SAMC

The counsellor on the night shift hears about the husband’s fear of a larger family. He is absolutely sure that he wants his wife to abort the baby. Pia explains to the woman on the phone that having an abortion would calm him down. The counsellor, however, explains the purpose of the SAMC: The foundation provides real help, not something that would cause more problems and increase suffering. Pia is told that mothers who are in need can receive financial and material help, get  personal attention and contact their counsellor at any time. Hearing this helps her to lose some of her fear and to show interest in the benefit plans that  the SAMC offers her.

Following a period of intensive discussions, Pia is hopeful that things will work out. She says yes to her child, providing her husband agrees, because she is afraid he will leave her. Therefore, she asks whether a counsellor could to talk to him.

«It is too late!»

Thus it happens that a counsellor drives to the other end of Switzerland to meet with the father. He doesn’t make it easy for her. He recites every possible argument in favour of an abortion: He is fighting with depression, they have too little money, he is unable to cope with the two children that are there already. The counsellor’s thoughts as such are right, he says, but in this situation they are too late. To which the counsellor spontaneously counters with, «It is only too late to think about life with only two children now that a third one is already here!»

This way of looking at the situation hits the father hard: He actually stops pressuring his wife to have the abortion and finally accepts their third child.

Christmas Joy Approaches

Now preparations begin for the birth. Because Pia hadn’t planned on having more children, she had given all of her baby supplies away. Buying everything again isn’t possible on their tight budget. The SAMC helps them. Now the approaching birth brings real joy. When a cute baby boy arrives, Pia’s husband enjoys spending time with him and takes his role as father also with this child seriously.

The family receives food vouchers and clothes for the children from the SAMC. Pia writes her counsellor, «I don’t know how I would cope without your support, and I would like to thank you again very much for all your help!»

At Christmas 2014, Pia is able to enjoy a short moment of happiness, at least as she watches her three children’s eyes shine, for something is wrong with her husband. However, he is keeping it from her.

While the year is still new, Pia discovers that her husband has buried himself in debt with various small loans. Their money is gone. The woman and her children are faced with ruin. Now the SAMC is really needed:  It helps Pia get financial advice, and at the same time increases its monthly support of their financial needs, without, however, paying off their debts. By the middle of the year, the mother’s financial situation has stabilised.

In the autumn of 2015, Pia tells her counsellor, «If it weren’t for my youngest child, I probably wouldn’t have survived this; it was the darkest time of my life. He gives me so much strength!» Just in time, before Christmas, the SAMC renew the financial support for Pia’s family. Now they can look forward to Christmas, full of hope.