We recently said goodbye to one of our Bloomington Talkline Advocates, Angelique Saavedra, who just started her first year of graduate school at Yale School of Nursing to become a nurse practitioner and midwife – how amazing is that?! Angelique volunteered with the Talkline for just over year and, in that time, made enormous contributions to the line and those she spoke with. Here’s what drew her to volunteering with Backline and All-Options:
“In 2009 I experienced an unintended pregnancy that I carried to term. I chose to create an open adoption plan and it was one of the most painful experiences I’ve had. I did my best to pretend that everything in my life was normal after I gave birth to my daughter and said goodbye to her at the hospital. But my life felt far from ‘normal.’ I was a young college student doing my best to navigate through a mostly indifferent medical and legal system. I only wish I had known about Backline during this period of my life.
Backline fills a societal gap. Most of the callers I spoke to expressed the stigma, isolation, and shame they felt around a decision they made for themselves or their family. It was great to be part of an accessible organization that cultivates a judgment-free space for individuals to share some of their most vulnerable stories.”
We asked Angelique to reflect on the people she spoke with and if there was one call that stuck out to her during her time on the Talkline. But sometimes, it’s not just one person’s journey that stands out.
“It is difficult to pinpoint one call. I remember one shift where I received multiple calls from folks experiencing a wide range of situations along the pregnancy spectrum. One person was experiencing a miscarriage for a desired pregnancy. Another pregnant couple had a difficult decision ahead of them after they learned that their child had a potentially life-threatening fetal anomaly. And then a mother called trying to find the funds to obtain an abortion. I have nothing but respect for each of these brave people making the best of challenging situations.”
Angelique’s openness, compassion, and willingness to be vulnerable with others is such an incredible set of qualities and we’re so lucky to have had her on the Talkline as long as we did! Our Talkline Program Manager, Rachel Ronquillo Gray, reflected on Angelique’s contributions to Backline and All-Options:
“Getting to know Angelique as a Radvocate has been such an honor. Her passion to provide full-spectrum support to pregnant folks is nothing short of inspiring, evidenced through the work she did as a Talkline advocate and as a birth doula, and now as she moves on to become a nurse midwife. What I find so inspiring about Angelique is her generosity in sharing her pregnancy experiences through storytelling in order to bust the silence surrounding stigmatized experiences like abortion, adoption, and pregnancy loss. Angelique’s work and generosity is doing so much to soften the ground for a culture shift in the ways we talk about pregnancy experiences. We are so fortunate to have had Angelique as a Radvocate!”
Wishing you all the best in nursing school, Angelique, and beyond! Thanks for making Backline and All-Options so terrific!