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Never Say Never

Ashley Jensen GS’19 experienced the pain of infertility, the journey of pregnancy, and the joy of childbirth—all while pursuing a Bethel degree in nurse-midwifery.

By Michelle Westlund '83, senior content specialist

July 24, 2019 | 10 a.m.

Ashley Jensen

Ashley Jensen GS’19 with husband Bryce and daughter Annalise (photo by Alex & Ivy Photography).

Her dream was to work as a labor and delivery nurse. That’s why Ashley Jensen GS’19, of Nampa, Idaho, went to college in the first place. After earning a nursing degree from nearby Boise State University, she landed a job as a triage nurse in an obstetrics office in Massachusetts while her husband was attending Harvard Law School. But in what seemed an unfair juxtaposition of circumstances, the couple faced a personal struggle with infertility while Ashley worked with pregnant women every day. “It was a challenge to see pregnant women every day or talk to women who accidentally got pregnant when I was trying so hard to conceive without success,” she says.

Yet God was working through the challenges. Jensen began seeing a Natural Procreative (NaPro) Technology provider to address her own struggle with infertility. The NaPro approach is natural, holistic, and restorative in nature, much like functional medicine, says Jensen, and she knew instantly it was what she was supposed to do with her life. “Pregnant or not,” she says, “I felt a strong tug on my heart to pursue a degree that would allow me to offer this technology to women in Idaho, as there was no one in the state who did. I haven’t often felt that strongly about a direction in my life, but I knew the Lord was leading me. I knew He was going to use my infertility for His purpose, that He wasn’t going to waste it. I prayed I could be a success story for NaPro, but I wasn’t certain of it.”

Though she had vowed never to go back to school after earning her undergraduate degree, Jensen began searching nationwide for distance-learning programs in nurse-midwifery. “Bethel stood out for two reasons,” she says. “It was the shortest program, and I wanted to get this done quick after vowing I’d never go back to school! But the primary reason was Bethel’s Christian emphasis. The obstetrics practice where I worked in Massachusetts considered my pro-life views judgmental, and I received hostility as a result. I desperately wanted to go to school at a place where my professors would understand my beliefs. At Bethel, I got the support I needed.”

Jensen enrolled in Bethel’s M.S. in Nurse-Midwifery program, but that wasn’t the only thing she was starting. “I became pregnant at the same time I was taking my reproductive physiology class,” she smiles. “The information we were learning lined up with the progression of my pregnancy for several weeks!” Annalise Joy Jensen was born June 2, 2018, and her mom graduated with a degree in nurse-midwifery one year later. “I am so grateful I’ve had a child for many reasons,” says Ashley, “but now in my job, it’s so much easier to relate to pregnant women because I’ve been through the process myself.”

Jensen has not forgotten the years before pregnancy, when the pain of infertility was a heartbreak. “Women who struggle with infertility will always hold a very special place in my heart,” she says. “I have such empathy and compassion for them. I want to do everything I can to support them emotionally, but also get to the bottom of why they can’t conceive.”

She believes NaPro Technology holds a key. “The cornerstone of NaPro Technology is that infertility is not a diagnosis, but a symptom,” she explains. “The goal is to discover that reason ‘why,’ and in nearly 100% of cases, we are able to do that. It’s such a unique approach, and it gives hope to all women, but especially those who either disagree with in vitro fertilization (IVF) or have experienced failed IVF.”

Jensen has learned never to say never. Whether as a reluctant student returning to school, or a would-be parent pursuing natural approaches to pregnancy, she has seen the possibilities God can bring from the challenges. Now her dream is to gain the training and experience to someday start a Natural Procreative Technology practice in the Nampa-Boise area. “I’m so glad the Lord led me in the direction of helping women in this vulnerable and emotional time in their lives,” she says. “I share their struggles too, and am now in a unique position to speak life, hope, and love into their brokenness. I’m praying the Lord will use my journey for His will.”

Learn more about Bethel's Nurse-Midwifery Program

Provide holistic women’s care for a lifetime. Our certified nurse-midwifery program will immerse you in the field from a Christian worldview, so you’ll be prepared to bring expertise and compassion to today’s rapidly changing healthcare environment.

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