Jenn Brescia and her daughter, Caitlin, have been on a rollercoaster, and the journey has only just begun. In two months, Caitlin will welcome her son to the world. Before she became pregnant, Caitlin was an honor student and state champion choir member with a possible college scholarship on the horizon. After a single decision led to an unplanned pregnancy, Caitlin’s plans changed. Despite tremendous obstacles, Caitlin ultimately chose Life for her son. Jenn, who knows the hardship of being a single mother, could not be prouder.
At first, Caitlin sought an abortion. Her friends and society told her abortion was an “easy fix,” and she should pursue her own life instead of having baby at such a young age. Texas law requires parental consent for a minor to undergo an elective abortion. For this Jenn says, “Thank God.” Because the law did not allow Caitlin to get an abortion without her mother, Jenn and Caitlin had time to weigh their options together and come to a decision.
After discussing the situation, they were both hesitant but decided to make an appointment with Planned Parenthood for an abortion. Once there, the staff explained several different abortion methods. Caitlin was not given any other options. In the waiting room, Caitlin was shocked by the people chatting and laughing. One woman told her, “You’ll be fine; I’ve done this four times.” After hours of waiting, Caitlin was finally taken to view an ultrasound and listen to her baby’s heartbeat. The experience changed the course of her son’s life.
When Caitlin came out of the ultrasound, Jenn says, “I saw so much confusion and pain and sadness in her face. She couldn’t even speak.” Because Texas law requires mothers to hear the heartbeat of their preborn children, Caitlin had listened to her son. Riding home from the appointment, Caitlin stared at the ultrasound image of her eight-week baby, and asked her mother, “How can something with a heartbeat not be alive, Mom?” Jenn didn’t have an answer.
When they sat down to discuss the decision a few days later, Caitlin was certain she couldn’t live the mental torment of ending her child’s life. Jenn says, “At that moment I saw her courage and strength, and she rose from the chair and said, ‘I know this won’t be easy, and I know we’re poor. I know I might have to do this alone, but I want to keep this baby and give it a chance.’”
The road has been a difficult one so far. Caitlin was very sick during early pregnancy and missed many days of school. Because Caitlin is only 15-years-old, the state is pressing statutory rape charges against the father of the baby. Although the father wants to be supportive and be part of his son’s life, he currently faces serious criminal charges and incarceration. A week after finding out about the pregnancy, Jenn lost her job, which meant that the family no longer had a steady income.
Recently, Jenn and Caitlin’s situation became even more precarious when they received an eviction notice. Since Jenn lost her job, paying rent has been difficult. Their landlord, Debbie Griffin, listened to their story and applauded Caitlin for her decision to choose Life. Griffin Leasing has tried to be supportive, and now Jenn and Caitlin are able to stay in their home as Jenn works to raise money to repay the rent they owe.
Although Caitlin and her mom are excited to meet the baby, they also still have many fears. Caitlin will be finishing her high school education through an online program and will need help caring for the baby. Jenn has a new job but knows she will need to miss work to help Caitlin. The baby also needs basic items, like diapers and bottles, as well as a car seat, and other necessities. Some of the items have been donated by friends and kind strangers, but Caitlin and her son still need a great deal of assistance. The family is reaching out to the community and has set up a GoFundMe page. To learn more about their story and to donate to support Caitlin’s baby, visit the fundraising website.
Jenn is extremely grateful and feels blessed by the support they have received so far. About her soon-to-be-born grandson, Jenn says, “I can’t wait to hold this miracle in my arms.”
To support Caitlin and her decision to choose Life in difficult circumstances, visit the family’s GoFundMe page.