9 months, and a baby later, students discuss what it's like to be a parent

<p>Ball State students read testimonials on what it's like to be a parent.&nbsp;<em>Mary Freda // DN</em></p>

Ball State students read testimonials on what it's like to be a parent. Mary Freda // DN

Three minutes. Two lines. This is what pregnancy looks like — three minutes have the ability to determine the next nine months of a life.

For Ball State alumna Christina Guy, the choice to become a mom during her final semester of college was not the initial reaction.

“I was really considering other options at the time, but [Alex, the father] was like, 'It’s not her fault that we had her now instead of later,'" Guy said.

RELATED: Ball State Students for Life launches pregnancy initiative

Guy, along with other student parents, were invited to speak out about parenting during Ball State Students for Life's (BSSFL) Pregnant and Parenting Support Group. The group was organized this year and is a part of the organization's pregnancy initiative. 

The then-general-studies major found out a week before finals, and she said it was "pretty crazy," but overall, she found support from her professors.

"[There are] no special perks when you're a pregnant student. No better parking spots, nothing like that," Guy said. "A lot of my professors were really helpful and understood."

Guy's fiance, junior English major Alex Stoltie, did not have a similar experience. Since Guy works full-time, Stoltie has to stay home with their 18-month-old daughter, Aria, when she's sick.

“I feel like maybe guys don’t get as much recognition for being a parent," Guy said.

Guy has been out of school for over a year now, but she recently submitted an application for graduate school at Ball State. Similar to Guy, senior architecture major Nina Cope found out she was pregnant during her senior year — with her second child.

When Cope found out she was pregnant with her first son, Sammy, she was a sophomore. 

“It was a pretty much an accident. I definitely did not plan it, both times, but I figured I'd still go head and keep going cause I really didn’t like the idea of stopping and going back to school," Cope said over a Facebook video call. "I just thought it would be easier to just go ahead and go through while they're young — just keep on going 'till I finish basically."

Cope recently gave birth to her second child, Lucas, on a Saturday and was back to school on Monday. She was released from the hospital at 11 p.m. that Sunday and left straight from the hospital to meet her art group for a project they were to present the upcoming Wednesday.

Nora Hopf, BSSFL president, pointed out that Title IX does offer time off post child birth.

“I really wanted to make sure that I kinda proved myself to my teacher," Cope said.

The most rewarding aspect of being a parent, despite the stress, are the smiles, she said. 

“Seeing their smiles, honestly there are times where Sammy will put his hands on my cheeks and grab my cheeks and grab me toward him to give him a kiss and just seeing that smile is just so adorable," Cope said. "Those smiles keep me goin'."

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