Xavier Garcia began to tear up as he pointed up and around senior Angie Garcia’s room in forth floor south of West Hall, noticing her Christmas lights hung high on her walls.
When Xavier Garcia found out his daughter, Angie Garcia, was pregnant seven months ago, he was so disappointed he wouldn’t talk to her for two weeks. But he allowed the idea of his daughter’s pregnancy to sink in and now is proud of her for her big accomplishments, like choosing to finish college and sticking with her residential assistant job.
“Angie’s working with her spirit,” Xavier Garcia said. “She’s determined to get what she wants. It’s little things like that that give me the idea that she’s a fighter and she won’t give up easily.”
Angie Garcia’s mother, Elizabeth Garcia, is proud of her being a strong woman.
“Some girls are looking at her face but other girls are staring at her body,” she said. “I’m glad that she’s so strong and she doesn’t see those things. Because as a woman you know how you feel when they look at you like that.”
As Angie Garcia and her parents walked around campus before Thanksgiving break, Elizabeth Garcia noticed the girls who would walk by Angie Garcia and stare at her baby bump. As a mother, Elizabeth said she wants to say something to the girls who glare, but chooses not to because Angie Garcia doesn’t notice them.
During winter break, Angie Garcia will deliver her son, Gabriel Anthony, in her home state of Arizona. After taking care of the baby for a couple weeks, she will return to Webster University to finish her last semester and Gabriel will stay with his grandparents.
If she goes into early labor, sophomore Chris Robinson, a friend and fellow West Hall RA, will drive Angie Garcia to St. Mary’s Hospital.
“She’s had a bag ready since she was five months pregnant,” said Megan Wetzel, community director of East and West halls. “Angie is very detailed. She has a plan A, plan B, plan C.”
In the case of early labor, Wetzel said the baby would stay in her apartment until Angie Garcia goes home on Dec. 18.
Xavier and Elizabeth Garcia will utilize webcam technology to allow Angie Garcia to watch her son grow. Angie Garcia said she will try to visit her son during spring break, and will most likely see him at graduation.
“He’ll be coming to my graduation with my parents and that will be so much fun,” Angie Garcia said as she held her baby bump.
After carrying Gabriel for nine months, Angie Garcia fears the separation will cause her to fall into a depression. Her friends continue to reassure Angie Garcia they will help her get through the spring semester.
“Angie’s child will see that his mother cared enough about him to make that extra effort and sacrifice,” Robinson said.
Robinson said Angie Garcia’s RA experience is helping prepare her for motherhood.
“She’s going to be a wonderful mother,” Robinson said. “Angie acts like a mother to all of her residents. You know how people say to get a puppy before you have a baby? It’s like that only she has 32 puppies.”
When freshman West Hall resident Julie Greenough heard Angie Garcia was pregnant, she wondered if Angie Garcia would have enough time for all her residents. Despite her schedule full of doctor’s appointments, classes, homework assignments and RA responsibilities, she has always been available for her residents, Greenough said.
“She’s always been there when we need her,” Greenough said.
Her parents worried Angie Garcia would lose her RA job because she is supposed to be a role model to her residents. But, as Catholics, the Garcias feel she is a role model for those faced with pregnancy during college.
“That’s why I’m proud of her, because she’s strong,” Elizabeth Garcia said. “(It’s a) way for girls to see that they don’t need to have an abortion.”
Xavier and Elizabeth Garcia said they allowed themselves to see Gabriel Garcia as a blessing. Elizabeth Garcia said that now both their daughters are grown, sometimes there is a lonely feeling in their home and the baby will take some of that feeling away.
“God said, ‘OK, you feel lonely. The baby will help you to not feel lonely,’” Elizabeth Garcia said. “That’s why we’re naming him Gabriel, like the angel, because there’s going to be an angel in our house.”
When Angie Garcia’s pregnancy test came back positive seven months ago, at first she felt as if the baby could be a punishment from God. She later came to the conclusion that her son is a blessing and her pregnancy happened for a reason.
“There’s something meant for this baby to do. I really think so. It probably sounds a little crazy but I see it as, ‘God wouldn’t punish me for this,’ ” Angie Garcia said. “God thinks that I’m ready for this kind of transition and this kind of responsibility. I may not think that I am, but he thinks that I’m ready for this so he’s blessed me with a child because he knows that I can do this. I really think that something good is going to come out of it.”