By Lisa Bourne
A mom who prevailed while facing unplanned pregnancy has reached her educational goal and she could not be more grateful for the pregnancy help and support that propelled her to achieve her goals while being a mom.
Brittni was single and working two jobs when she became pregnant. She’d been pursuing her education in the medical field off and for around 11 years, and she panicked upon seeing her positive pregnancy test, afraid for how she would get by as a single mom, let alone continue in her schooling.
With the help of the Reliance Center in Lewiston, Idaho, and the Embrace Grace program, Brittni chose life for her son Brantlee. Adding to that the Unplanned Movie Scholarship, and Brittni graduated late last year with an associate degree in health information technology and a certificate in medical billing and coding.
Brittni fought back emotion when she learned at work that she’d passed her final and received her grade. Seeing the news on her phone and recalling all the tears, hard work, and sacrifice that went into finishing school, she knew it was all worth it.
“I passed and I was at work when I got my grade and turned toward my coworker and I’m in tears because I finished and I’m done,” she told Pregnancy Help News. “Wow.”
“And then getting that paper in the mail was like … I was a little kid in the candy shop,” said Brittni.
Brantlee, who turns four years old at the end of this month, was four months old when his mother registered for her degree program.
“I signed up for school when I had Brantlee, and I didn’t give up,” Brittni said. “I just finally did it. I finally did something that I said I was gonna do.”
Brittni works in patient access for a local hospital, administering insurance for radiology and behavioral health, as well as processing the workups for radiology procedures, and verifying patients’ insurance and benefits.
She got married in June of last year, and the family is a recipient of a Habitat for Humanity home, the application for which came from the Reliance Center.
“Just having somebody to believe in me that much and to take the chance on me,” she said, “I mean, I already am in a lot of debt for school, but to take that burden off of not being further into depth from that was like a feeling I’ve never had before.”
Bratcher, the star of the movie Unplanned, was thrilled when Brittni reached out to her over social media to let her know she’d graduated.
“I am so proud of Brittni,” the actress told Pregnancy Help News.
Bratcher observed Brittni’s growth as a person and the need to support moms in unplanned pregnancies.
“Looking back at the beginning of this process, I remember Brittni being pretty emotional and scared,” she recalled.
“I knew that she wanted a chance to find a better way to provide for her son and her family,” Bratcher said. “I feel like if we can lift even one burden that helps moms get themselves on their feet and on the best path for their lives, then we are really putting them in a position of empowerment.”
Bratcher added that when she chats with Brittni now and see photos of her with her family, she’s a different woman, and she seems much more confident.
“It’s been an honor to pour into her life this way,” she said. “I hope that her story inspires other young women, that it shows them there’s help, hope, and a way to achieve their goals while being a mom.”
Reliance Center founder and CEO Heather Lawless echoed the sentiment of pride in Brittni’s accomplishments.
“We are so proud of her,” Lawless said. “You know, we’ve walked with her through this whole journey, and to see her finish and graduate, we just couldn’t be prouder of her.”
Brittni has been giving back in one way by volunteering with Lawless as a mentor to lead Embrace Grace at the center. She remarked as well about how far Brittni has come, from feeling like she was unworthy of love to prevailing and graduating.
“And now, she’s married, and she graduated, and she has a home of her own,” Lawless remarked. “And she’s an incredible mom, and she has a job.”
“And her faith has grown so much,” continued Lawless, “not only her faith in God, but knowing that she is worthy of love, that she’s worthy of blessing.”
Brittni, she said, really is an example of what happens when you believe the truth instead of a lie. Brittni could have believed the lie that she shouldn’t choose life because her baby was from a relationship that didn’t last, that she was too young, too poor, that she hadn’t finished school and didn’t have a plan for her life.
“She could have believed all the lies, but she didn’t,” said Lawless. “She chose life.”
“She said her life was better than she could have ever imagined it would be,” Lawless said. “And Brantlee was the beginning to that new life.”
Brittni traveled to Washington D.C. in 2020 with Heartbeat’s Babies Go to Congress initiative. While there she met with Congressional personnel and shared how her life was impacted by pregnancy help and that pregnancy centers are good for America.
Asked what she hopes Brantlee will take away from her journey, Brittni replied, “That his mom did it for him.”
“That everything that I do is to better his life,” she said. “I want him to know that I have done all of this for him and that I will never not support him or give up on him.”
Brittni is appreciative for everyone for believing in her and Brantlee and not giving up on them.
She acknowledges that she has received a lot of support and that parenting under any circumstances is a challenge. Still, she encourages other moms facing unplanned pregnancy to have hope, reach out, and to not give up.
“I’ve always said this from day one; don’t give up and don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Brittni said. “The worst thing that somebody can tell you is no, but don’t be afraid to ask for that help.”
“There’s so many resources that can help you,” she said. “And don’t be afraid or give up. You can fail and fail and fail, but you’re gonna get back up every single time.”
Editor’s note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News where this appeared. Reposted with permission.