Expecting… to finish school

Courtesy photo

Christina Lazelle and Tyler Fontaine, both seniors at Castleton, are expecting both a baby and to graduate in the spring.

Christina Lazelle woke up early one morning and took a test. Her roommate, Veronica Arnone, was still asleep, but she needed to be woken so Lazelle could share her results. Had she passed or failed? That was for her to decide.

Lazelle slowly approached Arnone and shook her gently. Arnone, still in a daze, opened her eyes.

“If I told you something scary, how would you react?” Lazelle said.

“Depends on what it is,” Arnone said, still unsure of whether she was dreaming.

Lazelle presented Arnone with the results of her test. Positive.

She was pregnant.

Unlike most girls who get pregnant in college, the Castleton University senior is happy. She is in a stable relationship with a ring on her finger and has solid plans for the future. Dropping out because her body now holds two heartbeats didn’t even cross her mind.

“I didn’t even think about dropping out honestly. I’m so close to my degree,” said Lazelle without hesitation.

Now that she is further into her pregnancy, however, there are things impacting her life on campus. Morning sickness lasts all day, and aversions to things that she loves are coming faster than she thought.

“I used to drink five coffees a day, and now I can’t stand the smell. That and spicy foods, which is weird because I’ve always loved them. I just hope I go back to liking these things after because my grandfather won’t stop giving me spicy food even if I don’t like it anymore,” Lazelle said with a quaint smile.

Lazelle’s parents were young when they had her, only 16 and 19, but they split only six months into her life. Both remarried and had more children, keeping Lazelle’s family ever growing. And soon it’s going to grow by two more.

Tyler Fontaine and Lazelle met at a friend’s house their freshman year of college, and hit it off right away.

It all began with a water fight. Throwing cups of water at each other escalated to Fontaine picking Lazelle up and putting her, fully clothed, into the shower. Laughter was shared, and that turned out to be Fontaine’s fondest memory of Lazelle.

“It’s a day I’ll never forget,” Fontaine said.

That’s where their love began. Years later and still together, Lazelle has inspired Fontaine time and time again.

“She helps me focus on my future and talks me into trying new things,” Fontaine said.

One of those things was the Army National Guard. Lazelle took a semester off to go to basic training, and Fontaine followed her lead. Lazelle works with the medical unit doing behavioral health and Fontaine is with an engineering unit, but both find the experience very rewarding.

Lazelle’s mom, Connie Vigue, is very proud of what her daughter has dedicated her life to.

“I always describe her has my little Army princess. She’s beautiful, smart, bubbly and sweet. I couldn’t be more proud,” Vigue said.

This is a popular opinion of Lazelle. Sweet.

“She’s so sweet. You can’t use that word for many people. I love how genuine she is too. She doesn’t try to be someone she’s not. Not everything has to be perfect all the time. It’s really taught me a lot about myself,” Arnone said.

Though living on campus while pregnant is not ideal, Lazelle is taking measures to make sure she is doing the best for everyone.

Recently moving into a single helped ease her fear of being in the way of anyone.

“I’m just really tired and sick lately. It wasn’t fair to have a roommate who had to work around my sleep schedule and be in fear of making me sick,” Lazelle said.

But the move actually had an unanticipated consequence.

“I’ve missed her since she moved into a single, honestly. Don’t get me wrong, my new roommate is great, but I understand that she had to do what was best for her,” Arnone said.

Along with moving out of her room, Lazelle has had to make other changes. She has played rugby since her freshman year, but had to sit the season out due to her pregnancy. There are times when she misses it, but she has fond memories of everyone on the team. She met Fontaine through her friends on the rugby team, so those are times that she cherishes.

Fontaine and Lazelle took their relationship to the next level while on a cruise. Fontaine was off getting a drink while Lazelle was packing to go to the island and found the ring in his bag.

“I was so happy, but I felt bad. I decided not to tell him that I found it, but I couldn’t hold it in when he came back in,” Lazelle said.

Little did she know, Fontaine didn’t have a solid plan of when he was going to pop the question.

“When I bought the ring I wanted to hold on to it until I found the right moment. I knew I wanted someone else there to take a photo when I proposed, but other than that I was clueless as to how I wanted to propose,” Fontaine said.

Not many people plan to get pregnant in college, and fewer rejoice when they see the positive test. Lazelle didn’t plan for this, but doesn’t see it as a bad thing, stating that everything happens for a reason.

While both Fontaine and Lazelle would like to have a little boy, Lazelle has a feeling that she is carrying a girl, whose due date is dangerously close to her graduation.

“She’s such a good person. For some people this would have been the end of the world in college, but she’s doing the adult thing. She’s getting married, graduating a semester early. She knows what she wants. I mean it’s not ideal, but why not? I don’t know if I could do it, but not everyone has to be the same,” Arnone said of her former roommate and friend.

Lazelle has a way of taking anything and finding the positive. She said she’s happy to finish her degree, get married and start her life with a baby on the way. Being a young mother herself, Lazelle’s mother has some advice for Lazelle to start her life with.

“Enjoy it. Babies don’t stop your life, they make it more fun. You can do anything you could before with a baby. It’s rewarding to be a mother, and I’m happy to be a part of Christina’s life while she’s growing and learning,” Vigue said of her daughter.

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