Ivy-League Athletes Choose Life While Still Pursing Athletic Dreams

A seemingly normal occurrence has recently made national news: A man and a woman had an unexpected pregnancy and now have a beautiful new baby! But what makes this story news-worthy to the world and an inspiration to the pro-life cause lies in the fact that both individuals were Ivy-League college athletes who, when faced with an unplanned pregnancy, decided to choose life AND pursue their athletic dreams.

Tommy Davis and Annabeth Donovan were athletes at Princeton University who met on move-in day of their freshmen year and began dating. Davis played ice hockey while Donovan played field hockey.

Looking at her relationship with Davis as well as her field hockey career, Donovan said, “I had a plan for my life, and everything was going according to plan.”  But this plan came to a sudden halt when in the  middle of her sophomore year, Donovan realized she was pregnant. Davis had begun to suspect Donovan was pregnant because she was feeling nauseous for weeks.

Scared and worried about leaving her dreams behind her, Donovan said that “it was pretty shocking news, and I felt like I had failed, and it was an undoable mistake.”

While shook up at first, Donovan fortunately received encouragement and support from family and friends. When Davis heard the news, he responded to it warmly and helped Donovan see the new life as a gift. Donovan’s mother was also reassuring. She gave her daughter a bag of sesame seeds at the beginning of her pregnancy to show her how big her baby was, as well as to let her daughter know of her full support.

Donovan claims she was nervous to tell her coach about her pregnancy, afraid that she would be disappointed in her. But  when she told her coach, Kristen Holmes-Winn, her coach was far from upset at her. Holmes-Winn jokingly shared how excited she was to be an aunt, and beyond this, she helped Donovan understand that she could be a mother and still pursue her athletic career.

Today, Davis has graduated from Princeton with a degree in history and has returned to his college hockey team. Donovan re-joined the hockey team and got her bachelor’s degree. Davis and Donovan are now happily married, with not just one child but two!

This inspirational story of two college students who make both having a baby and following dreams a reality is an encouragement to the pro-life community, illuminating that what we do is making an impact. Just the excitement of friends or family when someone announces they are pregnant can be a deciding factor on the woman’s choice on whether or not to keep the baby!