By ANNA MIDDLETON

On March 18, I met a middle aged woman named Jenny*. She became pregnant when she was 15 in 1976. Jenny’s pregnancy was a planned pregnancy because her boyfriend and her wanted to be married, but neither of their parents would agree to let them be married at such young ages. Her boyfriend Chris* was 18. He came up with the idea that if she got pregnant that they would be able to get married. Jenny thought that his idea was reasonable and so, they began to have sex.

If she was to change her mind she wouldn’t be able to go through with an abortion. Jenny was scared; abortion was not going to be an option because she and her family were against it. This was around the time when abortions became legal in Kansas.

When she got pregnant she knew right away because she had been timing her periods and would record the right time for her and her boyfriend to have intercourse. Jenny was too afraid to tell her mother and father, so her boyfriend Chris talked to them and told them that they were expecting a baby. Her parents were sad, but they liked her boyfriend, and were happy that Chris was the father.

Jenny gave birth to her first baby boy two weeks before she turned sixteen. It was springtime; she and her boyfriend had bought a small house on the outskirts of their town. Their relationship at the beginning might have been strong, but as time went by their bond strengthened due to the rough patches they had to overcome as a couple, such as the difficulties of raising a child, providing for a family at such a young age, and couldn’t finish high school.

Despite all of these difficult situations they had to overcome, they are now living happily together thirty-eight years later. When she was eighteen she acquired her GED. Not only did they successfully raise three children from such an early start, they also managed to do so while maintaining their sanity. Additionally, they and their children ended up getting successful jobs that they enjoy.

Today she is now happily living with her husband here in Homer, Alaska. She is a teacher’s aide at Homer High, and her husband is currently working for the federal government. Their children are all married and have good steady jobs. Her first son works on the North Slope, her middle child she is working as a landscaper, and her youngest girl just received her associate’s degree in medical billing. Each year her family gathers together and enjoys a couple weeks of each other’s great company.


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