Fourteen and Pregnant (Feature Story)

By: Alejandra Espinoza

In today’s society, marrying young can be considered taboo. This is not referring to arranged marriages in like in third world countries, but this story is pretty close. It is very rare when we get to hear the entire story of underage marriages happening in a developed country. In this case, my grandma was married and pregnant at fourteen years old in Mexico in 1978.

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“I still liked playing with my dolls when we were married.” (Photo courtesy of Google Images)

This took an emotional toll on my grandma, Herminia Vasquez, who said, “I still liked playing with my dolls when we were married.” She was just a child having a child, and while it may seem unimaginable now, this marriage happened willingly. Girls in Mexico at this time were not supposed to go to school, so she thought this was the best option for her, and she would have someone who would look out for her.

Unfortunately the marriage did not last. My grandpa immigrated to the United States for a couple of years leaving my grandma and my dad behind. The baby she had while she was fourteen was my father and she faced a tremendous amount of emotion distress. Both my grandma and grandpa were young and inexperienced. When he left to the United States they were still together, but eventually he stopped writing her letters and she never heard from him again, until one day her neighbor came to her and told her he was back, but he was not alone. He had an affair and had another baby boy.

As time passed my grandma tried to forgive but she never forgot. She said, “I never stopped loving him and I still love him.” That would be a family scandal considering she has been trying to build her life with another man that I consider my grandpa for at least the past 20 years. She the explained how she believes her real love can only be the first love.

My great grandma also experienced something similar where she was married too young, except she did not have a choice. My great grandma, Guadalupe explained to me that while she was still a young girl she was by a river and my great grandpa approached her. When she described one of their first interactions she said, “He told me that if I didn’t go with him he would tell everyone in town that I slept with him and then no one would want me. It was his word against mine so I just went with him.” She did not go into much detail about the rest of their marriage but unfortunately my grandma followed her footsteps of a meaningless marriage.

Now in our society we live with the freedom to do as we please. Women have the option to marry whoever they want or not marry anyone that all. We need to accolodge how much we have grown as a society, be thankful for it, but still strive for improvement.