- A Pregnant Pause
- By ARKASHA STEVENSON
- The 63rd Missouri Photo Workshop / Clinton, Mo.
After being told to "cover up," by school employees, 18-year-old Ashley Marcum stands in the Clinton High School bathroom trying to pull on an under shirt. Stretching the fabric over her enlarged chest and stomach; the shirt does not fit. That's because Ashley is nine months pregnant.
After dropping out of high school for the better part of a year, Ashley returned to school pregnant with Samuel and determined to graduate. Each day is spent trying to balance a teenage life with becoming a new mother. Between doctor appointments and class, Ashley's days include facing each task of pregnancy alone. Instead of hanging out with old friends, Ashley reports to the school early and then after school returns to the shelter where she lives "I don't really hang out that much anymore. I'm just really focused on school and the baby," Ashley said. While times are tough, she says she is excited about raising her "little man."
Ashley Marcum pauses from her homework to feel her baby kick during her third-period class at Clinton High School. After dropping out of school last year, Ashley has returned nine months pregnant and determined to graduate.
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