Pippin Anderson is no ordinary teenage mum – in fact she’s believed to be the youngest woman ever to undergo IVF in Australia at just 18.
And her story doesn’t end there, with her pregnancy the result of a brave decision to give her terminally ill husband Jahmmin a child before he passes away from bone cancer.
When 21-year-old Jahmmin received his shocking diagnosis two years ago, he had his sperm frozen before starting chemotherapy – as the treatment was expected to leave him infertile. The devastated couple were then able to try IVF.
‘We are the youngest couple in the world, for 10 years, I think,’ Pippin tells New Idea.
The young Melbourne couple had been dating on and off for the past five years, but Jahmmin popped the question after his shock diagnosis.
‘When he proposed, he said: “Will you be my wife and be the mother of my child?”’ Pippin recalls of the big moment.
They married in June 2011, and after their Bali honeymoon they attempted to convince doctors they were worthy of becoming parents.
'They didn’t know if it was the right thing to do because of how young I was and because Jah is terminally ill,' says Pippin, now 19.
The couple had to undergo counselling, and for Pippin it was a difficult time revisiting sad memories of her own upbringing.
‘I lost my dad when I was two,’ she says. ‘So they said: “Well, then you know what it’s like and how it’s going to feel for the child.”’
Doctors didn’t know what to expect from the procedure, as the youngest woman they had ever treated was 22, and the average woman requires three attempts at IVF before she is successful.
But Pippin was thrilled when everything went to plan, besides some severe morning sickness. And when the couple saw a recent scan picture of their baby – believed to be a girl – they knew they had done the right thing.
‘She looks just like Jah. She has big lips, and is long with huge feet,’ laughs Pippin.
The expectant mum says despite many people finding it hard to understand why she chose to have a baby, knowing she may well raise it as a young single mum, she has never questioned the idea.
‘I wouldn’t have children with anyone else,’ Pippin says. ‘I won’t marry anyone else.’By: Melissa Howard
Photos: Paul Philipson