This week’s episode of 16 and Pregnant was a special ninety minute installment which tackles both teen pregnancy and eating disorders by following Winthrop, Minnesota’s Kayla Jackson and her boyfriend Mike Schwing.
A pregnant junior, Kayla is a student athlete who was hospitalized for anorexia at age thirteen. She moves from the hustle and bustle of her father and step-mother’s home to live with her mom, who (of course) allows Mike to move in with her daughter. Mike is sweet and beyond helpful, but he is barely a supporting cast member in this play, which resolves around Kayla’s body insecurities and broken relationship with her mother.
The couple was not using birth control when they got pregnant (cue more PSAs, please, MTV), and Mike has given up on college to work part-time to raise money for his growing family. Kayla’s mom Deb (who gave birth to Kayla as a teen) promises to help as well, but she spends the majority of her time with her own boyfriend.
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Tuesday’s installment of 16 and Pregnant introduces us to seventeen-year-old Cleondra Carter and her boyfriend Mario Escovedo. The couple welcomes daughter Kylee, and though their fighting makes them feel miles apart, they actually live right across the street from one another in Horn Lake, Mississippi.
A senior who planned to study physical therapy in college, Cleondra is a good student and a former member of her high school’s nationally recognized dance team. She lives in crowded house with her mom, her mom’s boyfriend, her siblings, and toddler Zyra, who her older sister Zerica gave birth to when she was seventeen. Cleondra’s mom Dixie is disappointed as she was open with Cleondra on the subject of birth control and made sure she had condoms. Dixie also reveals that Cleondra considered abortion.
Mario gave up on his plan to join the Army when he found out his girlfriend was pregnant, and Cleondra reveals he feels a great deal of guilt about getting her pregnant. He has taken a full-time job at local tire shop and is fixing up his home in hopes the new family can live there after the baby is born. While Cleondra recognizes that Mario gets stressed out by the chaos of her own home, she is hesitant to leave the nest.
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On this week’s episode of 16 and Pregnant, sixteen-year-old Danielle Cunningham of Columbus, Ohio finds herself pregnant with boyfriend Jamie Alderman, a high school drop-out, after only a few months of dating. I fancy myself to be devoid of most human emotion (kidding…kind of), but this installment was heartbreaking to me.
We learn early on that Danielle had aspirations of becoming a lawyer which were quickly curbed by her partying ways. Her mother Casey, who gave birth to Danielle at sixteen, sends her wild daughter to live with her grandmother (Casey’s mother) forty-five minutes away, which is where Danielle meets Jamie. Once pregnant, Danielle moves back in with her mom, who feels overwhelming guilt for putting her daughter in the same situation she was in as a high schooler. Jamie, looking forward to fatherhood, visits his girlfriend often (thanks to the help of friends and family, as he has lost his drivers’ license–prerequisite for being on this show??). He reveals that he likes Danielle because they have “actual conversations;” however, if these awkward talks are what the young folk are deeming “actual conversations” then most of the chatty people I know are extreme over-achievers in the verbal world.
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On this week’s 16 and Pregnant, the most recent young couple to be followed by mtv is Jamie McKay and her boyfriend Ryan from Asheville, North Carolina. Jamie is a senior honor student and student council member who is hoping her baby will have the father she never had. Unfortunately, her daughter’s paternity is the product of a drunken, deadbeat, irresponsible teenage boy. He’s lost his license due to multiple speeding tickets and a DUI. Ryan sounds like a clASS act. I swear, mtv should’ve saved Jordan Ward and her role model worthy baby daddy Brian Finder till the end of the season…not the premiere. Now I am measuring all the young fathers against him, and I know that is a total lost cause.
We learn that (yet again) the couple didn’t use any form of birth control. Calling mtv execs…perhaps you should have more contraceptive PSAs airing during the show and less shampoo commercials–just an idea. Jamie’s friends were shocked to find out her news, and while they don’t seem too keen on Ryan, they are supportive. One lad, wise beyond his years (??) opines (and I paraphrase), “A mother becomes a mom when she gets pregnant, but a father doesn’t feel like a dad until his sees his baby.” Here’s hopin’! Jamie’s mother isn’t Ryan’s biggest fan either, and he heads farther down the pecking order when he can’t attend Jamie’s doctor’s appointment because he’s due in court for that whole “bad driver” silliness. And oh, the doctor’s appointment…the look on that poor ob-gyn’s face when she asks Jamie what she was most concerned about with birth and motherhood. Answer? Stretch marks. Please, sweet young girl, try to realize the gravity of what is about to happen.
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This week’s installment of 16 and Pregnant introduces us to Jennifer Del Rio and her older boyfriend Josh Smith(if you didn’t already know of them from recent police reports) of Tampa, Florida. Jennifer seems to come from a close-knit family, and her parents are anything but a fan of her boyfriend, Josh. At twenty-eight weeks pregnant, Jennifer is still a mere baby herself–she is a rising sophomore in high school who is carrying fraternal twin boys.
The first conflict Jennifer finds herself in embroiled in deals with naming her sons. She and Josh have decided to name the boys Noah and Joshua, Jr. Her parents are less than thrilled that one will be named after Josh, and even more upset when they learn Jennifer insists (slash Josh demanded) the boys will have his last name. We figure out that Josh is a real peach, and smart to boot. Examples? “Is it scary knowing two are coming?” Eh, we’ll see. One would be no problem, but two…that’s a tad frightening. I realize these interchanges are partially scripted, but please. The kicker is when Jennifer says she wishes she had known more about birth control, and Josh reveals that he wasn’t “too broke” to buy condoms (as he’d apparently told her) but that the whole process of going to the drug store to purchase them was just too awkward. I’d like to joke about the ways in which his life will be much more awkward now, but honestly, it’s just plain sad (his immature outlook, not their impending family).
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I’ve been gearing up for the new season of16 and Pregnant and tonight’s premiere started out with a different kind of love triangle. The show heads to St. Louis where we are introduced to Jordan Ward, her twin sister Jessica (Jessi), and Jordan’s boyfriend Brian Finder. Right off the bat, Jordan is at the center of a battle of tug-of-war between the person with whom she shared a womb and the person who put someone in her womb (too much?).
We find out a lot in the first few minutes. The twins were born to young parents and their father didn’t stick around. Their mother couldn’t handle raising the girls on her own. At age nine, they were adopted by their grandparents, and by fifteen, the girls had left conventional high school to pursue modeling (irrelevant and superficial sidebar–how gorgeous were their modeling photographs?). Jordan meets Brian at a baseball game, and we learn that while she was on the Pill, she hadn’t been taking it long enough for it to be effective. Brian also cues us in on the fact that she has been pregnant the majority of their relationship. He remembers thinking when they first met that they’d make pretty babies one day, he just thought it would be years down the road. He seems very sincere and responsible and truly in love, a refreshing change from some of the hateful, immature sperm donors we’ve seen in past seasons. He chooses not to go away to college as planned, and to get a job and attend community college so he can bond with and support his family.
In a 16 and Pregnant phenomenon that I may never fully understand, the parents often allow the boyfriend to move into their home. I get that their daughter is already pregnant, so what more could happen, but still…In this case, Jessi takes Brian’s arrival into their house particularly hard. She thinks she’s losing her sister to Brian, and it’s kind of heartbreaking because it’s clear that she and Brian both really love Jordan. Brian isn’t just some insecure d-bag who is trying to alienate his knocked up girlfriend from everyone else in her life in an effort to have control (yes, I am looking at you ADAM from Teen Mom 2!!). It’s sad to see it from Jessi’s point of view as well, as the person she has shared her entire life with seems to be moving in a majorly different direction.
Unfortunately for Jessi, Brian isn’t feeling the whole Three Amigos situation and wants to be the only one present for the actual birth. Jordan is tasked with making the tough decision to tell her sister she is no longer going to be in the room for baby Noah’s grand entrance. Jessi doesn’t take the news well (understatement) and begins a bit of a freeze-out of her sister, hanging out with other friends and skipping out on one of Jordan’s doctor’s appointment. Mission accomplished. Jordan tells Brian that regardless of whether Jessi is present at the birth either she or Brian will have not gotten what they wanted. Seeing as she has the trump card of actually having to go through hours of labor, Jordan decides Jessi is back in the game. This is good news considering she begins having labor pains a few days later. Time to head to the hospital!
Dear readers, the exchange that happens next is what I have to believe the creators were hoping for when conceiving (bad pregnancy word play…you’re welcome) the premise behind this show. Jordan asks the nurse, “How often do people poop during labor?” and the answer is, “Quite often.” As if labor pains and the revelation that your future will never be the same as your friends continue on their merry way while you’re home with a screaming infant on prom night wasn’t enough–Teens, if you get pregnant you will likely poop during your baby’s delivery. Surely the knowledge of that outweighs the minor embarrassment incurred from going to a drug store for condoms.
So after seven hours of labor, baby Noah James arrives. In a tender peace offering, a visibly moved Brian hands off the baby to a visibly moved Aunt Jessi. Now, I don’t want to start any rumors, but did anyone else notice that Brian is wearing a band on his left ring finger? And on second glance, Jordan is wearing what appears to be a diamond solitaire on her left hand as well. Did I miss something? After lactation lessons, diaper changing lessons, and swaddling lessons, it’s time to head home with the newest addition. The baby cries a lot, as does Jessi, who tells Jordan she’d feel upset too if it were Jordan watching Jessi as a new mom with a live-in boyfriend (this may clear up my rumor, although I am not totally convinced).
Having a newborn at home is not easy, although it is nice to see everyone stepping up to the plate to help. Noah cries and cries (and cries and cries and cries) for six weeks, at which point Jordan takes him to the doctor and discovers he has horrible acid reflux. As the episode draws to a close, Brian seems to be working hard, his and Jordan’s relationship appears solid, and Jessi is embracing her individuality and youth (she’s even sporting some cute new bangs!) as she promises to live life to the fullest so her twin can live vicariously. MTV makes sure we’re aware that Jordan goes back on birth control. I have to say that I am glad MTV opened with this episode. It was refreshing to see not nearly as much drama (although the season will be packed with it, no doubt). After watching Jordan’s after show interview on MTV.com, it seems like this little family is on the right track, and they are moving to California so Brian can join the Air Force. Jordan also reveals that Brian and Jessi have a much better relationship. Oh, and they aren’t married yet…have I mentioned I tend to jump to conclusions?
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