A Painful Breakup, Motherhood and a Fresh Start: Maci Bookout's Journey from 16 and Pregnant to Teen Mom
Maci Bookout made her reality television debut on the very first episode of 16 and Pregnant, which premiered on MTV in June 2009. A "total overachiever" at her high school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, she got good grades, played softball and was on the cheerleading squad. During her junior year, she got pregnant and moved in with her then-fiancé Ryan Edwards.
On Oct. 27, 2008, Maci gave birth to son Bentley Cadence, who weighed in at 6 lbs., 4 oz. "Giving birth to my baby was the hardest thing I've ever done," she confessed on the show. "I kicked and screamed for over 30 hours of nonstop pain."
A ROCKY ROMANCE
From the get-go, Maci's pregnancy put serious strain on her relationship with Ryan. Ultimately, after welcoming Bentley, the two decided to give it their best shot: "For Bentley's sake, we both want to work this out and do the best we can for him," Maci said on 16 and Pregnant. "We have to make it work until either it does work out like we hope, or we just realize that we just don't belong together."
BACK IN THE SPOTLIGHT
After the booming success of 16 and Pregnant, MTV swiftly cast Maci and three other girls in a new spin-off, Teen Mom, which premiered in December 2009. Maci's storyline picked up with her planning her wedding to Ryan, while simultaneously struggling to balance motherhood and online school while her friends left for college. "I really just wanted to show girls how hard it was to be a teen parent," she said at the time. "I wanted girls who might get pregnant to see there are options out there to move forward with your life and still have goals."
CALLING IT QUITS
Soon enough, Maci and Ryan's relationship reached a breaking point and Maci finally ended things in 2010. Much of their ups and downs have been chronicled on Teen Mom, with Maci regularly expressing her frustration with Ryan for failing to step up to his responsibilities as a father.
After her split from Ryan, Maci began dating her childhood friend Kyle King. Their relationship was featured on seasons 2 and 3 of Teen Mom, though the two eventually broke things off in 2012 after nearly two years together.
In the years after their split, Maci and Ryan battled over child support and custody of Bentley, now 8. "It's very weird. [Bentley] is at the age now where he understands that Ryan and I are not together, and when we do the hand-offs he's kind of standoffish," Maci said during the Teen Mom reunion in 2010. "It hurts, but I know that it feels better than knowing the way he would feel if Ryan and I were together and arguing constantly."
A FRESH START
Maci started dating motocross racer Taylor McKinney in 2012, and they've been going strong ever since. The two made their on-camera debut as a couple when Teen Mom returned in 2015 after a nearly three-year hiatus. "I was definitely apprehensive," Maci told PEOPLE at the time. "But I thought it was really cool, and all of us are in such different places in our lives that it would be nice for the fans to see how much we have grown."
BABY NO. 2
FEUDING WITH FARRAH
Over the years, Maci has publicly clashed with her controversial costar Farrah Abraham. "I don't hold a grudge towards her, I'm not mad at her, I don't judge her — but there's also a fine line with what I find appropriate, and I don't think it's appropriate for my 6-year-old son to be involved with some of the things that Farrah is involved with," Maci told E! News in 2015. "So if we're watching one scene and he's in the front yard throwing a baseball and five seconds later they're at a strip club, to me that's just not appropriate."
RYAN SETTLES DOWN
Not only did Maci and Ryan clash over how to raise Bentley after their split, but the two also sparred as Ryan's string of girlfriends floated in and out of the picture. These days, however, Ryan's romantic life seems to have finally settled: He announced his engagement to Mackenzie Standifer last December — and Maci approves! "She's really, really cool," Maci said of Mackenzie last year. "I can already tell she's [very] different from his previous girlfriends."
BABY NO. 3
In February 2016, just one month after announcing their engagement, Maci and Taylor revealed they were expecting their second child together. They welcomed son Maverick Reed just a few months later, on May 31. "Mr. Maverick Reed has officially made his debut & completed our family," Maci gushed on Twitter. "So much love, so many blessings!"
Last October, Maci and Taylor tied the knot at the Honey Lake Church in Greenville, Florida. All three of Maci's children were incorporated into the nuptials: Bentley escorted flower girl Jayde down the aisle, and the two pulled baby Maverick along in a wagon.
While Maci hasn't seen eye-to-eye with Farrah, she has formed strong bonds with her other costars Catelynn Baltierra and Amber Portwood. "They say if you're friends for 10 years, you'll be friends for a lifetime," she said on a recent episode of Teen Mom OG. "It's been nine, we've got one to go. Cheers!"
RYAN'S ONGOING STRUGGLES
On the most recent episode of Teen Mom OG, Maci opened up about Ryan's alleged struggles with substance abuse, confessing that she cries every night over fears that he might end up killing himself. "I'm just sick of cleaning up his mess," she said tearfully. "I get tired of dealing with the s—. Just being the only one that f—ing sees everything and cares. I talk to Taylor about it, like, 'I wonder if today's going to be the day that Ryan does something that he can't come back from?' "