MTV's 16 and Pregnant debuted across millions of screens in 2009

By Alexia Fernández and Brianne Tracy
April 04, 2018 03:02 PM
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Ever since MTV’s 16 and Pregnant debuted across millions of screens in 2009, audiences have faithfully followed the lives of nine young women who raised their children as teen mothers.

From dealing with mental health issues to substance abuse to past arrests, the stars of the MTV reality show have changed over the years from teenage mothers to women embarking on heartfelt life journeys.

Here are all the mothers you should know from MTV’s Teen Mom.

Catelynn Baltierra

Audiences first met Catelynn, 26, on MTV’s 16 and Pregnant in 2009 when she and then-boyfriend Tyler Baltierra, 26, were pregnant with their first child, daughter Carly. The couple placed Carly for adoption after her birth in an emotional episode. Catelynn and Tyler welcomed daughter Novalee Reign in January 2015. The two married in August 2015, with their wedding televised for an episode of Teen Mom OG.

After Nova’s birth, Catelynn checked into a treatment facility for postpartum depression and anxiety in March 2016. She told MTV in a statement at the time that she was “seeking help for myself and my family. Thank you to all of my supporters. My family and I would appreciate some privacy at this time.”

Catelynn opened up about her struggle with PEOPLE in April 2017 to discuss her desire to expand her family, which coexisted with her fear of having postpartum depression again.

“I’ve definitely been thinking about it and that’s the one thing that’s holding me back, honestly,” she said. “Especially because they say if you’ve had postpartum once, you have a higher chance of getting it with your next.”

During an episode of Teen Mom OG, Catelynn surprised Tyler and the rest of their family when she announced that she was pregnant with their third child. Weeks later, however, she miscarried.

She sought treatment in November 2017 after she experienced suicidal thoughts. Catelynn tweeted, “Well today I thought of every way to kill myself.. so I’m going to treatment. #makeChesterProud @TalindaB #KeepTalkingMH #thiswontlast.”

Catelynn entered rehab for a third time in January to overcome childhood trauma.

“Well they say third times a charm… I’m going back to treatment people for 6 weeks to work on my trauma and getting on different meds. THANK YOU @TylerBaltierra I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!! You are my light!! And nova you are my sunshine #KeepTalkingMH.”

And on Sept. 13, the couple announced they are expecting their “rainbow baby.”

Amber Portwood

Amber Portwood has come a long way since her debut on 16 and Pregnant. In 2008, she gave birth to her first child, daughter Leah Shirley, whom she shares with ex-boyfriend Gary Shirley.

Portwood, 27, was charged with three counts of domestic violence in November 2010 after MTV cameras recorded her abuse against Shirley.

In 2012, Portwood was ordered to serve prison time by an Indiana judge after she violated her drug court probation requirements by failing a urine test and lying about it, according to CNN. She was sentenced to five years but was released after serving 17 months.

During the time she was gone, Shirley had custody of their daughter. Upon her return, Portwood set out to prove she could handle parenting and manage her mental illness and addiction.

She met Matt Baier in 2014 when she was 24 and he was 42. Their on-and-off relationship culminated in an engagement that was eventually called off twice.

In August 2016, the two called off their wedding after the TV reality star became aware of Baier’s children from past relationships. They called it off again in 2017 after Baier, a recovering addict, allegedly offered Xanax to Portwood’s costar Catelynn Baltierra during a trip to New York City.

The two are currently appearing on Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition, in which Portwood accused Baier of physically abusing her in the past. He adamantly denied the claims on the show.

The two ended things in 2017, and Portwood began dating Andrew Glennon, a cinematographer whom she met on the set of the WEtv show.

In November 2017, PEOPLE confirmed Portwood is expecting her second child, a boy. Before breaking up with Baier, Portwood revealed to an MTV producer that she had been re-diagnosed with borderline personality and bipolar disorders. She said the medications for her mental health would make it impossible to carry a healthy baby.

Despite this, Portwood told PEOPLE recently that she had been off her medications at the time of her pregnancy. She began taking antidepressants while seven months pregnant under her doctor’s supervision.

“I kind of just want to nip it in the bud before anything gets too bad or you go into a really deep depression, which is not good for me right now, obviously. I’m 33 weeks pregnant,” she said. “It’s just something you have to do to make yourself feel better, and you have to make sure it’s safe for the baby and just move forward from that.”

RELATED VIDEO: Teen Mom’s Amber Portwood Expecting Second Child

Maci Bookout

The Tennessee native welcomed her first son, Bentley, with Ryan Edwards in October 2008 during her junior year in high school.

From the start of her pregnancy, tensions between Bookout and Edwards ran deep, with the latter’s seeming lack of responsibility a constant source of contention between the pair.

The two split in 2010, and Bookout, 26, began dating again, starting with childhood friend Kyle King. The relationship was featured in seasons 2 and 3 of Teen Mom, but the two eventually broke things off in 2012 after nearly two years together.

Bookout began dating motocross racer Taylor McKinney in 2012, making their on-camera debut together in 2015 on Teen Mom after the show’s nearly three-year hiatus.

The couple welcomed their first child together, daughter Jayde Carter, in May 2015. In February 2016, just one month after announcing their engagement, the two revealed they were expecting their second child together.

Their son, Maverick Reed, was born in May 2016. A few months later, in October, the couple finally tied the knot in Greenville, Florida. All three of Maci’s children were incorporated into the nuptials: Bentley escorted Jayde, the flower girl, down the aisle, and the two pulled baby Maverick along in a wagon.

In May 2017, during an episode of Teen Mom OG, Bookout grew emotional when talking to costars Amber Portwood and Catelynn Baltierra about Edwards’ health and her fear that he could die from substance abuse.

I’m just sick of cleaning up his mess,” Bookout said, wiping away tears. “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?’” she continued.

ryan-edwards
Ryan Edwards
| Credit: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office

The basis for her fears was shown in greater depth when Edwards began to fall asleep at the wheel while driving himself and then-girlfriend Mackenzie Standifer to their wedding.

Looking visibly worried and tight-lipped, Standifer frequently tapped him on the shoulder to get him to focus on the road. Edwards checked into rehab after the episode aired, with Standifer, now his wife, admitting to an MTV producer during the season 7 premiere of Teen Mom OG that he had allegedly spent $10,000 a week on drugs.

In late March, Bookout filed an order of protection against Edwards, which lists her three children. The filing comes just days after Edwards was arrested in Tennessee for violating terms of his probation from a prior heroin possession charge.

Farrah Abraham

The Nebraska native made her debut on 16 and Pregnant in 2009. From the very beginning, Abraham went through the pregnancy alone after her boyfriend, Derek Underwood, died in a car accident. She gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Sophia, in February 2009.

Abraham’s relationship with her mother, Debra Danielsen, became increasingly strained due to her pregnancy. In January 2010, Danielsen was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse after she and Abraham, 18 at the time, began arguing over childcare for Sophia.

The mother of one began to dabble in the adult entertainment industry early on, facing backlash when a sex tape called Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom surfaced. The sequel, Farrah 2: Backdoor and More, was released in 2014.

On the show, Abraham’s relationship with her mother continued to draw viewers as their explosive arguments led both to accuse each other of mental abuse. They attempted to fix their relationship in 2017 when they appeared on Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition along with Abraham’s father, Michael.

RELATED VIDEO: Farrah Abraham Says Her Mother Is ‘Evil’ After She Claimed the Star Had Multiple Mental Illnesses

Abraham’s relationship with Danielsen was further strained when the latter began dating Dr. David Merz, who urged Abraham to seek counseling throughout the show. While Danielsen and Merz were planning their wedding, Abraham frequently told her mother she wasn’t sure she’d attend, causing more strain on their relationship. When the two married in November 2017, Abraham and Sophia were there to celebrate the nuptials.

Abraham’s relationships with her costars and MTV producers have led to a series of feuds on and off the show. In 2016, Abraham and Portwood fought onstage during a reunion show for Teen Mom OG. Abraham sent Portwood a cease and desist for the alleged “harassment.”

That same year, she got involved in a screaming match with a producer as she insisted she wouldn’t film.

In 2018, Abraham claimed she was fired by Viacom, MTV’s parent company, for continuing to work in the adult entertainment industry. She sued the company for $5 million and later settled.

Jenelle Evans

The Oak Island, North Carolina, native welcomed her son Jace, whom she had with Andrew Lewis, in August 2009. Since Lewis was largely out of the picture, Evans relied heavily on her mother Barbara, with whom she has long had an explosive relationship. Throughout the course of the show, Evans has battled with her mom over custody of Jace.

When Jace was less than a year old, Evans met Kieffer Delp at a party. He was homeless at the time, and he and Evans were arrested for drug possession in 2010.

In December 2012, Evans married Courtland Rogers. When the couple got engaged a month earlier, they were expecting their second child. Evans said that she had suffered a miscarriage and divorced Rogers.

Evans started dating Nathan Griffith, whom she met on Tinder, in June 2013 and the two moved in together within months. She became pregnant with their first child and in June 2014, Evans gave birth to her second child, son Kaiser Orion Griffith. Evans and Griffith got engaged in January 2015, but they broke off the engagement that August. After their breakup, they started a custody battle over Kaiser, and they reached a joint custody agreement in court in January 2017.

In September 2015, Evans started dating David Eason, a pipe welder whom she also met on Tinder. Eason had previously met Evans’ ex-husband Rogers when they were cellmates. He has two children from a previous relationship — daughter Maryssa Rose and son Kaden David. Eason lost custody of Kaden after his ex was granted a no-contact order against him following allegations of domestic violence. Evans gave birth to their first child together, daughter Ensley Jolie Eason, in January 2017. She admitted to smoking marijuana during her pregnancy after being tested positive for THC after giving birth. In September 2017, Evans and Eason got married.

Eason was fired from the show by MTV in February after he allegedly posted a series of homophobic tweets.

Chelsea Houska

Houska, 26, gave birth to her daughter, Aubree Skye, on her first day as a high school senior in September 2009. Aubree’s father is Houska’s ex-boyfriend Adam Lind, who has had multiple run-ins with the law.

During the show’s sixth season, Houska was embroiled in a custody battle with Lind over Aubree. He wanted joint custody, while Houska wanted to keep the custody arrangement they had. In March 2015, the court ruled that Houska would retain full custody and that Lind would be able to see her during supervised visits.

The Sioux Falls, South Dakota, native married Cole DeBoer in October 2016 after a year of dating. The couple welcomed their first child together, Watson Cole, in January 2017.

In March 2018, the couple confirmed they are expecting their second child together, a baby girl, in the Summer.

“….GUESS WHAT! A sweet baby girl will be joining the DeBoer clan in a few short months! We could not be more excited!,” Houska shared on Instagram.

Kailyn Lowry

The Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania, native had her son Isaac Elliot, whom she shares with ex-boyfriend Jo Rivera, in 2011. Lowry, 26, and Rivera split after Isaac’s birth, and a romance with her co-worker Jordan Wenner followed during her custody battle with Rivera.

During season 4 of the show, Lowry started dating Javi Marroquin, and the two got married in September 2013 after a few months of dating. They welcomed their first child, son Lincoln Marshall, in November 2013.

In May 2016, Lowry filed for divorce from Marroquin after nearly three years of marriage. On season 6, Lowry revealed she had a miscarriage, and Marroquin admitted to blaming her for the loss of their child. Their divorce was finalized in December 2016, and they were granted split custody of Lincoln.

Lowry gave birth to her third son, Lux Russell, in August 2017. Lux’s father is Lowry’s longtime friend Chris Lopez.

Leah Messer

Messer, a former cheerleader from Charleston, West Virginia, had twins Aliannah “Ali” and Aleeah with her ex-husband Corey Simms in December 2009. After Messer cheated on Simms with her ex-boyfriend, the two divorced.

The 25-year-old reached out to Simms when she learned that Ali was developing at a slower rate than her sister. The two eventually learned that Ali suffers from muscular dystrophy, a genetic disease that causes progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass.

Allegations of Calvert’s struggles with prescription drug addiction arose during a court battle between her and Simms over custody of the twins. In October 2015, she lost primary custody of the twins to Simms and she was only able to see them on the weekends. Four months later, Messer and Simms ended their battle and reached a custody agreement.

Messer started dating Jeremy Calvert in August 2011, and the two tied the knot in April 2012. After a miscarriage, they had their daughter Adalynn “Addie” Faith Calvert in February 2013. Calvert filed for divorce from Messer after three years of marriage and finalized it in June 2015. Messer was given custody of Addie, and Calvert received visitation rights.

Briana DeJesus

The 23-year-old Orlando, Florida, native had her first child, Nova Star DeJesus, with her ex-boyfriend, Devoin Austin II, in September 2011. She was previously featured on Teen Mom 3, and it was announced she’d be joining the Teen Mom 2 cast in 2017. DeJesus gave birth to her second daughter, Stella Star, in July 2017. Stella’s father is Luis Hernandez, and he and DeJesus are not together.

In February, DeJesus went through a major plastic surgery makeover to reshape her body after giving birth to Stella. DeJesus dated Javi Marroquin (the ex-husband of fellow Teen Mom star Kailyn Lowry) for three months, but she broke up with him in January because he didn’t support her decision to get plastic surgery.