Even though teen pregnancy is on the decline, hundreds of thousands of babies are born to women between the ages of 15 and 19 every year. In 2015 there were 229,715 births to teens, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. This is an eight percent decline from 2014 and a whopping 64 percent decline from 1991.
For some people reality TV is an addiction. Mom needs a break from the kiddos and she might just cry more than the baby if she's subjected to anything with a Kardashian in it. So, she tunes in to MTV’s ’16 and Pregnant’. Hey, it’s got pregnant people and babies in it. It’s a reality binge that any mom can get on board with.
Okay, so as a whole less teens are becoming expectant in the U.S. than in the years and decades past. But, that doesn’t mean ’16 and Pregnant’ is running out of interesting girls and their sometimes shocking stories. Obviously, being a teen mom isn’t easy. In the words of the on-screen fictional pregnant teen Juno MacGuff (from the movie with the same name – Juno), “Dude, I’m – I’m just ill-equipped.”
Teen moms are more likely to drop out of high school than other girls their age. Which makes getting a decent-paying job and supporting their children just that much more of a challenge. Hey, most of us struggling to make it through the day and we’re adults.
Between the stress of being an expectant teen and everything else that these adolescent mamas go through, it’s no wonder that ’16 and Pregnant’ has set up some stunningly shocking moments.
15 Catelynn And Tyler Give Up Their Baby For Adoption
This isn’t your garden variety in-your-face kind of shocking moment. It’s not like giving up a baby for adoption is gasp-worthy. So, why is it shocking? The raw emotion of this young couple’s decision is beyond dramatic.
The now-married couple eventually went on to get pregnant again and have a second daughter (who they are raising together). The years in between Catelynn’s first and second pregnancies brought about changes and a world of difference – at least, when it came to the couple’s situation.
Choosing adoption gave the couple (who were children themselves at the time) the chance to graduate from high school and begin a future together, minus the stress of raising a child at such a young age.
Not only was the entire road to choosing adoption difficult enough on its own, but the couple’s parents were 100 percent against it. That said, neither Catelynn nor Tyler felt that they could give their daughter the life she deserved. That led to the powerful moments during and after the teens handed their daughter over.
14 Amber Hits Gary
Okay, so technically this is a ‘Teen Mom’ moment. Following the popularity of ’16 and Pregnant’, MTV spun the off to focus on some of the most-watched mamas. Amber Portwood was one of the girls who made the transition from one show to the other. Between her on-and-off-again relationship with her baby-daddy Gary and ready-to-fight attitude, Amber pretty much guaranteed that viewers would be shocked – more than once.
After hitting Gary on camera, Portwood’s situation went downhill quickly. Portwood battled drug addiction and faced a jail sentence. Following time in prison, Portwood made some serious changes. She sought help for a mental illness (she’s been diagnosed with bipolar disorder), found love and did everything that a mama can to make her daughter’s life better.
While Portwood still continues to struggle at times, this mom has come a long way since her first episode aired in 2009. Hey, no one’s perfect. Yes, hitting her daughter’s daddy during filming was a shocker. But, her story is one that young girls can learn from. And, even if that helps one young woman, airing her not-so-perfect moments may just be worth it.
13 Kayla’s Mom Asks Her To Help With A Diet
Not only was Kayla Jackson a teen mom, but she also suffered from an eating disorder. This made her pregnancy and the already stressful time after giving birth that much more difficult. Obviously, having a baby brings your body image to the forefront.
Even a woman without an eating disorder will second-guess how much weight she’s gaining and winder is she’ll ever take it off. So, when Kayla had to deal with these body issues (and as a teen), it made the viewers truly feel for her.
But, apparently her own mother didn’t get the message that she needed help. Not only did her mom bolt and leave the teen mom, her baby and her baby-daddy without heat on a frigid winter night (the couple and their child went to a hotel to stay warm), but she actually asked her anorexic daughter to help her diet.
Whoa! Sure, Kayla seemed to be doing well, But, asking your own daughter with an eating disorder to help you to diet? Yikes.
12 Allie Gets An Ear-Full
Allie Mendoza didn’t have it easy. Okay, so plenty of teen moms don’t. The teen lived with her dad – who definitely didn’t want her having a baby at such a young age. When Mendoza decided to keep the pregnancy (and the baby), her dad kicked her out. But, that’s not even the most shocking moment of Allie’s episode.
At the time her then-boyfriend Joey’s family agreed to take the pregnant girl in. Nice! Or not. Her boyfriend’s mom had a drug problem and wasn’t exactly Allie’s biggest fan. That’s to say the least. Joey’s mom loses it and screams (or rather, freaks out) on the expectant teen. The result? Allie and her boyfriend end up going to live with his grandma.
By the end of the 2010 episode we see that Joey’s mom has gotten help and might be on the road to change. That said, the relationship with Joey never panned out and the couple broke up. In 2014 Allie was with a new guy, Christopher Gerena, and had become expectant again. Sadly, the young mom had a miscarriage. Following this the couple got married and had a son in 2015.
11 Josh Leaves Jennifer
So, a baby-daddy leaving his teen mama isn’t exactly a shocker. Over the course of the show, plenty of the guys walked away from their pregnant or just-have-given-birth girlfriends. But, when Jennifer Del Rio and Josh Smith (the father of her twins) got in a fight, he did something almost unbelievable.
After a fight inside of his car, Smith pulls over and kicks Del Rio to the curb – literally. Not only does he leave the young mom by the side of the road, but he takes off with their twins still in the backseat. Eventually he comes back, only to get arrested.
Wow! Seriously. Imagine if your boyfriend (and, not just boyfriend, but the father of your children) got so mad that he just left you. It’s not like Josh left Jennifer off at a cushy restaurant or a friend’s home. He just ditched her on the side of a road. Lucky there are cell phones, right?
10 Courtney Chooses Celibacy
Um, isn’t she expecting? Yep, 16 and Pregnant’s Courtney had already done the deed (more than just once) with boyfriend Scott. Yeah, that’s how they ended up on the show in the first place. But, Courtney’s Christian values get the best of her and she decides that she’s not ready to be intimate.
Okay, so this is kind of confusing. The teen has already been intimate, has a child and then decides to go celibate (at least until marriage).
Sure, she’s not the first teen mom to swear off intimacy for a while. Plenty of other mamas on the show didn’t want anything to do with guys for the time-being (in other words, they didn’t want to give their kiddos a new sibling right away). Courtney’s move was a bit more extreme though – especially when she moves in with her guy.
Hmm, so they’re living together, have a baby together and still no intimacy? That’s right. She even decides that she and the baby should share a room, while Scott sleeps separately in the second bedroom.
9 Aubrey And Brandon Mine For Gold
Mine for what? Yes, gold. Apparently this ’16 and Pregnant’ couple subscribed to the, “There’s gold in them hills” theory. Or, at least they were desperate enough to invest in a gold mining kit.
They’re hardly the first couple on the show to have financial hardships. Being a teen parent puts moms and dads at a much higher risk for instability in this area. Even though Brandon had a job as a mall security job, it just wasn’t enough to keep the couple comfortable (or even provide for their basics). He eventually lost his job and the couples moved in with her grandmother.
With plenty of debt to take care of and a baby that would pack a punch in the wallet, Brandon knew he had to do something. So, he decided that panning for gold would be the way to go. While this moment wasn’t shocking in the scream like a crazy person in your face kind of way that we might expect from the show, its ridiculousness made it more than memorable.
8 Tony’s Truck Sucks
Teen mom Karley was having enough trouble caring for her twins (hey, that’s double the work for a very young mama). As if having one baby at an early age isn’t challenging enough, this mom had to pull double duty. Even though money is tight, her baby-daddy Tony decides he absolutely needs a truck.
Obviously, he needs something for himself – right? Um, not so much. The fact that he’s now a father, and responsible for not one but two children, doesn’t seem to mean much to him.
Even though Karley freaks (and rightly so) when Tony tells her that he’s planning on buying the truck, he goes ahead and does it anyway. For a whopping $1,000 (and, what kind of truck is that going to get anyone?), Tony brings home a lemon. Oh wait, he discovers it’s a lemon before he even brings it home.
After forking over the cash, the truck won’t even start. After getting the truck to start, Tony brings it home. Not so surprisingly, Karley’s less than thrilled. Not only did her guy spend their cash on something that only he wanted, but it only sits three (and they’re a family of four).
7 Party Girl Jenelle
A fan favorite, Jenelle Evans kicked off the premiere episode of season 2 with a party. Kind of. When she wasn’t hanging at the beach, the teen mom was off partying. That’s during and after her pregnancy. After Andrew (her “model” boyfriend) is out of the picture, Jenelle shocks audiences by leaving baby Jace at home (with her mom, Barbara) and partying with friends.
Even though Jenelle has moments where it looks like she’ll give up on the social scene and stay home with Jace, being a teen mom is just too much for her. Tack on being a single mom too, and this young mama just isn’t ready for the responsibility. Hey, it’s not like she had the ability to get all of that outrageous partying out during some sort of college phase.
Eventually her son Jace goes to live with Barbara, who gets legal custody of him. In the years since her episode aired, Evans’ story has played out on Teen Mom 2. Several boyfriends and two babies (she’s due to deliver her third child this winter) later, Evans seems to have finally seen the error of her partying ways.
With a house, a degree and a much more adult attitude, the mom has been battling Barb for custody of Jace.
6 Maci Takes Off Her Ring
Maci Bookout is the original ‘teen mom’. The first expectant teenager featured on ’16 and Pregnant’, she kind of seemed to have it pretty good. Unlike many, many, many of the other mamas, Maci’s family stayed supportive (as did her baby-daddy Ryan’s). Even though the couple had two sets of loving parents behind them, it didn’t make much of a difference when it came to raising a baby as a teen.
Ryan’s inability to help, show up or do anything to make Maci’s life easier wasn’t doing much to help the couple’s situation. After giving it a go (more than once), Maci shocked viewers by taking off her engagement ring and ditching the dud.
Since that very first episode, Maci’s moved on to Teen Mom – as well as a host of personal triumphs. After leaving Ryan she went on to date, move in with and eventually break up with Kyle King. Following that relationship she met and married boyfriend Taylor McKinney. The two have two children together, started a business and have a life that’s far from her days with Ryan.
5 Farrah Makes A Tape
So, yeah this technically happened after ’16 and Pregnant’ wrapped filming Farrah’s episode. But, it’s certainly one of the most shocking antics of all ‘Teen Mom’ times. After the tragic death of her baby-daddy, Farrah Abraham had to deal with being a very young, single mom.
The constant fighting with mom Debra didn’t make matters any better. In the years following ’16 and Pregnant’ the ever-enterprising Farah went to school, moved to Florida and eventually made a tape of herself being intimate with a man.
The tape shocked fans and her cast mates alike. Even though the teen mom isn’t known for getting along with the other ’16 and Pregnant’ alums, it hasn’t stopped her from appearing on the show (Teen Mom) and continuing on with her career. The young mama/entrepreneur might not have a squeaky clean image, but she’s defiantly taken her 15 minutes and run with it.
Going from expectant teenager to business owner (with stellar financial success) is almost unheard of – but, not in Farrah’s case.
4 Ashley Takes Her Baby Back
Ashley Salazar was one of the few teen moms featured on ’16 and Pregnant’ to decide on adoption. Instead of interviewing interested couples, Salazar decided to place her baby with her aunt and uncle. Even though she knew it was the ‘right’ thing to do for her daughter, Salazar had strong doubts after delivery.
Having doubts about placement isn’t exactly uncommon when it comes to birthmothers and adoption. Young age, inexperience and strong feelings can all play parts in the inability to decide whether adoption is the right way to go.
Salazar shocked viewers when she second-guessed her adoption plan and decided that she might want to try parenting. Her aunt and uncle took a step back and the teen mom brought her baby home from the hospital. After some time (and plenty of emotions), Salazar eventually decided that adoption was the way to go and gave the baby to her aunt and uncle.
3 Catelynn And Tyler Stayed Together
If it seems like most of the teen dads didn’t stick around past the pregnancy, you aren’t wrong. Whether they left during those nine long months, bolted shortly thereafter or the mom kicked them to the curb sometime later on, breaking up seems kind of like the norm for the ’16 and Pregnant’ crew. But, not for Catelynn and Tyler.
Yes, this couple has had their ups and downs. From a heart-wrenching adoption decision to dealing with their parents (including Tyler’s dads serious addiction issues and a stint in prison), these two have been through more than a life-time worth of stress. Even so, they’ve come through it and stayed together.
After a decade together, the two were married in 2015. While a wedding is hardly major news, the fact these once-teen parents beat the odds and managed to keep their love going kind of is. Not only did Catelynn and Tyler stay together and get married, but the couple also had a second daughter (who they are parenting together).
Maybe it was the adoption decision they made or maybe they were just meant to be. There’s no telling why and how this cute couple managed to make it through a teen pregnancy and come out as man and wife. When it comes down to it, staying together might just be one of the most shocking things that’s come from ’16 and Pregnant’.
2 Leah’s Daughter’s Health
A few months into dating her then-boyfriend Corey Simms, teen Leah became expectant. Not only was she with child, but she was expecting twins. The up and down couple’s relationship was chronicled well past ’16 and Pregnant’ and into ‘Teen Mom 2’. They broke up, got back together, got engaged and eventually married.
The honeymoon phase quickly ended when Leah admitted to cheating on Corey before their marriage. She went on to meet, date, marry and divorce Jeremey Calvert (the two also have a daughter together).
But, it’s not Leah’s rocky relationships that shocked viewers (most of the teen moms had no luck in the romance department too). When Leah’s daughter Aliannah started having motor issues, the teen mom (and Simms) were understandably worried. After rounds of tests and visits to specialists, Ali was given ta shocking diagnosis – she had a rare form of muscular dystrophy.
Even though the little girl was able to get up and walk, the doctors told the mom and dad the devastating news that their daughter would gradually lose motor function and would eventually need to rely completely on a wheelchair to get around.
1 Nikkole Gets Ditched At Homecoming
Nikkole’s dud of a baby-daddy Josh was a liar, cheater and all-around bad boyfriend. So, pretty much all of his not-so-nice antics were totally expected. They were on and off and on again. Nikkole forgave Josh – much to the unhappiness of her friends and family. Even though she knew she couldn’t trust him, she gave in and let Josh back into her life.
When homecoming rolled around, Nikkole was all in for going. But, not with Josh (who had been expelled, and wasn’t allowed to attend homecoming or any other school function). Of course, Josh wasn’t thrilled with Nikkole’s decision to attend her own homecoming dance. Fun? No way! He tried to stop her plans, but Nikkole insisted on going.
The couple came to a solution about their homecoming dilemma. Nikkole agreed to go with her friends, but leave early to meet up with Josh. When she left the dance, Josh was nowhere to be found. Even though this isn’t shocking in the context of Josh’s behavior, it is pretty stunning when it comes to human behavior.