Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra have beaten the odds in a major way.
When they were first introduced to the world on 16 and Pregnant, these two had very little working in their favor.
For starters, as the title indicates, they were in their teens and expecting a child together.
On top of that, Tyler and Catelynn’s relationship seemed doomed to failure due to some very unusual circumstances involving their parents.
Tyler spoke about these circumstances this week in a revealing podcast interview.
Asked about his earliest days in the reality TV spotlight, Baltierra says that while it was difficult to make such an important decision in front of an audience of millions, he and Catelynn jointly realized they had no choice but to put their first daughter up for adoption:
“I remember just staring at her while she was sleeping, like, ‘Oh, my God, I can’t bring a kid into this craziness,’” he told Katey Casey, host of the “Reality Life” podcast, according to Us Weekly.
“At that time, my dad was with her mom, they were both using [drugs], it was just kind of wild and unpredictable and crazy. So for me, it was just pure panic,” he added.
“We both kind of looked around. Like, it was just natural without any words. It was, like, a feeling. From then on, we just kind of knew adoption was just the right thing to do.”
If you’re a longtime Teen Mom OG viewer, then you know that that decision continues to complicate the lives of the Baltierras.
While Catelynn was still pregnant with daughter Carly, she and Tyler reached an open adoption arrangement with her adoptive parents.
At times, that agreement has resulted in friction between the two couples, who often disagreed about how big of a role the Baltierras should play in Carly’s upbringing.
Tyler says the pain of giving Carly up was in some ways exacerbated by the arrival of their younger children, as he and Catelynn were reminded of how much they missed in the life of their first daughter.
“You do get sad having more children after [adoption],” Baltierra said.
“But then it does ease the pain of not knowing at all what [raising Carly] was like. When we saw Nova get older … we [went] back to old pictures that Teresa sent us when [Carly] was that same age and it helped a little bit.”
In the end, Tyler says, it was having more children that pushed him and Catelynn to seek help from a therapist — help that he credits with saving his marriage.
“We actually were thankful because it kind of helped … get this thing in check that we kind of ignored for a while,” he said.
“So we really feel like, in a way, our children just saved us. They came to us exactly at the right time when they were supposed to be in our lives and helped project the healing.”
According to Tyler, the situation with Carly has grown more complicated over the years, as evidenced in a recent episode of Teen Mom OG, in which he and Catelynn struggled following a scheduled visit with their eldest child.
“She’s not a little kid. She’s 12. Like, she has more mature emotions,” Baltierra explained.
“She’s really understanding the situation that we’re in. For the first time I [saw] her have a hard time saying goodbye, which made me … totally lose it,” he continued.
“It’s a weird thing to want to [comfort her] naturally, organically, and then realize, ‘Oh, wait.’ You can’t because you’re not really raising her. And those are her parents. It’s kind of crazy.”
Tyler and Catelynn will likely face new struggles as Carly enters her teen years, but it sounds as though they’re much better equipped to handle these changes now that they’re no longer teens themselves.
And importantly, we’re sure the Baltierras will continue to enjoy the support of their legion of adoring fans!