Long before Amber Portwood and Jenelle Evans gained notoriety on MTV's Teen Mom, there was another pregnant 16-year-old making headlines: Jamie Lynn Spears.
Now 21, the former Nickelodeon star opens up to Glamour about how giving birth to daughter Maddie (with then-boyfriend Casey Aldridge) changed her life forever.
"It was 2007. I had been on a Nickelodeon show, Zoey 101, and after we wrapped shooting, I just wanted to go home to Louisiana and finish high school, be a cheerleader, all that. Then I found out I was pregnant," she tells the magazine's March issue. "I was young. I was in love. I was like every other teenager, except I had this last name. And I made a decision that is forever my decision."
Jamie Lynn wasn't using birth control at the time because "like many young girls, I was really scared to go to the doctor." The reason? "I was on a Nickelodeon show, and it felt especially embarrassing to ask someone to put me on birth control. . .I did feel responsible for the young girls and the mothers who I probably confused and let down. I apologize for that. But I wasn't trying to glamorize teen pregnancy."
"Everybody is dealt a hand of cards," Jamie Lynn reasons. "It was my choice to play them the way I played them. But the hateful comments hurt."
The star leaned on her older sister Britney Spears, 30, for support. "[Our bond as mothers], it's such a big thing, you know? Especially 'cause there's an age gap there — she's 10 years older. I think if I were just a normal 20-year-old, I wouldn't be able to relate as much to her."
Now that her life is more balanced, Jamie Lynn plans to re-join the music industry.
"I was a kid who did a kid show. Then I went away and raised my child, and the world has never met me as an adult. This is the first time anybody is really meeting me as a grown woman and grown mother making a decision about what to do with my life," she tells Glamour.
"Do people have an idea of who they think I am? Yes, and that's fine with me," Jamie Lynn says. "My music will speak for itself."
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