It's been two years since Teen Mom's Catelynn Lowell gave her daughter, Carly, up for adoption, but not a day goes by when the 19-year-old doesn't wonder what could have been.
Chatting with a friend who also gave a child up for adoption, Lowell — engaged to Carly's dad, Tyler Baltierra — worries that she may not be able to maintain a close relationship with her daughter as she grows.
"I really don't feel like I'm doing the things I need to do to build the type of relationship I want," Lowell says in a preview clip from Tuesday's episode of Teen Mom. "It's scary, because I don't want them to shut me out," she continues of Carly's adoptive parents, fighting back tears. "People always tell [me] 'you aren't a mom.' We are moms, but in a different way. We're not their parents, but we are moms."
In an effort to stay close with their daughter, Lowell and Baltierra visit her annually — and recently enjoyed a two-day reunion in June.
"Tyler jumped right in and played with her, but I was a little standoffish and let her come to me," Lowell tells Us Weekly of the meeting.
And while Carly may not be a constant presence in Lowell's life now, she has made quite the impression. Lowell hopes to be a teacher — a goal intensified by those precious annual visits. "Ever since Carly," she says, "I just love kids!"
Teen Mom airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. (EST) on MTV.