More than five years after making the painful and difficult decision to place their first daughter Carly for adoption on MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, Catelynn Lowell and her fiancé Tyler Baltierra have started a new chapter with the birth of their daughter Novalee this past New Year’s Day.
The longtime couple’s story will air for MTV audiences on the brand-new season of Teen Mom OG — the franchise’s latest spin-off — on Monday, March 23. This time around, Lowell and Baltierra’s story line is particularly sweet after they've spent years coming to terms with their decision to part with their first child.
“We were just super excited and looking forward to it,” Lowell told Us Weekly of her second pregnancy. “Because ever since Carly, we just always yearned so badly to be parents. So, I mean, we were definitely excited.”
But that excitement also came with a side of nerves from the future parents, who were in the middle of planning their wedding when they found out Lowell was pregnant.
“At first, we were both excited about it because, we’ve been wanting to be parents for so long, and we knew we weren’t ready at 16 and we felt more ready this time,” she continued. “And then, an hour later, for me, it was instant anxiety, panic attack because I’m like, ‘Wow, this is real and this is happening.’ I think whatever age you are, it’s probably going to be nerve-racking.”
One unusual factor in welcoming their baby girl was how to introduce her to Carly. Lowell and Baltierra, both 23, have struggled with their relationship with Carly’s adoptive parents Brandon and Teresa, which has been filled with conflicting viewpoints.
Lowell said Teen Mom OG will show the “trials and tribulations with our relationship with Brandon and Teresa and trying to navigate our relationship and how we want to work together in this adoption and make it more open.”
There are plans for Carly to meet Novalee, but there will definitely be guidelines.
“Well, we talked to Brandon and Teresa and eventually they’re going to meet,” Lowell said of her two daughters. “And [Carly] knows that I had a baby and that her name is Nova. You know, we don’t go as far as saying, ‘This is your sister,’ or anything like that. Like, she knows her as Nova, just like we’re Tyler and Catelynn. Eventually, yeah, we’re all going to get together, so they’ll be able to meet.”
As for those people who have criticized the couple for having a second child after placing their first up for adoption, Lowell doesn’t agree with their arguments.
“A lot of the criticism was just, ‘How can you place a child and then have another child?’ And me and Tyler, we feel like that’s just kind of ignorance,” she explained. “And so, really, we just kind of laugh it off. Just because we placed our first baby does not mean we can never have children again. And people think that. And so it just comes from a place of ignorance, I think, and not being educated about what we’re doing.”
Now Lowell and Baltierra feel much more secure in raising Novalee. They have plans to get married on Aug. 22, and have more financial security to help provide for their daughter.
“From being 16 to 23, we’ve just had a huge difference in our relationship,” the reality star explained. “We worked on our relationship, we worked on ourselves. We own a home, we have cars. We’re very stable. So, she’ll always have a roof over her head. So we’re way different than what we were at 16.”
Though she and Baltierra are just a few months into parenting, Lowell says little Novalee takes after her daddy.
“When you have a child and you’re parenting them, you look at the world totally different,” she said. “Like, it is crazy how much differently I think about things now with her. But it’s amazing. I love watching Tyler with her. He’s so good with her. She already loves him to death. So, it’s amazing.”
Teen Mom OG premieres Monday, March 23 at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.
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