Season 2 of MTV’s 16 & Pregnant premiered last week with another season of diapers, drama, and hard-hitting emotions. The cast is an eclectic bunch, but this season brings a new pickle into the set-up: a mother of twins.
Meet Leah, a 17-year-old West Virginia native, who got pregnant last April during a one-month relationship with then-boyfriend Corey. Fast forward nine months and Leah is bearing the brunt of balancing school with her new role as a mother of two.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Did you watch the first season?
LEAH: I was already pregnant during [the first season]. Watching them, I’m like, “Oh my gosh! It’s hard!” And now I’m there in the middle of it. I’m going through the same thing they were going through.
My mom actually signed me up for the show. I had no clue about any of it. She wanted me to show girls how it was. She was a young mom also so she kind of knew how hard it was already. She liked the show. She thought it was very inspirational to show other teens out there that it’s not easy. I just want people to see what you have to go through to be a teenage mom.
Did you resist doing the show since you hadn’t heard about it?
I was thinking, That’s kind of scary. I didn’t want to be humiliated because it is hard and you do mess up and don’t know what to do. But I was OK with it after I thought about it for a while.
How did your parents react when you told them about your pregnancy?
My mom was really shocked. I took five pregnancy tests. I just handed her the test. I didn’t know what to tell my mom. She just started crying and was like, “Are you serious?” We went to the emergency room, too, and took a pregnancy test there because I didn’t believe it.
My [birth] dad didn’t like the idea at all. He’s not really around, but he called me and said some pretty harsh things, things that really hurt, but he’s not around so he can’t really say much. And my step-dad didn’t talk to me for a little while. He’s more my father figure. And it was really upsetting to know that I hurt him. I was five months pregnant when we started talking again.
Through the whole thing, [my step-dad] and [my] mom were arguing because he felt that my mom let me do a little more than I should have done at [my age]. He felt like if I had listened to him, I wouldn’t be in the situation that I’m in now. He finally came around, though. I still think it’s a shock to him, though.
What’s the status of your relationship with your babies’ father, Corey?
Corey and I are separated now, but we’re trying to work on things. We were only together a month before I got pregnant. I was in a past relationship for three years, and me and that guy split up and I was pretty hurt from it, which is no excuse to do what I did. I leaned on somebody else in the wrong way and got pregnant within a month. Stress started piling up and we started fighting a lot more. We were trying to juggle getting a house and him working and me trying to get my license and get back to school and take kids to doctor’s appointments. I think it piled up on us. Me and Corey were learning to love each other and I was pregnant, so I’m sure hormones were crazy. I was probably not very happy. We moved in so fast. And you really get to know someone when you live with them. He didn’t like this about me, I didn’t like that about him. But he was with me up until we had the twins. We had a house together then he moved out I’m scared to stay by myself, but I’m kind of staying there and at my mom’s house. But we’re working on it.
How old are your babies? What are their names?
I have two girls, Aliannah Hope and Leah Grace, and they’re 10 weeks today. Ali is really laid back; she won’t fuss a lot. She looks like Corey, acts like Corey. He’s laid back and doesn’t say a lot, and that’s exactly how she is. Leah is more like me and she looks like me. She’s grumpy. If she wants it, she wants it now. She grunts constantly. She’s more outgoing.
How did you feel when you heard you’re weren’t having one baby, but two?
Um, wow. It’s still kind of shocking now. I didn’t know whether to be happy or scared. I had mixed emotions.
Some teen girls opt for adoption or abortion. How did you make your decision?
My personal opinion — and I don’t disagree with anyone else’s personal opinion — is that if I would’ve had an abortion, my family would’ve never talked to me again, and I personally don’t agree with it myself. With adoption, those people are really strong. But I made my bed so I have to lie in it. I don’t expect anybody else to. I don’t want my kids to look back and not know who their parents are. I want my kids to already know me.
Do you get to go out at all?
I just recently got my license and [my parents] gave me a little bit of free time because they see I’m young and I do attend to the baby all the time. Every day I get home from school, I feed them, I bathe them, I get to go tan or maybe one day go to the mall, but I never really go out like I used to. I stay up with the babies. I wake up with them the next morning, and then I go to school.
Some teen moms feel like they’re missing out, while others view their situation more positively. How do you feel?
I feel like I’m missing out a lot. If [my friends] go somewhere, I sometimes have to stay home and take care of my kids. It’s my responsibility [to take care of them], not my mom’s. Or [my friends] will come over to my house and hang out also. That way, they can be with me and we can still hang out and it’s not taking away my social life completely.
Do you see college in your future?
My plans have definitely changed because I wanted to go to West Virginia University and that’s like three hours away from my home, and I’d rather my mom watch the babies instead of someone else, because I just don’t trust that. I want to know that they’re safe and getting the right care. So I’m actually going to West Virginia State, and that’s only 20 minutes away.
Where do you see yourself when you’re older?
I want to be settled down. I don’t want such a chaotic life. I want to be an R.N. That’s what I’m trying to major in. I want to be with Corey. I’m hoping things work out with that.