16 & Pregnant (Season 3, Episode 4)- Personal Jesus T-shirt
This week we are following 16-year old Danielle. Danielle lives with her mother, her stepfather, two sisters and a younger brother in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio. As a kid, Danielle was a good student and dreamt of becoming a lawyer, but by the time she hit high school she fell into the arms of the ever-seductive “party crowd.” She skipped school, failed classes, went out all night with her friends, and soon the dream of becoming a lawyer was nothing but a distant memory. Danielle and her mom were constantly fighting over her new party-girl lifestyle, and finally her grandmother intervened and decided to take Danielle to go live with her forty-five minutes away in order to get her life back on track. Well wouldn’t you know it, grandma’s plan was foiled in the worst possible way, because as soon as she moved in with her grandmother she met Jamie, this weeks Dirt-Bag-Baby-Daddy!
Jamie works at a fast food place (judging from the black-and-red outfit I would say McDonald’s) that is thankfully right by his house, because Jamie’s license was revoked and he has to walk to work. Danielle, also license-less, has moved back in with her mom but tries to spend as much time at Jamie’s as possible. Today he is making her breakfast because Danielle is a self-proclaimed bad chef. She tells him she “doesn’t really know how to do anything” as we watch her pulverize an innocent bagel with a knife full of cream cheese. Jamie tells her she “better learn quick.”
Danielle is due in two months and she’s having a boy that they are naming Jamie, Junior. I really hope these girls get more creative with the names. What happened to Nevaeh (yes, that IS heaven spelled backwards) or Bentley or Jayce? Danielle tells Jamie that her mom cries whenever she talks to her about having a baby because “they’ve only been together for a year, and Jamie has a ‘whatever’ attitude.” Danielle is doing home schooling online since it’s “really important that she finishes school” and hopes to return to school for her senior year. Danielle goes bowling with her friends and tells them that “if she has a good body by then she’s gonna be one of the painted people at the football games.” Don’t hold your breath, D. She also tells them that when she and Jamie started doing the dirty she wasn’t on birth control, but soon after went to the clinic to go on the pill. She went, peed in a cup, and they told her she wasn’t pregnant. She went back a week later to pick up her birth control, peed in another cup, and low and behold she had been pregnant the whole time. Danielle explains to her friends that it takes a while to know that you’re pregnant. Thanks for that.
We then find out that Danielle’s mom, Casey was also a teen mom, and had Danielle when she was 16. Looks like Danielle’s grandma is 0 for 2 in making sure the sixteen-year-old girls in her life keep their pants on. Casey is crying when she tells Danielle that she protested when grandma was intervening and taking Danielle away, and even admits that her response was “why? So she can end up pregnant like I did?” Casey is clearly racked with guilt over her decision to let Danielle leave, and now tells Danielle that people look at her like she is a horrible mother for letting her teen daughter get preggo. I feel really bad for Casey and Danielle in this moment so I will withhold my snarky remarks for now. Sigh.
Danielle goes to the fair with her friend Sierra where they do some math and figure out that by the time Danielle is of legal drinking age, Jamie Junior will be in Kindergarten. Yikes. Sierra assures Danielle that when she turns twenty-one that they will get a babysitter because it’ll be “serious.” Can’t wait for that reunion special. They reminisce about the good ol’ days when they used to skip class together and I start hoping Sierra gets hit by a bus. After the fair, Danielle and her mom go shopping for baby clothes. Mommy Casey suggests they turn the front part of their house into an apartment for Danielle and Jamie, which Danielle shoots down because she doesn’t want to live with her mom, she wants to “be out on her own.” (Sidenote: Now that I’ve been out of the house for ten years, I wish I still lived with my mom.) Casey and Danielle discuss the budget for paying for a baby, and Jamie’s payrate at M______d’s is revealed. Casey feels sick over the fact that Jamie and Danielle are expecting to pay for a baby with only $700 a month. Clearly Danielle won’t be moving out any time soon.
Later that day Danielle decides to sit down with Jamie and make a budget plan. He says they have enough wipes to last them at least 2 or 3 months but I don’t think Jamie knows just how often babies poop. This conversation is going in circles and Danielle is getting flustered and disheartened and Jamie is coping an attitude. They both have no clue how many diapers and wipes they need and are in no way ready to become parents. Jamie is yelling, Danielle is crying and Jamie is frustrated that Danielle isn’t telling him how long the diapers and wipes are going to last (why the eff would she know that, Jamie? She hasn’t done this before!) I am beginning to spiral into a deep depression watching this show every week and watching these kids struggle.
Jamie and Danielle have a sit-down with Jamie’s Dad and Mommy Casey about living arrangements. The plan: Stay at Momma Casey’s for a week and a half, then move in with Jamie’s dad so they can be close to Jamie’s job. The verdict: no. Casey wants Danielle to live at home until she is 18. Jamie calmly explains to Mommy Casey that because he has no driver’s license he won’t be able to come back and forth from work and he wants to be with Danielle and the baby. Danielle promises her mom she’ll still be around and Mommy Casey starts crying. Mommy Casey thinks she’s being a bad mom if she lets her 16-year old daughter live with her boyfriend. Jamie and his dad make a good case, and Jamie seems genuine about wanting to be around his son. Casey’s verdict is appealed, and Danielle will move in with Jamie and his dad.
Danielle is 38 weeks pregnant and baking with her two friends, one of whom is wearing a T-shirt that says, “Jesus is my BFF” (I wonder how her BFF would feel about Danielle’s illegitimate pregnancy.) Danielle complains about feeling “sharp lightening bolts…down there,” and her friend (not Jesus shirt, the other one) tells her to call the doctor. Danielle calls her mom instead who then tells her to call the doctor. Danielle calls the doctor and goes to the hospital.
At the hospital the lightening bolts are confirmed as labor pains and Jamie shows up to hold her hand. Her doctor says everything looks fine but would still like her to have the baby tonight. She gives her the whole spiel about Pitocin and IV’s and breaking her water for her…Don’t even get my started about how I feel about medical tampering in childbirth. Danielle hesitates but goes along with it. Four hours into labor Danielle is in so much pain she’s sobbing. She gets an epidural and feels much better. All of a sudden alarm bells are going off and the room fills with doctors and nurses. Danielle’s doctor tells her they have to deliver right away because baby Jamie Junior has stopped breathing. MTV goes to commercial. My depression continues.
They suction baby Jamie out (I was unfamiliar with this procedure) and he is ok! Danielle is crying, Mommy Casey is crying, and Jamie is strangely calm and totally stoked the baby looks JUST like him. If I were Danielle, this fact would devastate me. A nurse comes the next day to teach Jamie and Danielle how to change diapers, swaddle (the nurse referred to him as a little burrito) and sends them on their way. They go to Casey’s house and seem to have a very hard time recalling how to do the diaper change and swaddling once out of the hospital. Danielle’s little sister draws Danielle the CUTEST pictures of baby Jamie Junior, which cheers me up a little, but now my depression has caused me to eat a king-sized bag of peanut M&Ms.
Mommy Casey is helping A LOT and things seem to be looking up…that is until Jamie returns from work to announce that he’s been suspended and doesn’t plan on going back. Mommy Casey doesn’t look thrilled, and Jamie looks apathetic as usual. Maybe he’s stoned all the time. Wouldn’t surprise me really. At least he is help with the baby. Jamie’s dad got him a construction job back near his house, so it’s time for Danielle to tell Mommy Casey she is ready to leave. Mommy Casey doesn’t cry, probably because she already can tell that Danielle (and baby Jamie Junior) will be back in no time once Danielle realizes how much her mother has been helping. They argue about the difference between being mature and being naïve and Danielle sounds like she’s on lithium…or Anna Nicole Smith (RIP).
They move into Jamie’s dad’s house where Danielle will be alone with the baby while Jamie and his dad are at work. The montage of Danielle’s first day alone consists of Baby Jamie Junior screaming like a banshee, Danielle staring hopelessly into the barren cupboards in search of food, and struggling to get one of the baby’s pacifiers away from the family dog. It also has a voice over from Danielle where she realizes that life with mom wasn’t so bad (See!? I told you!) Jamie is too tired after work to help with the baby and Danielle doesn’t have time to do any of her homework. When Jamie does try and help it just leads to bickering, then arguing, then fighting. Mommy Casey comes over with a copy of Danielle’s grades and we find out she fails two classes. Mommy Casey asks what she’s going to do and Danielle, still sounding like she is on sedatives, says she doesn’t know. Then Mommy Casey holds up the baby and says, “Look at him! Do you want him to have good shoes, or crappy shoes?” Ummm, okay. Mom, who wants crappy shoes? Casey says the only way the baby will have nice shoes is if she gets good grades. (Sidenote: Nice shoes are in the eye of the beholder.)
The whole show keeps getting more depressing. Jamie starts going out with friends instead of helping. Jamie and Danielle are fighting all the time, and I’ve eaten too many M&M’s. Casey comes to pick up Danielle to talk about how things are going over at Jamie’s house. Casey asks Danielle if she’s ready to move back home, and Danielle finally admits what a big help her mother is (and how totally awesome Moms are—I LOVE YOU MOM!!) Jamie is not hot on this idea and decides that he’d rather break up with Danielle than move back in with Mommy Casey. They both seem so sedated all the time that there isn’t really a fight so much as statement that finalized their relationship. Danielle moves home, takes Baby Jamie Junior to the aquarium, and tells us that “she wishes she had gotten to know the real Jamie before having a baby with him” and that she thought “having a baby would really fix their relationship,” famous last words, sister. Danielle seems to have learned her lesson that babies aren’t relationship band-aids, but who knows if it’ll stick.
TEEN MOM APPEAL: God I hope not! Baby Jamie Junior is cute but these two are a wreck and they are both so stoned all the time that their fights are totally boring and depressing. Plus I can’t afford to eat any more chocolate this close to summer.
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