More than a decade since the series' original premiere, MTV's iconic series 16 and Pregnant is returning with six new stories of young mothers' unexpected pregnancies. Ahead of the premiere of the reimagined docuseries on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 17-year-old Madisen of Heber Spring, Arkansas, opened up to PopCulture.com about her unplanned transition from all-star cheerleader to the mother of 6-month-old daughter Camille in a small town where everyone's business is on the table for gossip.
It was "kind of hard" to open up to the cameras about the more difficult parts of her life after she and her football player boyfriend, Christian, learned she was pregnant at 15, but the film team made her "super comfortable," Madisen told PopCulture. "It’s just exciting to look back on things, even when I was pregnant, and see how much different I am. ... I definitely feel like I've grown up a lot since then."
Raised by single dad Nick after her mom exited the picture at a young age, Madisen hopes Christian can be half the dad her father is, especially after how much Nick supported her throughout the difficult parts of being pregnant as a teen in a small town. "Having him supporting me the whole time was probably what kept me together," she explained, remembering the calls she would make to her dad after hearing vicious lies around town about their family. He would advise her to let it go and rise above the gossip, noting that they had to be unhappy in their own lives or jealous of her to speak so poorly. "He's the best dad and he's an even better Papa," she gushed.
While Madisen and Christian had their ups and downs throughout the pregnancy and after the birth of Camille, the two are back living together and trying their best to make it work for their daughter. While Christian was always "supportive" of his girlfriend, becoming parents and "having that extra person that matters more than your relationship" admittedly put a strain on things for a while. "I think especially now, with Camille being almost 7 months old, we've had a lot of time to talk and communicate better," Madisen continued. "I feel like now we’ve got a better understanding of where our relationship went wrong and where to fix it."
Watching her story play out on national TV Tuesday, Madisen hopes people watching who are in a similar situation know "you can do this and you will be OK," regardless of what they decide to do about their pregnancy. As for her own unplanned journey to motherhood, Madisen has no regrets. "It’s been amazing," she said. "I never expected this to be how I live my life at 17, but I wouldn't change it for the world." 16 and Pregnant premieres on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 9 p.m. ET on MTV. For more on the Teen Mom franchise from PopCulture, click here.