Teen Mom: 16 Shocking Revelations From Catelynn And Tyler Baltierra’s ‘Conquering Chaos’
Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra began their reality TV journey on MTV’s 16 & Pregnant back in 2009 as they documented their journey to place their daughter up for adoption. This eventually led to another six seasons on the spin-off series Teen Mom OG. It’s no secret that Teen Mom has a huge cult following, and a lot of the fans feel like they know Catelynn and Tyler after watching them grow up on-screen over nearly a decade, but they have a complex past that MTV hasn’t even begun to tap into, so they decided to lay it all out on the table in their 2014 book, Conquering Chaos. In it they divulge all kinds of raw details about the struggles they’ve overcome including teen pregnancy, family dysfunction and financial struggles. To find out more about their story, here’s a look at 16 shocking revelations from the book!
16. How Catelynn and Tyler First Met
Catelynn and Tyler have been together since they were 12-years-old. Tyler said the first time he ever noticed Catelynn was in music class. “This girl is cute as hell, but in a tomboy way. She isn’t wearing tons of makeup and she hasn’t styled her bright blond hair. She has on a couple studded bracelets, flare jeans and skater shoes, and a shirt that says, ‘I’m with the drummer.’ Her smile lights up the room and her eyes are a beautiful piercing gray,” he wrote. He immediately made up his mind that he needed to be with her and it didn’t take long for Catelynn to develop feelings in return. Once her boyfriend was out of the picture, Tyler made his move. “There was no big production about it. All I did was walk up beside her and take her hand…Catelynn just held my hand back. We didn’t even look at each other. That was just it. We just walked on ahead, holding hands, and we’ve been together ever since,” he said.
15. Catelynn’s Home Life
Unlike Tyler, Catelynn was a calm kid. She failed pretty much every grade, but she was obedient and quiet. She didn’t start doing well in school until high school and that was mostly due to her living conditions. She grew up in a trailer park with her mother, who was an alcoholic. Since her mother was so preoccupied with drinking and dating, she never checked in on how her daughter was doing in school, so Catelynn was able to coast through school at a failing rate. She used her time at school to socialize and relax with friends because it was her sanctuary away from the chaos of her home. “My mom had a different boyfriend every few months, and people were always over at the house partying and playing music loud. All the time there were parties! I used to get out of bed at night and ask them to turn it down so I could get some sleep before I had to go to school,” she wrote.
14. Catelynn’s Dad
Fans of Teen Mom don’t see or hear much about Catelynn’s dad, but she has always had a great relationship with her father. In the book she talks about how her parents split up when she was only 9-months-old and it was mainly due to her mother’s drinking. After having Catelynn, her father wasn’t interested in the party lifestyle, but her mother April was. Unlike her mother, Catelynn said she has no memories of him ever being under the influence around her. Even after her parents split, she went over to his house every Wednesday after school and every other weekend until she was 12, when he moved out state. Even after her father moved to Florida, he always encouraged her to make good decisions. It was his family (Catelynn’s grandmother) who even took her in at one point in time when her mother couldn’t care for her.
13. Breaking the Law
Catelynn and Tyler are very open about the fact that, even though they are considered ‘good kids’ now, they have a really rough past. When Catelynn was in sixth grade she beat up a girl who lived in her trailer park because she thought she had something to do with her boyfriend Nick breaking up with her. She ended up in juvenile court and on probation for 90 days. On the other hand, Tyler was constantly being suspended from school and began stealing a lot. It started with small things like a lip gloss for Catelynn, but quickly turned into a compulsion that had him stealing cars and breaking and entering into other people’s homes.
12. Butch Gets Busted
When Tyler was a kid in elementary and high school, it was clear he had a problem with authority figures. A lot of that stemmed back from when he was 8-years-old and he saw his father, Butch, get viciously tackled by the cops and thrown in jail. It was the summer going into second grade and Tyler had decided to spend a few weeks living with his dad after he’d just gotten out of prison. He witnessed his dad and uncle doing a lot of drinking and drugs, but things got particularly bad one week when a woman came running into the house screaming about someone outside with a flashlight. Thinking it was someone breaking into their car or house, Butch got up, walked outside and was immediately tackled to the ground by three cops. “I was screaming for my dad to look at me. I’ll never forget that: He would not look at me. That was how I knew he was ashamed,” said Tyler. It turned out Butch had broken into somebody’s house and stolen something so he could buy his crack rocks.
Growing up in a rough neighborhood with little supervision meant that Tyler and Catelynn got into a lot of bad stuff. The first time Tyler tried cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana was when he was 8-years-old. By the time they started dating they were both smoking a lot of pot and messing around with dangerous stuff like huffing air duster, taking pills and doing ecstasy. They both had some pretty scary experiences from the side effects. Catelynn once woke up on her back in the middle of the street in the pouring rain. She had no clue how long she’d been there or how she got there. She could have easily been run over by a car. Tyler on the other hand got so high from huffing air duster that he had a seizure.
10. Violence at Home
Early on in the book Catelynn talked about how she enjoyed being at school because it offered her an escape from her home life. As a kid she was surrounded by violent addicts, and since her mother was an alcoholic, she dated some pretty rough men. One man in particular was a crack addict, but also the father of her little brother. One day things got really bad when the family was evicted from their trailer and given a few days to pack up their stuff. Catelynn, her mother and Tyler were all packing, while her mom’s boyfriend sat in a chair, clearly high, and just cursed at them. Catelynn made a remark about him not helping and he attacked her. “This man picked me up by the neck, threw me to the ground, and pinned me down on the floor between the toilet and the shower and started choking me,” she said. Luckily Tyler was there and able to pull him off. He called 911 and the cops carted him off to jail.
9. Sexual Assault
Tyler admits he was a hypersexual kid who was doing things earlier than he should and a lot of it comes from the fact that he was molested when he was nine. It was an older girl who was friends with his older sister. He’d gone over to her house with his sister to hang out, but somehow it ended up being just the two of them. “For the next several hours, while we were alone together in her house, it was sex act after sex act after sex act. It went on all day. She had us doing everything she could think of, one thing after another. There’d be a break and then it would start up again. And when it was finally over, I didn’t know what the hell had happened,” he said. Tyler didn’t truly understand that what happened wasn’t right. It wasn’t until he began hearing concern from adults that he clued in to it being inappropriate.
Even though Tyler was doing mature things with girls at a young age, Catelynn was the opposite. She was a virgin and she stuck to her morals while dating Tyler. The two of them didn’t have sex until about nine months into their relationship. Of course, being that the two of them were so young and immature, they didn’t take any of the proper precautions to prevent pregnancy and before they knew it Catelynn was pregnant. The day she found out she’d been cleaning the shower when she all the sudden got sick. Since she’d had her period, so she ruled out pregnancy. After not feeling good for a couple of days, her mother took her to the hospital where they did a urine test and told her she was expecting. Catelynn and Tyler were both shocked and were faced with the daunting decision of whether or not they would have an abortion, raise the child or give it up for adoption.
7. Butch and April Getting Together
When Tyler’s dad was released from jail, Catelynn was immediately worried about a relationship between her mother and Butch because he was just her type. She warned Tyler about keeping them apart, but he didn’t buy into her concern. One day when April dropped Catelynn off, Tyler introduced Butch to April and the sparks were immediate. Before they knew it Tyler’s dad was dating his girlfriend’s mom. Even though Tyler did his best to discourage April from being with him — he tried to tell her about Butch’s drug addictions and that he wasn’t a one-woman man, but it all fell on deaf ears. Catelynn and Tyler knew the combination of Butch and April together would be bad considering they both loved to party and were addicts. Sure enough, after a few weeks Butch moved in with Catelynn and her mom, and they drunkenly announced they were getting married! Their marriage lasted six years.
6. Choosing Adoption
Once Catelynn and Tyler overcame the initial shock of finding out they were pregnant, they were left with the decision of how to move forward. Surprisingly, April’s first instinct was to take Catelynn to get an abortion, but Tyler was not so quick to jump on board with that decision. He did research on all their options, including abortion and brought it to Catelynn. She looked at one page and said, “No. Absolutely not. I can’t do this. We’re going to have to think of something else,” Tyler wrote. Of course, the other two options were adoption or to parent this child on their own. He thought the decision was going to be extremely hard, so he made a pros and cons list to help and realized there was really only one viable option. The list of cons heavily outweighed the list of pros, which only included “being with biological family and surrounded by love.” In reality, neither of them had a car, a cell phone, money, a license, and they were still in high school! Once they laid it all out the decision was easy.
5. The Backlash From Choosing Adoption
As if placing their child for adoption wasn’t hard enough already, Catelynn and Tyler also had to deal with the backlash from Butch and April. It didn’t matter to them that they didn’t have the means to support a child or even themselves for that matter, because to them, adoption was the easy way out. It was totally hypocritical for Tyler’s dad to lecture him about owning up to his responsibilities when he’d spent his entire life in jail. It was important to Catelynn to break the cycle that had plagued her family for generations. “When I chose adoption, I was going against all of their decisions. I was coming right out and saying, ‘I’m not going to do what you did. I want to do better,'” she wrote. Since Catelynn was a minor and at odds with her mother over the whole process, she had to go to court and request a guardian for the day in order to sign over their legal rights to Carly, and Butch and April showed up to fight them on it! Of course, the judge sided with Catelynn and Tyler, but it put a huge strain on Catelynn’s relationship with her mother. Their parents have since come around and apologized to both of them for not supporting them during that difficult time.
4. Catelynn’s Life in Detroit
Not long before Catelynn and Tyler got pregnant, Catelynn was forced to move to Detroit with her mother and little brother because her mother’s ex-boyfriend (the one who was addicted to crack and tried to attack Catelynn) scammed his way back into their lives by telling April he only had a few months to live. The neighborhood they lived in was so rough that she didn’t even feel safe going to school there. After a scary experience with some kids down the street, Catelynn decided she was not living there and moved back to Marine City to couch surf, leaving her mother and little brother behind. She moved in with Tyler and his mom, who was okay with it as long as Catelynn went to school. Unfortunately, the school wouldn’t let her enroll without her mother, so they tried to hide it from Tyler’s mom as long as they could. When she eventually found out, Catelynn was shipped off to Florida to live with her grandma. This was the perfect example of why Catelynn felt like her life was not stable enough to raise a child.
3. How They Chose Brandon and Teresa
Once the decision was made to place Carly up for adoption, Catelynn and Tyler worked with their adoption counselor to come up with qualifications for the adoptive family. They wanted a couple who’d been together for a long time, were involved in their church, who didn’t have any other children and who couldn’t have a child of their own. Brandon and Teresa immediately stood out to them because they were the only ones who’d included a video in their biography so Catelynn and Tyler could really see how and where their child would grow up. As soon as she saw their profile, Catelynn’s mind was made up and she refused to see any other families.
2. First Major Fallout of Their Relationship
Catelynn and Tyler’s relationship was impressive considering their age and maturity level. They never got into any major arguments or break-ups while dating — the relationship was very steady. The first time they had a major fallout was three years into their relationship when Catelynn moved to Florida for eight months while her mother lived in Detroit. While she was in Florida, they continued to talk every single day and their agreement was that they would wait for one another. It wasn’t until Catelynn came home that Tyler found out she had been secretly seeing an older guy during the short time she lived there. Not surprisingly, he was furious, not only because she’d been with someone else, but because she was able to lie about it for so long! In their book, Catelynn revealed she has an issue with lying which stemmed from her past and needing to please other people in order to avoid conflict in her home. It’s something she and Tyler have worked on through counselling and that she continues to work through today.
1. Turning Their Life Around
After Carly was born, Catelynn and Tyler were changed forever. Even though their adoptive counselor advised them to jump back into regular life, they couldn’t go back to their old lifestyle. Things were different. Prior to getting pregnant, neither of them had really set any goals for their future or even put any thought into graduating high school. As soon as Carly was born, they both were determined to graduate, go to college and get a job that will help people like them. They both enrolled in an alternate high school that allowed them to catch up and graduate with their diploma and set out to find jobs. After testing out a job in food and retail, they both settled on a company that placed caregivers for people with special needs. It was an incredible experience for them both.