In some families mother and daughter share everything. For the stars of My Teen Is Pregnant And So Am I, that includes morning sickness.
The one-hour TLC special, which premiered last week, follows two mother-daughter duos from pregnancy to childbirth. It’s the latest addition to the teen pregnancy reality genre, but this one delves into pressing issues like what it’s like to become a grandmother while having a baby of your own. Here’s how TLC dramatized the drama in one press release:
Having a baby is an intense emotional journey for any woman, but everything is heightened when mothers and their teenage daughters find themselves pregnant at the same time. MY TEEN IS PREGNANT AND SO AM I offers a captivating look inside two families as they struggle to deal with two generations of women sharing this life changing experience together. And as their bellies grow, so does the tension. Through tears and turmoil, joy and heartbreak, these mothers and daughters have nine months to fight through their battles and learn to lean on each other while they come to terms with their extraordinary new lives.
The show makes for awkward viewing. Liz, a 17-year old from Oklahoma City, frequently comes off as immature, and struggles to grasp that her new son will interrupt her daily routines. “Since Tyson’s been born I don’t sleep as much,” she says in one confessional. “It’s definitely hard because I’m used to sleeping, like, more than half the day. We don’t really get as much sleep as we used to and I really miss that.”
It’s no wonder her grandmother, who shoulders much of the burden of caring for her grandchild, seems to have mastered the art of being passive-aggressive. In one scene she cradles her grandson and plays to the camera. “You think we oughta go wake up mommy and daddy?” she says to the non-respondent infant. “You think maybe grandma oughta wake them up and tell them they need to take care of you for a change?”
But tension doesn’t merely stem from issues of childcare. Melissa, a 40-year old expecting her eighth child, had her first baby at a young age and understands the challenges that await her 17-year old daughter Kristen.
The most bizarre theme to emerge from the show, however, is the friction that accompanies having to share the pregnancy spotlight. Liz described her reaction after learning Mom was expecting, too. “This kinda sounds selfish, but I kinda wanted the attention on me and my baby,” she told ABC News. “So I was like, ‘Are you freakin’ kiddin’ me?'” Hopefully sharing a reality show will help.