This week was the season finale of 16 & Pregnant, so now I have to find a new Tuesday night activity. MTV saved the most dramatic/heart-wrenching episode for last. Ashley from Texas is the only one this season who does not keep her baby. Ashley’s mother had her when she was only 19 and Ashley had a difficult childhood, so she has a very hard time deciding whether she wants a different life for her own baby. Ashley has plans to go to college in New York and become a photojournalist, and she thinks having a baby will keep her from pursuing such a future. So, adoption it is!
Ashley’s own father was never around, and she wants her baby, Callie, to have two parents in her life. This wouldn’t happen if she kept the baby, because the father, Justin, is a loser who won’t be involved. “I can’t believe I’ve been pregnant longer than Justin and I were even together,” she says. Ashley and a friend go for ice cream and they discuss how Ashley got pregnant. They were only dating for two months and they only did it once, but without a condom. Bad! There’s a sign in the ice cream place that says “Smarty Pants” for some reason and I think that’s kind of funny.
Ashley has an uncomfortable meet-up with Justin, whose mom kicked him out when he got Ashley pregnant. Since then, he’s been sleeping in his friend’s car and is thinking about joining the military. Does his friend sleep in the car, too? If he’s sleeping in the house and Justin isn’t, that’s rude and weird. Recalling telling Justin she was pregnant, Ashley says “You were like mean when I told you. It’s still like your kid, sort of. You were like, oh you just want to get back together with me or something. Well I don’t know if I want to keep it or do adoption, so how do you feel? I know we didn’t work out together or anything, do you just like not care, or?” The future of America.
A social worker named Ashley goes to Ashley’s house to talk about the adoption process. Social worker Ashley tells pregnant Ashley that no matter what she does, it will be a difficult choice. She could end up like Catelynn and mope for all eternity about giving up the baby, or she could keep the baby and her mom could mope for all eternity about being a grandmother at 35. Pregnant Ashley needs to make a decision soon, and worries about it along with starting her senior year. She plans to graduate early, and to do so, she has to be in the credit recovery program with the burnouts. “You’re in trouble for being pregnant,” Ashley’s friend sort of jokes.
Ashley’s friend’s mother didn’t want her hanging out with Ashley, because she could catch pregnancy from her. She and Ashley discuss the benefits of adoption. “I don’t want to sound like selfish, because I’m not,” says Ashley. “It like gives you a better opportunity and it gives like the baby a better opportunity,” her friend adds. Ashley decides she wants two great parents for her baby. She has essentially decided on adoption.
Ashley goes to a concert and realizes that some things aren’t as fun now that she’s pregnant. Back-to-school shopping is less fun, too, since she’s shopping in the maternity section. Her mother cries when Ashley considers buying baby clothes for the first two days, because by Texas law, the mother gets to spend 48 hours with the baby before the adoption. Her mom is really pushing the adoption thing. That night, the extended family comes to town for Ashley’s graduation dinner. Ashley’s uncle makes a toast, encouraging Ashley to “Hopefully [make] wise decisions from here on out.” Heh. “To wise decisions!” the family cheers.
Because she’s still going back and forth about a decision, social worker Ashley sets pregnant Ashley up with a girl named Ashley who recently gave her Ashley baby up. No-more-baby Ashley tells pregnant Ashley about a recent meeting with her baby and its new parents. She was upset because the baby didn’t know her as its mother. “I feel like that’s how I’ll be like. So like angry or whatever,” pregnant Ashley says.
Pregnant Ashley’s mom tells her that her Aunt Lisa and Uncle Kenny want to adopt the baby. To have a formal phone conversation, Ashley and her mom for some reason go to a public place and put the phone on speaker, and there are no subtitles. Weird on MTV’s part. “Like, I know it’s the best thing,” Ashley tells Lisa of their plan. Later, Ashley and mom take a trip upstate to see Lisa and Kenny. “Thank you for doing this, and stuff,” Ashley tells them. Now there are tough decisions to be made about whether Lisa and Kenny will be there for the birth, etc.
To make things even harder, now Ashley has to meet with a college counselor. She and mom explain to him how confusing it’s all been; she hasn’t picked a major, there are a lot of choices with the baby, she’s giving it up for adoption, the aunt and uncle are adopting it, the whole life story. The counselor is like, yeah, um, you need to visit some schools…yeah…do that. Uncomfortable.
Ashley goes to the hospital to have the baby, where she promptly trips out on drugs. “I’m glad I’m from the future,” she muses. Justin didn’t show up because he was busy. After the birth, another social worker comes to tell Ashley that her name won’t be on the birth certificate, which is sad. Ashley tries to spend all 48 hours with the baby, and can’t decide what to do. She gives Callie to Lisa and Kenny, but the next day she feels she made the wrong choice. She buys a plane ticket and goes to get the baby back. “I don’t know what the future holds,” she says. But she should know, because she’s from the future.
Ashley and mom aren’t prepared to have a baby in the house, but they take care of her anyway. Ashley isn’t throwing out the used diapers and her mom is getting pissed and needs her to make a choice. She doesn’t want to blow $1300 on a crib if Ashley isn’t going to keep her. Also, college applications are due the next day and Ashley hasn’t started them. That’s why God created the common application! It would be great if the essay topic was “The Hardest Decision I Ever Had to Make.” Ashley finally gives Callie back to Lisa and Kenny permanently. Now she can pursue her college plans, and she visits the school in New York and does all kinds of fun New York things, like riding in a yellow taxi, eating street hot dogs and getting mugged on the subway. You can’t do that stuff with a baby.