Catelynn Lowell (well, we guess we should say Catelynn Baltierra these days!) is one of the original cast members of Teen Mom. Fans were first introduced to the 27-year-old in 2009 when she was a pregnant teenager on 16 and Pregnant. In the episode, cameras documented Catelynn and her boyfriend Tyler’s experience with choosing adoption for their daughter Carly.
Unlike most of the TM couples, Catelynn and Tyler have managed to stand the test of time. Despite the difficulties they faced with choosing adoption, the couple stayed together. In 2014, fans were elated when they pair announced Catelynn was pregnant again. Their second daughter, Novalee Reign, was born the following year. The couple, who’d been engaged for several years, were also married in 2015. They previously planned to wed in 2013, though they called it off when Tyler got cold feet.
Catelynn’s problems with postpartum depression following Nova’s birth and a loss led her to seek help at an inpatient treatment facility in 2017 and again in 2018. The strain it placed on her marriage was well documented on Teen Mom. Shortly after getting out of treatment, Catelynn discovered she was pregnant, leading the couple to remain committed to working through their problems. Their third daughter, Vaeda Luma, was born this past February.
Although we know a lot about Catelynn’s life nowadays, there's a lot that fans don’t know about what it was like for her growing up. Keep on reading to see what all fans need to know about Cate’s upbringing.
20 She Was 12 When She Started Dating Tyler
To say Tyler and Catelynn have been together for a long time would be an understatement. The couple actually met all the way back in 7th grade music class when they were only 12 years old. Other than a few brief break-ups prior to their marriage, the two have been together ever since, which means they’re nearing two decades together.
Of what initially attracted him to his future wife, Tyler explained his their book Conquering Chaos, “She’s got [a] bigger [chest] than any other girl in the 7th grade,” he wrote. “I have loved her since the moment I saw her. Her punk rocker hair and attitude matched perfectly for my edgy, hyper personality.”
19 They Believe It Was Love At First Sight
Most people don’t expect to be with the person they start dating in middle school. But clearly things didn’t work out that way for Cate and Ty!
The couple have always said they somehow knew they’d end up together, and given that they’re still married despite everything they’ve gone through, it sounds like they know what they’re talking about.
“There was no big production about it,” Tyler has said of how they first started dating, Fame 10 reports. “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.”
18 She And Tyler Were Once Step-Siblings
Okay, we know this sounds weird given that Tyler and Catelynn are now happily married (and have been together for the longest time). But there was a brief and very weird time when their parents were actually married, thus technically making them step-siblings.
Cate’s mom April and Tyler’s dad Butch were briefly married to each other during the early seasons of Teen Mom. Both were going through issues at the time and got into several domestic disputes with one another. Eventually, the couple divorced. April has since remarried, while Butch is working on his health.
17 Tyler And Catelynn Both Had Substance Problems
Given that both Tyler and Catelynn have parents who are recovering addicts, it’s unfortunately not surprising to hear that the couple has experimented significantly in the past. Though both of them are clean and healthy today, Catelynn has admitted they went through a troublesome time in their early years.
In their book Conquering Chaos, Catelynn revealed she once partook so much that she later woke up in the middle of the road with no recollection. "I didn't even know how long I'd been there. I could have been run over!" Tyler also added that he’s experienced seizures as a result and first began experimenting at the young age of 8.
16 Her Parents Split When She Was 9-Months Old
Catelynn’s father has made a few minor appearances on Teen Mom in recent years. But in the earlier seasons, it appeared as though her dad wasn’t a huge figure in her life.
According to Fame10, Cate’s parents split up when she was only 9 months old due to her mother’s problems. Unlike her mother, however, her father has never struggled with such issues. She would go over to his house each Wednesday after school and would spend every other weekend with him until he moved to Florida when she was only 12.
Still, the site adds that Catelynn has maintained a good relationship with her father and even briefly lived with his family in Florida.
15 Her Mom’s Boyfriend Mistreated Her
It sounds like Catelynn’s mother has had quite the romantic life, given that she was briefly married to Tyler’s father, despite their kids already being in a relationship. And unfortunately, it also doesn’t sound like she’s had the greatest taste in men.
In Conquering Chaos, Catelynn detailed how her mother and her boyfriends would often partake right in front of Cate and her siblings. "It was chaos all the time. I didn't like it, and I didn't thrive on it, but it was normal to me,” she wrote.
She went on to explain that, when she was 13 years old, other bad incidents happened, as well. It was only when Tyler got involved that things got better.
14 Her Mom Filed For Financial Help In 2006
Nowadays, Catelynn and her family are bringing in serious cash thanks to their gig on Teen Mom. But before her days of fame and fortune, Cate’s family struggled to make ends meet.
According to Radar Online, Catelynn’s mother, April Stotts, who has openly dealt with problems, filed for that big financial thing in 2006, only three years before TM aired. At the time, April claimed to only have $30 in her name and no open bank accounts. She was unemployed at the time.
The site added that April was $52,000 in debt and was behind on her rent and utility bills.
13 They Also Lived Off Of Food Stamps
Clearly, things must have been tight if Catelynn’s mom had to file. Radar Online adds that the famous mom was living off of assistance to feed her family.
“The unemployed mother of three — [Catelynn’s younger brother] Nick was just 12 days old at the time of the filing — supported her family with food stamps and other ... aid in their mobile home, she declared,” the site wrote.
Luckily, April and her family are doing a lot better nowadays. Not only is April clean, but she’s since remarried and makes a decent amount off of her few Teen Mom appearances.
12 Catelynn Had To Raise Her Younger Siblings
Cate and Tyler said they chose to give up their eldest daughter, Carly, for adoption due to how chaotic the situation was at home for them. Due to her mother’s problems, Catelyn has revealed she practically raised her younger siblings (one of whom was only a year older than Carly). So, imagine how difficult that would be if she kept her daughter!
In Conquering Chaos, Cate explained her mother would often pass due to her unwieldy habits. “I’d have to put pillows under her head and make sure she was okay, then take care of my brother and sister. It was just never stable at all.” Many fans have commented on how mature Cate and Tyler have always been, and we guess this explains why.
11 Her Husband Tyler Was Mistreated By His Sister’s Friend
Both Catelynn and Tyler have gone through more than their fair share of difficulties, both before and after fame. Cate isn’t the only one who’s admitted to a troublesome past involving a family member or friend, unfortunately. Back in 2017, Tyler also revealed he’d had very bad experiences.
Wet Paint quotes the father and husband as explaining just what happened and just how unpleasant it was.
10 They Both Dealt With Depression
Teen Mom recently showed the difficulties Catelynn went through after experiencing post-partum depression after her second pregnancy, leading her to check into a treatment facility twice. Cate has admitted to dealing with depression since a young age, but she’s not the only one. Tyler has said he first developed depression at age 11.
“At that age, my dad was just sent back [in] for the second time and I was so used to having him around for a little bit and then all of a sudden, he was just gone again,” Tyler wrote in Conquering Chaos.
“I directly compared his addiction to my worth and just thought if I wasn’t good enough or loved enough for him to stay clean... then why even live anymore? I was very alone and empty,” he continued.
9 They Also Both Had Issues With The Law
Although Catelynn and Tyler have been on a pretty straight path ever since the beginning of Teen Mom, they weren’t always such squeaky-clean kids. Before they became famous, both of the celebrities had run-ins with the law - and it wasn’t over their substance habits.
In Conquering Chaos, Catelynn revealed she once acted out against a girl who lived in her trailer park because she thought the girl was the reason her then-boyfriend Nick had called it quits with her. She was only in 6th grade at the time. Cate eventually had to go to juvenile court and was given 90 days probation.
In the book, Tyler also revealed he was frequently suspended from school and would often shoplift. He said it began by him stealing a lip gloss for Catelynn, but he eventually began stealing cars as well as breaking into people’s homes.
8 Tyler’s Sister Has Had Substance Problems
Teen Mom fans have seen Tyler’s sister, Amber, make many appearances on the show. However, her last few scenes have worried some fans who found her behavior to be a bit off. Last year, it was revealed that Amber did check into a treatment facility to deal with her issues. In fact, it turns out she’s been struggling with this for years.
Just like Tyler and Cate have admitted to experimenting in their youth, Amber has had a problem since before their family was on TM. In 2013, Amber was taken into custody.
7 They Never Used Protection
Well, we guess this explains why they got pregnant as teens!
Tyler and Catelynn met when they were only 12, but they’ve since admitted to getting physical with each other within a year of dating. In Conquering Chaos, Cate revealed they barely used protection at the time - and it’s surprising they didn’t become parents sooner than they did!
“Once we’d done it once, we were doing it all the time! After waiting so long [10 months] we turned into crazy […] teenagers. It was so bad,” Catelynn wrote. Her husband added, “Unfortunately, we were not being safe at all. We were using the pull-out method, and that was it. I didn’t wear condoms and Cate never went on birth control.”
6 Her Mom Was Always Throwing Parties
By now, it’s clear that Catelynn’s home life was anything but perfect before she made it big on Teen Mom. Not only did her mom regularly experiment at home in front of the kids, but Cate has revealed she’d often throw parties, as well.
“At home it was all parties...” she wrote in Conquering Chaos. “My mom had a different boyfriend every few months, and people were partying and playing music loud. I used to get of bed at night and ask them to turn it down so I could get some sleep before I had to go to school.”
Needless to say, fans can understand why Catelynn and Tyler moved out as soon as they got the chance.
5 She Briefly Lived With Her Grandmother
Given how chaotic Catelynn’s home life was, some fans have questioned why she was never removed from her mother’s care. However, in Conquering Chaos, the star revealed there was a brief time when she went to stay with her father’s mother in Florida.
It’s unclear what led to the move but given that Cate’s relationship has always been better with her father, it was likely the right decision. “Even after her father moved to Florida, he always encouraged her to make good decisions,” Fame10 explains. “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.”
When her mother was in a better place, Catelynn eventually moved back in with her.
4 She Lived With Tyler’s Family For A Time, Too
It sounds like Catelynn was frequently bouncing back and forth between places to live. Before going to stay with her grandmother, the teen tried staying with Tyler and his mom.
According to Faem10, Tyler’s mom was okay with the arrangement so long as Catelynn continued to go to school. However, she wasn’t able to enroll without her mom’s permission. Although Ty and Cate tried to keep it a secret from his mom, she eventually found out, which is what led Cate to be sent to live with her grandmother.
Eventually, however, Cate moved back to the same city as Tyler and the couple ended up getting pregnant with their first child, which is how they came to star on Teen Mom.
3 They Were Evicted Over Rent Issues
Although Catelynn and Tyler now own several gorgeous properties, things weren’t always so easy-going.
Back in 2011, during the beginning of Season 3 of Teen Mom, the young couple were shown to be moving into their own apartment. The couple was eager to move out of their parents’ places due to their chaotic home lives. However, what wasn’t shown was the reason the pair had to move out.
According to Fame10, the couple struggled to pay their rent. Though they moved into the apartment during August 2010, leaked court documents revealed they stopped paying rent by December of that year, leading them to get kicked to the curb by the beginning of 2011.
2 Catelynn Used To Be A Tomboy
Granted, Catelynn has never seemed big into fashion or makeup during her time on Teen Mom, although she does like to get dolled up for the reunion specials. So, it’s not surprising to hear that she was a bit of a tomboy when she first met Tyler all the way back in 7th grade.
“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,” Tyler wrote in Conquering Chaos about the first time he met his future wife. “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.”
1 She Never Performed Well In School
Given how chaotic her home life was, no one can blame Catelynn for struggling when it came to her schoolwork.
According to Fame10, the reality star had trouble passing her classes in school. Although she improved her grades once she got to high-school (on Teen Mom she said it was because she wanted to move out ASAP), it sounds like it was still an uphill battle.
“She didn’t start doing well in school until high school and that was mostly due to her living conditions,” the site explains. “Since her mother was so preoccupied ... she never checked in on how her daughter was doing in school, so Catelynn was able to coast through school at a failing rate.”
Sources: Radar Online, Wet Paint, Fame 10.