One of the young mothers-to-be on Season 3 of MTV’s reality series 16 and Pregnant is 17-year-old Ashley Salazar of McKinney, Texas. Just like Catelynn and Tyler in Season 1, Ashley plans on giving her daughter up for adoption. But, unlike Catelynn and Tyler, Ashley’s baby daddy Justin doesn’t really want anything to do with the child.
Deciding whether to have the baby, give her up for adoption or have an abortion was a heart-wrenching decision for Ashley and she detailed the entire process on her blog at ashleydsalazar.com.
The blog starts in Ashley’s eighth week and follows her entire pregnancy up to the present day with posts that include detailed accounts of her feelings, random thoughts, songs and photos all along the way. She even talks about watching the first season of 16 and Pregnant and crying throughout Catelynn’s episode, writing:
Tonight I watched sixteen and pregnant, the finale. It was about this girl, giving her child up for adoption. I have never cried that hard at anything in my life. I’m not exaggerating; I literally cried my eyes out. … I am not as strong as that girl on TV. Or anyone who has done this. At least, not yet. Only time will tell though.
As I’ve stated many times before, I’m a big fan of the show (and even bigger fan of the follow up Teen Mom) but the episodes are just an hour and there’s a lot left on the cutting room floor when you’re talking about nine months! Ashley’s blog does a fantastic job of filling in the blanks. Plus, it seems less “edited” and more of an accurate reflection of what it was like to go through this ordeal. Here’s part of another entry from early on:
And I just feel awful and guilty even writing this. This baby is kicking now. Innocent, happy, healthy, content, in the safety of its mommy, and, it has no idea that I am talking about it, and even considering the fact about giving it up. Maybe it will be happier that way because I wont be able to spoil it. I wont be able to devote 24 hours of my time. It will have a struggling mom, and It wont have a daddy. But I am finishing school, or my mom wont help me with anything, baby or no baby. So, later, when I do finish, and want my own kids, maybe it WILL be worth it, because I know I can give love and spoil it with everything, and give it happiness. This is crazy.
For being just 16 and 17 at the time, the blog is incredibly well written. Ashley’s able to convey some very complicated feelings and emotions, and she does so without constant grammatical blunders or the reading speed bumps of IMglish. (Her tendency to insert “Ha!” often was off-putting at first, but just seemed authentically quirky and charming by the time I finished reading the entire blog.) She’s not afraid to be angry, she’s not afraid to be wrong and she’s not afraid to be uncertain. In other words, she’s not afraid to be honest – in her writing and with herself:
I don’t know. Maybe I’m resentful, or bitter, or hurt, or angry, or happy, or carefree, or neutral, or all of those mixed. I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t care. Maybe I don’t. I really, really don’t know. This whole experience and past half of a year is just unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. And, I just had to get all of that out.
Throughout the blog Ashley includes photos of her belly as well as sonograms of her baby in addition to a handful of videos and some embedded MP3s to set the mood. Also through the blog are responses to the inevitable comments by readers both praising her decision and condemning her for putting her child up for adoption. Ashley attempts to be dismissive about the particularly brutal things said, but you can tell the meanness affects her:
and oh my gosh…for those of you that say all kids resent their parents for adoption, that’s not true. i almost want to prove to you that that isn’t true. of course i would never base any decision out of spite but I know plenty of people who were put up for adoption that are so happy that their parents did. seriously, your pain isn’t the same as others and trying to inflict it on other people…i don’t even know. Just, wow.
In addition to writing a really great blog, further evidence of Ashley’s intelligence is the fact that she finishes high school early after finding out she is pregnant, and even enrolls in college classes before she graduated. Her decision to give up Callie seems to be an informed one, just as it was with Catelynn and Tyler. Ashley’s not just shirking responsibility, but really struggling with trying to do what is best for her daughter – which is taking responsibility ultimately.
Ashley visits an adoption agency but finds out her aunt and uncle are interested. According to Ashley, her aunt and uncle are fantastic parents to their two children and are both home at all times, which I assume means that one or both of them works from home. SPOILER ALERT Ashley signs the adoption papers a couple days after giving birth, but soon realizes she has made a mistake:
I’ve been thinking about it, and I am going to be completely honest. I might have said this before, but sometimes I feel like I made the TOTALLY wrong decision. I feel so angry and horrible and depressed and I cry all the time. Sometimes I just want to sleep all day and night and never get up. It’s like my world has been torn in two and I have to stop living.
Ashley winds up taking Callie back! (This episode is going to be one heck of an emotional roller coaster!!!) She struggles with trying to be a good mother while also trying to apply to colleges and find a job and it all proves to be too much. Soooooo…Callie goes back to the aunt and uncle! Reading about all of this from Ashley is just heart-breaking. Tyler needs to become part of a polygamous Mormon sect so he can marry all these girls!!!
Be sure to tune in October 26 at 10pm for the premiere episode of 16 and Pregnant Season 3 on MTV! Here’s the full preview trailer from Season 2 that featured Ashley when they thought she was going to be included last season:
To read all the details of Ashley’s pregnancy and birth, including details about the baby daddy Justin Lane, visit her fantastic blog now! (I think it’s better than watching Juno!) And here are some more Ashley Salazar links for you:
Ashley’s myspace: http://www.myspace.com/351616833
Ashley’s Facebook fan page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ashley-Salazar-Official/284069083891
Original blog site: http://ashleysalazar.wordpress.com/
Myspace blog: http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.ListAll&friendId=351616833
I’ve also done posts featuring 16 and Pregnant Season Two cast members Jenelle Evans and Nikkole Paulun, just click their names to find out more about them! I hope to update throughout the season to include all the girls, so stay tuned!