16 & Pregnant Valerie Fairman episode review and recap

Valerie Fairman is a sweet 15-year-old girl with a dollface and from a farm town near Oxford, Pennsylvania. She’s got a cindering intelligence despite her record of truancy. She even analyzing her actions in her voiceover, saying that because she felt she didn’t get the attention she needed growing up and therefore acting out to get negative attention.

She now attends a Homeschooling program which “bores” her and makes her feel lonely. Despite these negative feelings, the constant tutoring she receives at the Homeschool has helped her get straight As.

The attention Valerie feels was lacking from her life at home is the result of her parents running a boarding/halfway house for eight adoptive children, three biological children, and 98 foster children. Getting expelled from regular school and getting pregnant has definitely gotten her parents attention. Plus she has an MTV show. A couple of her adoptive brothers are shown, very briefly, but this is Valerie’s time. The spotlight is finally on her, and the truth is, she holds herself very well.

We’re introduced to her boyfriend Matt as a beat-boxing dude who muses with homeboy about the real paternity of Valerie’s baby. When he asks Valerie to get a DNA test, she responds, rightfully with the catch phrase for this season of 16 & Pregnant: “It’s your baby Matt, just like get it through your head – we had sex A LOT!”

Valerie reveals during a conversation with a friend that she didn’t use a condom during her “humpty-dumpty” times with Matt (her friend Sienna’s phrase) because she thought he would know whether or know to use a condom because he was “more experienced.” This was during one of the after-school special times in the show: every episode MTV seems to prompt one of the girl’s friends to ask them how they got in this situation. With the friend, they’re able to be a bit more frank than with their parents, even though there are cameramen filming for national television, and they reveal the real reasons young girls get pregnant: they get so caught up in the moment that they ignore everything they’ve been taught. In this case, Valerie was shifting all responsibility for the situation to Matt, who’s probably just been lucky in the past.

At her young age, Valerie is still convinced that the way she feels right now will be the way she feels forever, and even though Matt has told her he doesn’t want to be with her and that he hates her, she can’t imagine herself settling down with someone else in the future. Matt, like many of the boys these young, pregnant girls are attached to, doesn’t seem to be that desirable. But that’s the thing about infatuation, once it burrows into of you, that emotion trumps all reason.

Here’s her mom Janice responding to Valerie’s claim that Matt will help take care of the baby during her first few weeks of life:

Of course, with Matt, even though he often treats Valerie like crap, another side of him does come out that’s actually quite touching and adorable. Throughout the episode Valerie seems pignheadedly convinced that Matt will come around, and it turns out she’s not entirely wrong about that. The tough guy / maybe that’s not my baby thing is just a front he puts up to protect himself from reality and his emotions. Matt’s definitely not a Josh, but he’s adrift in life without solid things to hold one like his own place to stay or a steady job. I’m not excusing him for being mean to Valerie, but I can understand why he was scared and trying to avoid the reality of a situation he was in no way prepared for.

But Matt is trying now, in his own way. He moved away 200 miles, but with the intent of getting full-time work.Aand when he visited his baby, Naveah, a month after she was born, he showed he had been reading up on babies a little bit.

For several weeks before she delivers, Valerie experiences false labor pains, which scare her at first, but eventually she gets used to them. Apparently this is very common for first pregnancies. The girl in the next episode, Chelsea, also experiences false labor pains, but she ends up delivering her baby too early.

Valerie and Matt’s baby, Nevaeh, was born September 14th, 2009 and weighed in at 7lbs. 15oz. She had a rough start because the doctors saw some dark stuff come out when Valerie’s water broke, which could signal a yucky condition called  Meconium Aspiration, which means the baby may have breathed in her first poop.

After they get the baby out, they have to give her care right away, and several hours later she’s still experiencing breathing problems, so they helicopter her to a different hospital.

During this ordeal,  Matt seems to be really sweet to Valerie. When they get Nevaeh back the nurse tells her that Navaeh actually didn’t inhale poop, which is great, but they put her on antibiotics to make sure she didn’t get an infection.

At the end Valerie reflects that she used to harshly judge girls in her situation because she thought they slept around with a lot of guys, but this situation has taught her to be tolerate of the situations of others.

Matt’s still not coming around a lot, but Valerie wants to be a family with Matt and Navaeh, and is 99% sure that will eventually happen.

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