"16 And Pregnant" Season 4 Premiere: Mackenzie The Cheerleader
MTV’s hit series “16 and Pregnant” is back for its fourth season, documenting the ups and downs of teenage life as young mothers do all they can to make ends meet for their newborns.
The season premiere follows 16-year-old Mackenzie, a peppy, happy Oklahoma girl who devotes her time to her boyfriend Josh and, above all, cheerleading. We’re not talking standing around while awkwardly shifting from side to side with pom-poms in hand. We’re talking intense tumbling, twists, flips, daily gym practices, and a major time commitment. Sounds like a great time for a distraction. How about a baby?
Not surprisingly, Mackenzie got pregnant because she wasn’t using birth control. Why not the pill? “I didn’t wanna gain weight,” she says. Ah yes, understandable. Gaining weight due to carrying a child full-term beats potentially gaining a few pounds from taking contraception any day. I do give her credit for laughing about it.
One of her biggest worries is resuming her tumbling routine after having the baby, if she gets that chance at all. As anyone who’s ever seen “16 and Pregnant” has learned, these young mothers give up essentially every hobby and dream they have worked for – at least temporarily.
Mackenzie’s boyfriend, Josh, is a daredevil when it comes to rodeo riding. So much so, in fact, that it’s his aspiration to become a professional one day. This dangerous pastime makes him some money, but that’s about the only thing keeping a nervous Mackenzie from asking him to give up the sport. The couple knows they need to raise money for baby, but with Mackenzie’s unsuccessful job search and barely any money to begin with, this is one of their only sources of income.
Josh gets into a car accident, presenting a moment of panic for Mackenzie. Not only is he hurt and at the hospital, but even if he’s released with minor injuries, this may prevent him from being able to help out with the Gannon as much as they had planned – and he’s only a few short weeks away from being born.
This eerily resembles Farrah’s story, a teen mom from season one, whose boyfriend died in a car accident before baby Sophia was born. The stories are similar right down to Farrah and Mackenzie’s love of cheerleading, with both episodes featuring a shot of each girl in her skin-bearing uniform pre-motherhood. Thankfully, Josh emerges with a neck brace and nothing more.
Mackenzie goes into labor for seven hours before her doctors decide the baby is too big to be born naturally. She receives a C-section, and baby Gannon is welcomed into the world at almost ten whole pounds. Not exactly expected, given Mackenzie’s extremely petite stature. Whatever. Good for Gannon!
The inevitable stress of teenage fatherhood begins to creep up on Josh as he fully realizes how his son is going to change his life, for better and for worse. His incredibly active rodeo lifestyle isn’t exactly the best match for his new situation, and it irritates him when Mackenzie pushes him to be less involved in rodeo riding, especially when she encourages him to give it up.
The back-and-forth arguments over Gannon and Josh’s obsession with the rodeo begin to seriously affect Mackenzie and Josh’s relationship. At the end of the episode, she gives him an ultimatum – lose the rodeo or lose her – and with obvious but understandable hesitation, the loving boyfriend decides Mackenzie is worth it. So adorable.
The couple has successfully made it through their first episode without any breakups, neither temporary nor permanent, an applaudable feat given the track record of many teen moms on this show who sadly lose their partners to unthinkable stress and fighting. Hopefully these two can keep it up for the little one!