Meet Kayla. She lives in Minnesota and is an athlete, competing in gymnastics and track. It was on the track team that she met her boyfriend, who is a year older than her and has since graduated. Surprise! She’s pregnant. I know, it was a huge shock to me too, because I didn’t catch the entire premise of this show.
1. Kayla and her mom have a weird relationship.
Kayla’s parents are divorced and she doesn’t have much of a relationship with her dad. Until recently, Kayla said that her mother, Deb, was her best friend, but Deb has a new boyfriend who she spends most of her time with. I guess that means we’ve got some funky parallelism going on in this episode, because Kayla also seems to have devoted her life to her boyfriend, whose name is Mike. Later, Kayla says that Deb was also a teen mom, which continues the depressing trend of 30-something grandmas on this show. Her mother says her biggest fear about Kayla’s pregnancy was that “she wouldn’t want to keep it,” and Kayla said that it crossed her mind but that she could never have gone through with it. In a weird turn of events, Deb’s boyfriend is also named Mike.
Sometimes when girls on this show complain that a family member isn’t helping them enough, it’s just them whining about someone not holding their hand. But Kayla has a pretty solid case against her mom – Deb cancels plans with Kayla to hang out with her boyfriend, and when Kayla confronts her about it Deb says that she deserves to have her own life too and suggests that Kayla spend more time with Mike. Yeah, um, that’s what caused this problem in the first place, lady. Kayla says that she doesn’t feel like a family, she feels like she and Deb are just roommates. My heart breaks for her. Deb is like a cross between Catelynn Lowell‘s mom and Kailyn Lowry‘s mom.
2. She didn’t use any form of birth control.
Mike and Kayla admit that they weren’t using birth control when they had sex. What the hell is wrong with every single person on this show? This reminds me so much of Jennifer’s episode from earlier in the season, where she and her loser boyfriend talked about how “awkward” it was to buy condoms. As if on cue, Kayla says that it’s embarrassing to go to the beach with her friends and her giant pregnant belly.
3. She’s coping with an eating disorder.
This is where the show goes from typical-uncomfortable to reeeeeeeally uncomfortable: Kayla tells her friends that she has been dealing with an eating disorder. She was even hospitalized briefly when she was thirteen. Throughout her pregnancy she complains about being fat, asks people if she looks flabby, and complains about how much weight she’s gaining.
Best (but most depressing) exchange of the episode:
MIKE: What are you so worried about?
KAYLA: The rest of my life.
Because Deb wasn’t around, two of Kayla’s friends drove her to the hospital when she had a preterm labor scare. The doctor’s name is Dr. Scott, which makes me yell ‘DR. SCOTT’ a la Rocky Horror. Kayla is okay, but she’s dehydrated and the doctor makes her go to a nutritionist. Her friends are super supportive and encourage her to eat more, but Kayla resists. She also admits that she’s not taking her prenatal vitamins. The nutritionist encourages Kayla to eat more often with her family and friends so that someone is accountable and to think of food as medicine for her and the baby. I like this nutritionist, although she reminds of some soap star and I totally can’t place which one. Mike makes an effort to cook for Kayla, but she rejects most of the stuff he makes or claims not to be hungry. Mike seems like a really nice dude – frustrated, but well-intentioned. He’s sure a hell of a lot more supportive and helpful than Deb, that’s for sure.