April 1, 2023

Skyler Caruso is the SEO Editorial Assistant of PEOPLE Digital. She writes across all entertainment verticals with a focus on evergreen and search-friendly content to help further grow the brand's SEO reach.   Prior to joining PEOPLE, Skyler was a contributing author at TigerBeat and served as a social media correspondent for Seventeen magazine, where for six years she covered award shows, red carpets, and music festivals such as the Grammy Awards and Coachella. She was also formerly at Sony Music, NBC Entertainment and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.   While Skyler loves covering all things entertainment, there's one day a year she becomes the entertainer — when she marches as a clown in the Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, a tradition she's been a part of for many years.
Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra went from high school sweethearts to life-long partners.
The Teen Mom stars met in the 7th grade and started a romantic relationship in 2005. After three years of dating, the teens learned that they were expecting a child together when they were only juniors in high school.
Neither of the two believed that they were ready for parenthood when their first daughter, Carly, was born in May 2009. Going against their own parents' wishes, the reality stars put their baby up for adoption.
The MTV series 16 and Pregnant chronicled the teens' adoption process, in addition to the ups and downs they faced on their journey to parenthood, and then the subsequent series Teen Mom continued to track their lives.
Lowell and Baltierra got engaged two times before tying the knot, and have had three more children in the years since. In addition to Carly, the couple welcomed daughters Vaeda Luma, Novvalee Reign and Rya Rose.
From the time they were on the show to what they're up to now, here's everything to know about Lowell and Baltierra's love story through the years.
Lowell and Baltierra met for the first time in 7th grade in Algonac, Michigan. In 2005, they began dating.
While the teen couple were dating, their parents — Lowell's mother, April, and Baltierra's father, Butch — also started a romance and married in 2009. The two divorced in 2013.
Lowell and Baltierra welcomed their first child, daughter Carly, on May 18, 2009, a journey chronicled when MTV's 16 and Pregnant premiered in June that year.
The difference between Lowell and the rest of the five girls featured on the show was that she was the only one who wasn't dealing with the challenges of parenting. Instead, she was coping with her decision to put Carly up for adoption. (They also are the only couple from the original series who have remained together.)
“I just remember the initial anxiety and being very scared,” Lowell recalled of her initial reaction to the pregnancy news during an interview with E! News in November 2021.
"The scared is me thinking that I don't have anything. At that time, I didn't even have a cell phone. I didn't even have my driver's license yet. I didn't have a car," she explained. "My mom and Tyler's dad were kind of bad in addiction during that period of time also."
During a season 1 episode of Teen Mom in January 2010, audiences see a high-school aged Baltierrra propose to Lowell. Though she said "yes," it didn't last long.
When Teen Mom returned for a second season in July 2010, Baltierra found out in the premiere episode that Lowell lied to him about hooking up with her ex while she and Baltierra were briefly split. Despite this, the pair got back together soon after.
After Baltierra proposed to Lowell, he decided to call off their engagement. He explained his reason to do so during an episode of VH1's Couples Therapy in 2013.
"I feel like once we're married, I'm going to be stuck in this rut forever," he told one of the therapists on the show. "The more I think about it, the more it's like she de-motivates me. She's not motivated to do things herself. She's not independent. She'd probably never admit it, but I feel like sometimes she puts up with me."
Several months after Baltierra called off the couple's engagement, he proposed to Lowell for what was technically the third time. In February 2014, the gesture was featured on an MTV special titled Being Lowell.
His then-fiancée showed off her new engagement ring, given to her at Christmas that year. “Babe got me a new engagement ring… I wasn’t expecting this at all,” she wrote on Instagram.
"It even has a baby diamond on the bottom to represent our new little girl… thank you so much @tylerbaltierramtv I love you!" she added.
On New Years Day, Lowell and Baltierra welcomed their second child together. Named Novalee Reign, their daughter was born on Jan. 1, 2015.
When the couple welcomed Novalee in January, it was inevitable that her birth would inspire them to reflect on their emotional first experience with parenthood. During a 2015 episode of Teen Mom OG, the two bonded with baby Nova — but were overcome with emotion as the memories resurfaced of giving up their first daughter, Carly, for adoption.
In 2015, Lowell and Baltierra tied the knot on Aug. 22, and naturally, the event was filmed for TV. They wed at Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Michigan in front of family and friends including Teen Mom costars Amber Portwood and Maci Bookout.
After welcoming their daughter Nova a year prior, the couple was overjoyed about their newest family member, but as they settled into parenthood, Baltierra expressed concern over Lowell’s possible postpartum depression.
"I would like your opinion on how many days a week do you think a baby should be at Grandma's, like we get a night and they're away for a night," Baltierra asked a counselor, explaining that Lowell was seeking a lot of help from family to watch the baby. "Our family has opinions on, Where is Nova, why is she never home, is Catelynn going through postpartum."
Catelynn eventually was diagnosed with postpartum depression, checking into a treatment facility in Arizona in March 2016.
“I’m seeking help for myself and my family,” the Teen Mom OG star told MTV News at the time, stressing that her treatment will focus on mental health issues and not drug use. “Thank you to all of my supporters. My family and I would appreciate some privacy at this time.”
Earlier, she posted a photo on Instagram from inside an airplane, writing, "Arizona here I come… I can't wait to be back to my normal self… this is for me and my family.. Novalee and Tyler I love you both very much!!!"
Baltierra tweeted in response to a supportive message from costar Amber Portwood, “We love ya too Amb…its just hard to see her go through all this & be away from her for so long.”
While Lowell admitted that checking herself into a treatment center for postpartum depression was “one of the hardest decisions,” she told PEOPLE that thanks to Baltierra’s support, she didn’t have to fight alone.
"He was very supportive," Lowell recalled. "He was like 'Alright. I think it will be good for you and don't worry about anything here – I got it and everything will be fine. Just go focus on yourself and don't hide anything. Don't worry about protecting anybody.'"
The couple openly discussed the possibility of having another baby on-camera after Baltierra expressed his desire to expand their family. Despite his hope for more children, Lowell — who struggled with postpartum depression after the birth of Nova — openly expressed her fears.
"It's a daily fight in my mind to not be afraid of postpartum [depression]," she told Baltierra in a December 2017 episode. "I can't let my mind stop me from one of the most amazing things ever."
Baltierra penned loving words for his wife on Instagram in support of her pursuit to overcome childhood trauma. Lowell revealed her plans to return to rehab in January after she entered into treatment in November for suicidal thoughts.
"Seeing this gorgeous woman & all the work she has done has given me such hope, a feeling of peace, and unconditional love that is hard to explain with words," he wrote. "It was a very emotionally intense Family Week Program, but I know that our love & commitment towards each other will persevere through anything this life throws our way."
Baltierra continued, “I’m so proud of you Babe & I can’t wait until you finally come home so I can just hug you & hold you for as long as I want. You are worthy… You are strong… You are beautiful… You are loved! #MyBabe #Soulmate #MyWife.”
During an episode of Teen Mom OG, Baltierra confirmed the sad news to MTV producer Kerthy, who asked him if he thought Lowell had suffered a miscarriage. “Yeah,” he said. “It’s very traumatic. When you see her shaking and she’s got blood everywhere, it’s like … you don’t really know what to do.”
"What did you do?" Kerthy asked.
"She kind of cleaned herself up, and we kind of figured out what was going on," Tyler said. "Spotting is normal, but all the clotting is not. So we just saw on the bed and cried. We just held each other. There's nothing you can really do."
The couple welcomed their third baby, daughter Vaeda on Feb. 21 in 2018. After having suffered a miscarriage about a year prior, Lowell told Us Weekly that Vaeda is her “rainbow baby.”
"This baby is our rainbow after the storm. I'm super excited," Lowell told the outlet when first announcing her pregnancy in 2018. "It was a huge shock at first. We were not planning it, especially after the miscarriage and how I went downhill with my mental illness."
The Teen Mom OG stars owed more than $800,000 in tax debt, accrued over three years.
According to documents obtained by PEOPLE, the couple was slapped with a federal tax lien for $535,010 for the 2016 and 2017 years in November. A month later, Lowell and Baltierra were also hit with a federal tax lien of $321,789 for 2018.
While the lump sum of $856,799 that they owe in tax debt remains unpaid, Lowell paid off a state tax lien of $6,001 in early 2020.
In an emotional social media post in December 2020, the reality star opened up about her devastating loss — and later told Champion Daily that she learned of her miscarriage three days before Thanksgiving.
“I WAS pregnant and excited to share it with all of you and I am heartbroken to reveal that I lost the baby,” Lowell wrote on Twitter, going on to tell fans that she is sharing her story “to let you know you are not alone.”
She continued: "We are all in this together and everyone experiences pain, loss, and the recovery from it and I am still in the thick of dealing with this loss as it was recent and all the emotional trauma that follows such a loss in an already horrifically hard year. Thank you in advance for your prayers, love, and support."
“We have found out that we are going to be having a… drumroll please… another girl!” Lowell told Celebuzz at the time. “While we wanted a boy since this is our last, as long as she’s healthy… that’s really all that matters. This is our last and final but we know one day we will have a grandson and adore him!”
Lowell and Baltierra announced baby Rya’s arrival on Aug. 28, with Baltierra writing on his Instagram Story, “She’s here and she’s perfect!”
Lowell and Baltierra first announced that she was expecting a baby in a February Instagram post, about two months after revealing that she had suffered a miscarriage. “This rainbow was worth the storm. Baby Baltierra coming soon,” she wrote in the caption of the post.
Lowell told PEOPLE that she and Baltierra came up with Rya’s moniker after watching a Disney movie with their kids, on par with the “whole movie theme” they had going on with their other children’s names.
"Novalee, her name came from a movie. And Vaeda's name is from a movie as well, My Girl. And then one time we were watching the new Disney movie with our girls, Raya and the Last Dragon, and I was telling Tyler, 'Wow, isn't that a really pretty name?'" she recalled.
Lowell revealed in an interview with E! News that she and her husband were able to reunite with their 12-year-old daughter, Carly, whom they placed for adoption while on MTV’s 16 and Pregnant in 2009 — after nearly two years apart.
"We did end up having a visit with Carly and MTV did follow that. They didn't film Carly herself or anything like that, but they always film us," Lowell said. "People will be able to witness what our reaction was from the first day to the last day, from leaving and even just like the start of the visit and things like that, which I think is definitely important."
Lowell said she thinks it's "awesome" that she is able to highlight her family's journey with adoption.
In an Instagram post celebrating daughter Rya Rose and her recent milestones, the Teen Mom OG star admitted that these moments with the infant are bittersweet as Rya is their last baby.
"Our happy girl ❤️ crawling a million miles and hour 😂, saying hi, and has a bunch of teeth 😩," Lowell wrote. "Few more weeks and she will be one!!! She's SUCH a happy & good baby! Can't believe it's our last."
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