Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra gave up their firstborn for adoption.
But it's an open adoption, so they still have a small amount of contact with Carly -- who is nine years old.
Catelynn is opening up to fans about how challenging it can be to maintain this very limited relationship with the child you brought into the world. See her heartfelt note below:
Catelynn shared a quote to Instagram.
"Open adoption is like a marriage," the post's image begins, written tidily in chalk.
If you're wondering how this simile works, don't worry, the quote explains it.
The chalk writing says: "It requires hard work, acceptance, patience, forgiveness, respect, trust, understanding, and quality time."
In contrast, a closed adoption won't feature any quality time.
"You stay in it not only for the child," the quote concludes. "But because you genuinely love each other."
The quote is attributed to Jenna Cooper.
Catelynn shared this image, and included a caption with some thoughts of her own.
"Some days adoption is really hard..." Catelynn begins, making liberal use of elipses.
Catelynn gave up her firstborn daughter, Carly, for adoption. Carly is now nine years old.
"I know," Catelynn continues. "She will understand one day..."
But it can be difficult.
"I don’t regret it at all.." Catelynn makes clear.
Good. She was a teenager and not prepared for motherhood.
Catelynn admits: "Just some days are harder than others"
Catelynn has been brutally honest about her personal struggles before. It makes sense that she's open and honest about this.
Last month, Catelynn honored Carly on her birthday.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARLY," Catelynn began in all caps.
Birthdays are a big deal, even in complicated families. Especially in complicated families.
"Today," Catelynn continued. "You are 9 years old! NINE!!!"
Anyone who remembers when Catelynn was a pregnant teenager didn't really appreciate the reminder of how old they are.
Catelynn expresses her astonishment, writing: "That is insane to me!!!"
Children really do grow up so unbelievably quickly.
"Today at 10:39am," Catelynn said. "You took your very first breath and brought so much joy to this world!!!"
So it's just a universal mom thing that they remind you what time of day you were born.
"We love you so much, "Catelynn concludes. "And will talk with you later."
(We hope that Carly doesn't actually have free reign to explore Instagram -- there are butts and a lot of lewd text on that app)
Tyler Baltierra, who has clapped back at questions over whether his mental health makes him a bad parent, also gave Carly a shoutout in May for her birthday.
"Happy Birthday to my beautiful first born!" Tyler's message began. "I can’t believe Carly is 9 years old today."
"I’m just so blessed," Tyler admits. "Because I may not have the luxury of seeing her every day."
That can be so emotionally challenging.
Despite that, he writes: "but I have the peace of mind knowing I will see her one day a year (sometimes 2)."
You cherish the time that you have.
"I have learned a lot throughout this adoption journey," Tyler admits. "& I have made mistakes in the past regarding that relationship."
"But I feel like I have grown up & matured through all of that," Tyler says. "& I now realize that I need to count my blessings."
"I am proud to say," Tyler continues. "That I have 9 blessings,"
To be clear, Tyler does not mean that he has nine children.
Tyler explains: "9 years of seeing her grow through visits & pictures, 9 birthday cakes, & ONE child to forever impact my life in so many ways."
"I love you Carly," Tyler writes. "HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Your birth daddy loves you SO MUCH!"
That is so sweet.
It's good that Tyler and Catelynn feel comfortable opening up about their open adoption with fans.
You know that there are Teen Mom viewers who are going through similarly difficult situations with their own families.
It's good to see that you're not alone.