On the April 21 episode of ’16 & Pregnant,’ we are introduced to Autumn Crittendon. Autumn is a very smart young girl with a bright future ahead of her, even after she gets pregnant at 16 years old. However, her boyfriend Dustin is a deadbeat, and soon enough Autumn’s hopes for a lifelong fairytale romance come crashing down.
High school sweethearts Autumn, 16, and Dustin, also 16, deal with having a baby long before they are ready for one.
’16 & Pregnant’ — Meet Autumn & Dustin
Another new episode of 16 & Pregnant means we are introduced to another pregnant teenager.
On the April 21 episode we meet Autumn Crittendon: a 16-year-old high school sophomore from Richmond, Virginia.
Autumn is a pretty brunette girl with a country twang in her voice, and she likes watching her friends blow things up during outdoor parties. Pretty normal country stuff, right? I also feel the need to mention that Autumn has not one, but two reclining chairs on her front lawn.
Of course, Autumn also introduces us to her boyfriend, Dustin, who she has been dating for about a year.
“It was love at first sight,” Autumn says of her high school sweetheart.
Autumn and Dustin spend every waking — and sleeping — moment together. The now pregnant teenager tells us that her mom warned her to “take things slow,” because her older sister Misty just had a baby. But did Autumn listen? No, of course she didn’t.
When we meet Autumn, it is November 2013 and she is already 30 weeks pregnant with a baby boy. She has given up watching her friends blow thing up at parties and switched to homeschooling so that she can focus on building a future for herself and her baby. I am surprised at how level-headed this young girl is, and how determined she is to continue her education even though she is pregnant.
Switching to home school is also important to Autumn because once her baby arrives, she will be able to continue school while taking care of her baby.
However, Dustin is not as focused on his future as Autumn is. Dustin does not have a job, and his friends seem to be nothing but trouble. He also likes getting high, even though he claims that’s not true.
“I just want to party while I can,” Dustin explains of his bad boy behavior, which doesn’t seem to satisfy Autumn.
Dustin Is Not Ready To Be A Father
The struggle over Dustin’s lack of responsibility and maturity takes center stage almost immediately. Autumn is very concerned about what is going to happen when their baby is born, because Dustin can not seem to let go of partying for his friends.
While Autumn is busy putting together the crib, playpen, and more, Dustin is out fishing with his buddies. It doesn’t seem fair that Autumn has to carry the baby, build the furniture, further her education, and give up her social life while Dustin just continues to be a socialite.
Despite Dustin’s lack of concern for his future, Autumn seems to have everything planned out perfectly. They are going to stay living at their own separate homes, but both houses will have everything the baby needs so that they can stay at either house at any time.
Autumn’s mom tells us that she made sure to put Autumn on birth control, but Autumn refused to take it because she was concerned about gaining weight. Now she’s gained 40lbs because she’s pregnant, so that did not really work out in her favor.
In order to make sure Dustin and his family are ready for a baby, Autumn’s mom sets up a dinner meeting with Autumn, Dustin, and Dustin’s mom. Dustin’s mom shares that they did buy a crib for the house, which seems to please Autumn and her mom.
Autumn shares her plans for right after the baby is born, which is to be at home where she is comfortable. She hopes that Dustin will stay with her the first few weeks to help with their newborn. Even Dustin’s mom agrees that that’s a good idea, and mentions that he son could really try harder in planning for their baby.
When Dustin’s mom starts questioning how he is going to change his life to accommodate a baby, all hell breaks lose. Dustin starts to say that he won’t smoke around the baby, and he won’t get high in the house anymore, which sets his mom off. Dustin’s mom has a point, because Dustin should be giving up smoking marijuana and partying all together once his baby is born. Teenagers have enough trouble being good parents, they do not need to be under the influence of drugs while doing so.
Autumn is visibly uncomfortable while Dustin is getting chewed out by his mom, and Autumn’s mom looks very concerned about Dustin’s lifestyle. As she should be.
Dustin Finally Gets A Job
One of the saddest moments of the episode is when Autumn and Dustin go to a baby store to look for a crib for Autumn’s home, and a $69 crib is too expensive for them because neither of them are working.
Autumn’s mom is an incredible woman, because she put together a list of places for Dustin to call to look for a job.
Once Autumn hits 33 weeks pregnant, Dustin has finally gotten himself a job at a local bike shop. The baby will be born in just 7 weeks, so it’s great to see that Dustin is finally stepping up to the plate.
Unfortunately the illusion is ruined almost instantly, because Dustin gets kicked out of his house after his mom finds weed in the house. Autumn thought Dustin had given up drugs, but he has been lying to her.
Autumn’s mom comes up with the idea to buy an at home drug test for Dustin, and they surprise him with it at lunch after questioning him about his drug use. At first Dustin protests and tells Autumn he can’t take it, but she finally talks him into it.
When Dustin brings the drug test back to Autumn and her mom, he surprisingly passes. Autumn has never been happier, and she makes sure he takes a picture of it to send his mom.
Even though Autumn is still a month out from her due date, she has started having contractions more and more frequently. When she visits the doctor, he tells her that she should give birth within the next ten days. And he was right!
Autumn Gives Birth To Baby Drake
Just a few days later, Autumn is laying in bed when her contractions kick up again — and this time they don’t go away. Autumn’s mom calls Dustin to let him know the baby is coming, and by the time Autumn gets to the hospital she is 4 centimeters dilated. The doctor had to break Autumn’s water for her, and also gave her pitocin — a drug used to help induce child labor.
A few hours later Autumn is surrounded by her family as she gives birth to her first child, a baby boy named Drake LeSeuer 7lbs 5oz!
When Drake is four days old, Autumn and Dustin pack him up and take him home for the first time. Dustin is being super helpful at first, but that doesn’t last very long.
Once the baby is home, Autumn is taking care of him full time. Dustin disappears for days on end, and what makes matters worse is that he won’t even chip in for diapers or baby food. When Autumn asks him to do so, he hands her a dollar and some change and says that it’s all he has for now. Yikes.
After Drake turns one month old, Autumn’s mom has absolutely had it with Dustin’s B.S. She convinces Autumn to file for child support, but Autumn wants to give Dustin one last chance to get his act together. They all go out to lunch together, and when Autumn confronts Dustin about how he doesn’t help take care of their son, he laughs it off and jokes about buying drugs instead. How does she put up with this?
Autumn Files For Child Support
Autumn is still focusing on her school work, even though she is struggling with Dustin and raising their baby. Thankfully, her mom and sister are there for her no matter what.
When Drake turns two months old, Autumn finally decides to talk to a lawyer about filing for child support. Dustin has been absolutely useless, and their chat with him a month prior did not get them anywhere.
The lawyer tells Autumn that she has a legal right to demand financial assistance from Dustin, and she seems to be comforted by the idea. Finally, Autumn files for child support. That very same day, she takes Drake to visit Dustin at his house and tells him the news. Unsurprisingly, Dustin does not take the news very well and it results in the couple — or former couple — getting into a fight. Autumn takes Drake home, and realizes that her relationship with Dustin is not going to work out the way she hoped it would.
Autumn is a smart girl though, and she knows that she has to prioritize her baby and her education so that she can build a future for them — with or without Dustin. That also means she has to go out and get herself a job, which means her mom will be helping take care of Drake while she is working.
“In my opinion, you should wait to have a baby because your life is not what you’re gonna think. You’re gonna think your gonna have a family, and the money, and a house, and you’re not. You’re going to be stuck at home with your mom or your dad for years, and most likely, hate to break it to everybody, you’re not going to be with the person you had the baby with,” Autumn tells us in the end.
This was such a sad episode of 16 & Pregnant. Let us know your thoughts about Autumn and Dustin’s story below.
— Lauren Cox
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