On the May 26 episode of ’16 and Pregnant,’ we are introduced to Aleah, whose pregnancy is considered high-risk due to her type 1 diabetes.
Aleah Lebeouf, 18, is pregnant with her first child, while taking care of her boyfriend’s toddler son, Noah. On top of that, she suffers from type 1 diabetes, which means she is constantly monitoring her blood-sugar levels. Aleah’s diabetes means her pregnancy is high-risk for complications, and when her blood-sugar levels are out of control at 37 weeks her doctors fear she could give birth to a stillborn baby.
’16 & Pregnant’ — Aleah’s High-Risk Pregnancy
When we are first introduced to Aleah Lebeouf, she is 18-years-old and already 32 weeks pregnant with a baby girl she plans on naming Peyton.
Aleah tells us a little bit about herself, including that she has type 1 diabetes and that she met her boyfriend, Shawn Burke, 19, while doing time in a juvenile detention center. Romantic!
Shawn already has a toddler son, Noah, who is just too precious for words. Aleah is helping raise Noah since his mother is nowhere to be found, and now Noah is going to be a big brother when Aleah has her baby girl.
One thing to keep in mind about Aleah is that her diabetes is severe, and she is constantly monitoring it — especially now that she is pregnant. Some of you may or may not know that diabetes can often make a pregnancy extremely difficult, so we can only imagine what it’s like for such a young girl like Aleah. Also, if Aleah does not monitor her blood-sugar properly, her baby has a higher chance of becoming diabetic.
Even though Aleah wanted to live with her mom and her step-dad while she was pregnant, her and Shawn decided it was better to live with his parents because it’s closer to his job. Unfortunately, that means they live in an already very full house — including Shawn’s little brothers, Josh and Kevin.
Angie, Shawn’s mom, is actually pretty awesome. She makes sure to tell Aleah and Shawn that she does not expect them to move out as soon as their baby is born, and that she is more than happy to stay home and watch Peyton so that Aleah can go back to school, and Shawn can continue to work. Aleah appreciates the offer, but she seems dead-set on her and Shawn getting their own place so that they can be on their own.
However, Shawn has a problem with speeding that has left him with one-too-many tickets. This means he is in a pretty heavy debt, and he needs to pay off his tickets otherwise he could end up in jail. Since all of his money is going to his tickets, he and Aleah will not be able to get their own place any time soon.
Early on, we can see that Aleah and Shawn’s son, Noah, have already formed a strong bond. His connection with her is very sweet, especially since she is the only mother in his life. It’s also very helpful for Aleah to take care of Noah, because it is giving her a sneak preview of what it will be like when she has to raise her own baby. However, she is obviously concerned about how she will manage raising both of them at the same time. Thankfully, Shawn seems pretty hands-on with his son, so he should be lots of help despite his work schedule.
Aleah’s Blood-Sugar Levels Are Out Of Control
Aleah is taking her high-risk pregnancy very seriously, and she even meets with a labor coach just a few weeks before she is due to give birth. Aleah reveals that when she found out she was pregnant, the doctor told her she has a higher chance of miscarrying rather than carrying her baby to term. It’s terrifying to think about, but it is also great to see Aleah taking her health and the baby’s health very seriously.
Billie, Aleah’s mom, throws her a baby shower so that she and Shawn can be more than prepared for Peyton’s arrival. Aleah seems to have a great support system behind her, and aside from Shawn’s speeding tickets they do not appear to be struggling financially like most of the teenagers who appear on this show.
At 37 weeks, Aleah’s blood-sugar levels are extremely unstable. The night of her baby shower, things take a turn for the worse, and Aleah’s doctor sends her to the emergency room. Aleah is so scared for her baby girl, especially because her doctor fears she may give birth to a stillborn. How scary.
Since Aleah’s blood-sugar levels refuse to even out, the doctors decide they will deliver the baby three weeks early.
Peyton Reianne Burke was born on Dec. 13 at 7lbs and 8oz. And boy, is she a little cutie pie!
Sadly, the same night she is born, the doctors realize that Peyton is breathing too quickly. They decide to put her in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. In the NICU doctors find that Peyton is suffering from low blood-sugar, so they put her on an IV to help stabilize her. Aleah is devastated, because she thought that her little girl was finally in the clear.
After three days, Peyton is happy and healthy and ready to finally go home. Once Peyton gets home, she finally gets to meet her big brother, Noah, as well as her uncles, Josh and Kevin. Watching everyone hold Peyton for the first time is heartwarming!
Aleah Is Overwhelmed At Shawn’s House
As expected, living at Shawn’s parents home is overwhelming for Aleah. Not only is she caring for a newborn baby girl, but Noah is at the age where he does not want to listen anymore, and Shawn’s little brothers are pretty loud and obnoxious. While Aleah is at her wits end, Shawn is working major overtime so that they can save up money and finally get their own place.
Finally, Shawn and Aleah start looking at apartments so that they know how much money they will need to move out. After looking at a few promising places, Aleah and Shawn sit down and put together a budget. Things don’t seem so bad until Shawn tells Aleah how much he owes for his speeding tickets: $2,500.
Well, there goes the idea of getting their own place.
It’s no surprise when Aleah and Shawn get into a massive argument about his speeding tickets. As they are yelling at each other in Shawn’s room, his mom, Angie, decides to get involved, which makes things extremely awkward for Aleah. When she decides she does not want to live there any more, Shawn tells her that she is not allowed to take Peyton out of his home. Aleah objects, but Shawn’s mom continues to get involved and refuses to allow Aleah to take her daughter with her when she leaves.
This is crazy to watch, because while Aleah may not be working like Shawn is, she spends all of her time caring for her daughter and Shawn’s son, Noah. Watching Shawn and his mom turn on Aleah so quickly is scary, because it shows what she is up against for the rest of her life.
Aleah & Peyton Finally Move Out
The next day, Aleah returns to Shawn’s home to talk to him in private. After seeing that Peyton is safe and sound, Aleah asks Shawn if they can talk privately in her car so that his mom can’t get involved on them again. This was a great idea, because things go pretty smoothly between the two. However, Aleah makes it very clear to Shawn that if he gets one more speeding ticket and takes more money away from their family, she is going to leave for good.
Unfortunately, Shawn does not take Aleah seriously, and gets a speeding ticket almost immediately after their conversation. Aleah keeps her word though, and she packs up all of her and Peyton’s belongings so that they can stay at her mom’s house.
The saddest part about Aleah leaving Shawn’s home is that little Noah asks to come with her, but he is not her son so Aleah can not just take him out of the house like that.
After the dust settles from Aleah and Shawn’s blow out, he stops by so that they can talk about their fight. Once they have apologized to each other and explained both of their sides, again, Aleah decides that she is going to stay at her mom’s with Peyton while he and Noah live at his parents house. However, they plan to remain a couple, and hope that living separately will force them to prioritize saving up money and finally finding their own place where they can live together.
“When I thought about myself going to college, I figured I would be living on campus, I would be partying, but I don’t really have that opportunity any more,” Aleah tells us at the end of the episode.
“I feel like my kids deserve so much more than I can give them, and that hurts,” Aleah explains.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — What do you think of Aleah’s story? Do you think her and Shawn will stick together? Let us know your thoughts below!
— Lauren Cox