Farrah Abraham has her share of detractors. Jenelle Evans too. But if Kailyn Lowry had to wager, she'd guess she's the most bullied of the Teen Mom franchise.
"I think some of it has to do with being outspoken," the 27-year-old Delaware resident opined to Us Weekly in 2018. "Some of it has to do with being misunderstood and a lot of it is the judgment of the fact that all my children have different fathers. People comment on my weight and body and my kids' fathers the most."
And though the Teen Mom 2 standout appears unabashedly confident and secure on-air, she admits that fending off haters does take a toll. Said the mom to 10-year-old Isaac Rivera (with ex-boyfriend Jo Rivera), 6-year-old Lincoln Marroquin (with former husband Javi Marroquin) and 2-year-old Lux Lowry (with on-and-off love Chris Lopez), "It makes me second-guess every move I make, diminishes any confidence I may or may not have left and causes me to stay guarded at all times."
But she's not about to let this moment be anything but celebratory. "We're confirming the news, baby #4 is coming soon!" she Teen Mom 2 standout and podcast host shared on Instagram last week. "I'm almost 16 weeks pregnant & it's been a rough few months this time around. I've had nausea, morning sickness, and absolutely no energy. This week I'm starting to feel a bit better and I'm really hoping it stays this way!"
Even if the constant nausea and exhaustion returns, though, there's little that can damper her excitement: "We are so excited," she tells E! News of adding another boy to the mix. "There's just something so special about a mother and her son(s)!"
Because already a champ at juggling three boys, Lowry has been open about her desire for an even larger family (her starting five, as she put it).
"I was having a conversation with somebody else and I just think that I want more kids, but whether I carry them on my own or not is not important to me," she's shared with her Coffee Convos co-host Lindsie Chrisley. "I've done it three times and I just, I really could picture myself maybe fostering siblings at that to keep them and then keep them together. And then hopefully the foster would lead to the adoption."
She hadn't ruled out another pregnancy either. As she put it Chrisley, "My life, I'm happy and I love my three kids, but I just don't know that I'm done. Like I say it sometimes in like the heat of the moment, like I'm done having kids. I'm not changing one more diaper. But also I'm like, how do you know when your family is complete?"
Few people deserve a happy ending quite as much as Lowry.
Even before landing on 16 and Pregnant with high school love Rivera in 2010, the teenager had been put through the relationship ringer. In her 2016 book, Hustle & Heart, she detailed losing her virginity in eighth grade outside on a sidewalk for lack of a more suitable place, then being pressured to have sex at 15 by a boyfriend who vowed to wear a condom. (She alleged he slipped it off without telling her.)
On her 16th birthday, "under strong pressure from our parents, I had an abortion," she continued. "It shattered me. For months I was left in a cloud of depression, confused and disappointed by life to an extent no high school sophomore should ever feel. My heart was trying to lead me to love, but by sixteen it had only sent me down the rockiest and most painful paths."
When she learned, at 17, she was once again with child, this time with Rivera, "There was no way in hell I was getting an abortion again," she wrote. "I didn't care who said what about it. I chose to go through with my pregnancy, and I chose to keep the baby. I chose to graduate high school early and start a family with Jo. I chose to sign a contract with MTV, agreeing to appear on the docuseries that, it turned out, would follow the next several years of my life. Most significantly of all, I committed myself to the life of a teen mom."
But she struggled in her commitment to Rivera. Long estranged from her father with a rocky relationship with mom Suzi, she moved in with Rivera's family, but she still had moments of anxiety and doubt about their union. And while Isaac's January 2010 arrival filled her with happiness—"All my life I had just wanted to be loved," she wrote, "but ultimately, it was loving my child that filled that empty space,"—she said "things were crumbling" with Rivera. "I wasn't satisfied by the life we were sharing, the constant fights or my growing suspicion that he was cheating on me."
Post-split, she remained at Rivera's New Jersey home, until he discovered she had been dating her Sports Authority coworker Jordan Wenner. With no place to go, Lowry signed up for a program that helps find housing for young, single mothers, even spending a few nights in the shelter to qualify.
Calling it one of the most difficult points of her life, she told E! News, "I did have to stay at the homeless shelter because I really just didn't have—I didn't want my son to be taken away from me if I didn't have a place to stay, so my cousin found the program for me to get in after I stayed at the homeless shelter and they helped me find my first apartment."
But it was at that new home where her months-long romance with Wenner deconstructed. After she cheated on him with Rivera (who would eventually move on to now-wife Vee Torres), Wenner contemplated forgiveness even going as far to say he'd be willing to try again. Then, in late 2011, Marroquin strolled into Lowry's life.
"So I'm working at the mall, the store Buckle, and Javi and his brother come in. I assume his older brother is his dad & that gets us laughing," she wrote on her website of their initial encounter. "At check out he asks to take me for ice cream and I tell him no, lol. Hard to see that looking back I turned him down! Anyway, from there he came into Buckle again and we started forming a friendship via Twitter and Buckle visits." Eventually, she summed up, "I gave him my number."
Some nine months later, he offered up a ring and within days they tied the knot in a Pennsylvania courthouse before Marroquin left for Air Force training in Texas.
By the time they hosted an elaborate celebration at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, N.J. in September 2013, Lowry was seven months along with Lincoln and seemed destined for the sort of happily ever after she'd always been seeking.
But nearly as quickly as viewers saw her marriage come together, they bore witness to its unraveling. Starting with season six in 2015, the duo's problems—including Marroquin's trust issues—were put on display.
Discussing their "rough patch" with Us Weekly, Lowry explained they were struggling to get "on the same parenting page" with newborn Lincoln. And while Marroquin spent most of his time at work, she had an easier time making friends in their new Delaware home thanks to a breastfeeding support group and regular sessions at CrossFit, she opined, adding, "It really was taking a toll on him at that time."
While they were able to make it through those skirmishes, their next hurdle proved insurmountable. As they dealt with the reality of Lowry's 2015 miscarriage, their fights intensified. "It's like I needed someone to blame," Marroquin reasoned during one episode. "I needed to blame somebody, and I was taking it out on you."
So while on the surface, the pair seemed committed to staying together when the airman was deployed in early 2016, their physical separation soon became a legal one. What exactly went wrong still appears up for debate. In leading remarks Marroquin seems to hint the Pride Over Pity scribe cheated, coyly saying, she "knows what she did." But the Delaware State University grad is resolute, insisting to E! News she was never unfaithful. Either way, by the time Marroquin returned that summer their romance was so damaged that all that was left to do was a stint on Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars.
Even when it came to fixing their union, though, views differed. While Marroquin told advisors he was "hoping that there's a small chance Kailyn and I can resolve whatever issues we have and give our marriage a legitimate shot," he allowed that she was "clearly not on the same page."
For Lowry, who had come to terms with the fact that she got married at 20 before she truly knew what she wanted, the goal was civility. "I didn't even know those were Javi's intentions," she told Us Weekly. "I thought we were going in, literally, to make coparenting work."
In the end, they left on stable grounds, or at least in a good enough place that they were able to speak frankly about the possibilities of a reunion on her Coffee Convos podcast in 2018.
"I just think that there's a lot of history between us that [neither] one of us will ever let go," Marroquin said. "Even if we were to try again in the future it wouldn't work because I know the type of person I am and the type of person she is. We argue. It just wouldn't happen." Lowry agreed, adding, "I couldn't have said it better. I don't think we could get back together."
Of course, by then, Marroquin had romanced their fellow Teen Mom 2 costar Briana DeJesus before settling in with current fiancée Lauren Comeau, whileLowry had moved on Lux's father Lopez, a relationship that crashed and burned before ever making it to air.
On a 2017 reunion show, Lowry revealed she hadn't seen him "in a month," and she had little hope they'd reach a good place. "You know, he cheated on me my whole pregnancy," she alleged to Dr. Drew Pinsky. "The things I went through... All the way leading up to having him was something that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. You know, it was like, 'Oh, it'll get better, it'll get better' and then it never got better. There's no contact at all."
That, of course, has since changed, with the two continuing their on-again, off-again routine—a situation that, in part, led Lowry to chat up therapist Kati Morton about her romantic choices.
"You're really comfortable in unhealthy relationships," Morton pointed out, causing the Pothead haircare founder to agree she often found herself bored in solid unions. "I don't know how to accept the nice things that they do, so it made me very uncomfortable," she explained, "how do I even accept this or say thank you?"
Though seemingly hesitant to take Morton's advice not to treat romance as a thrill ride, Lowry is fairly certain she'll know when she's found the person she'd like to ride alongside for life.
"You fall in love with souls, not gender or sex," she has said. Hopefully her perfect soul is in the offing.
(This story was originally published on May 29, 2018 at 2 p.m. PT.)