Maddie Lambert's whole world transformed after learning she was pregnant at 13 years old. But according to the teen mom, the experience didn't just change her life - it saved it. This is Maddie's story.
Meet young Maddie Lambert. Watching her play dress-up, Maddie's family never imagined this little girl would become a mom just some years later. But that's exactly what happened - and Lambert wouldn't have it any other way.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Maddie struggled with mental health from a young age. "The girl who couldn't attend regular school because of anxiety," Lambert described herself. But the youngster also labeled herself "strong" and would soon prove just how much strength she held.
The Hardest Breakup
As Maddie navigated life with depression and anxiety, she also experienced joy and love. But all of that took a turn when the 13-year-old's then-boyfriend, Isaac, called it quits. "This was the hardest breakup I ever went through in my life," Lambert recalled.
"That was the only relationship that I remember myself being fully in and not like losing feelings," she admitted. "I'm not saying I want to date him again... but like... this hurt me a lot." At the time, Maddie had no idea that Isaac would soon be back in her life - whether he liked it or not.
Maddie Thought She Was Sick
After the breakup, Maddie seemed to come down with something. She felt physically unwell every day but speculated that it was mental health-related. "As soon as me and him broke up, like, I thought I was just really depressed because I felt really sick... I was throwing up," Lambert shared.
Although Maddie had long struggled with anxiety and depression, she knew a doctor's visit was in order after some time. The 13-year-old was still nauseous on a daily and needed to figure out what was going on. Lambert could hardly believe what happened next.
She Was Pregnant
Around this time, the teen had also started missing her period. "I had a pretty irregular period, so... [I] brushed it off," Maddie explained. But at the doctor's, one of the nurses decided to do a pregnancy test. "She [the nurse] actually had her baby at 16, so she just had this like gut feeling," Lambert said.
The answer arrived not long after. "My doctor called my mom and said, 'Can I talk to you alone for a minute?' And I knew it was my test results," Maddie remembered. That was when everything changed: at 13 years old, Lambert found out she was pregnant.
Her Fam Was Supportive
It took a while for Maddie to process how her life was about to change. "Every morning when I wake up, I have to do a reality check by looking at the sonogram I hung on my wall. I'm going to be a mom, and I still live with my mom," she said. Fortunately, Lambert's family was supportive.
Maddie's mother made sure her daughter knew she was not in this alone. "The first thing [my mom] said is, 'It's gonna be okay, we'll get through this. I love babies; we love babies in this house. You're a strong girl. We're gonna get through this,'" Lambert said.
"I'd Always Looked Down on Teen Moms"
But while Maddie had the full backing of her loved ones, she felt less sure about being thirteen and pregnant. "I'd always looked down on teen moms if I'm being completely honest. And I think that was just from a lack of knowing what it's really like," Lambert explained.
"Because whenever you see the media surrounding teen moms, you see like the shows on MTV like the Teen Mom show, and it's just really negative, and it shows a lot of drama," Maddie added. Would her life feel like a scandalous reality TV show if she became a mother?
She Had Other Options...
But Maddie knew there were other options. After hearing the test results from the doctor and learning the pregnancy was at least twelve weeks along, Lambert reflected on what life as a teen mom would be like and whether or not that was something she could handle.
"I got pregnant when I was 13. I thought about abortion, I thought about adoption," the youngster said. But once she went in for the first ultrasound, Maddie quickly made up her mind. "Literally the second I looked at that ultrasound screen, I thought, 'I can't give up this baby,'" Lambert recalled.
Telling the Baby Daddy
Once Maddie knew she'd be keeping the baby and becoming a teen mom, there was one essential thing left to do: the 13-year-old had to tell her baby daddy. "I went to get a sonogram, and I sent him [the] picture," Lambert said of how she shared the news with ex-boyfriend Isaac.
"When Maddie first found out that she was pregnant, I was like 15 turning 16. I thought it was all just a joke like it wasn't real," Isaac said of his initial reaction. "And then when she showed me the scan, I felt scared... I was just shocked." What he said next took Lambert by surprise.
He Wanted a Paternity Test
After hearing the shocking news, Isaac had a lot to process. "So I talked to my mom, obviously, about it," he shared. "I told her that what I wanted, before anything, before like I got into [the baby's] life, let's just get a paternity test before anything, any actions, were a step forward."
The 15-year-old wanted assurance, but Maddie had no doubts about the situation. "I know who... the dad is. He's the only person I've ever been with," Lambert explained. "But he wanted to get proof." In the meantime, the expectant mother had other things to worry about.
She Was Scared
Maddie soon realized that she had a lot more to worry about than Isaac. While her family showed unconditional support, others felt differently. "When I actually got pregnant, I was so scared for the reaction people were gonna get," Lambert shared. It turned out these fears were justified.
"I did get a lot of negative reactions, a lot of hate," Maddie said. "Everybody had something to say, and they didn't hold back. I had people send me the address to abortion clinics when I was about seven months pregnant." And going to school did not provide a refuge from the haters.
Bullied in School
From the moment she glanced at that sonogram screen and saw her baby for the first time, Maddie made a life-changing decision. And while the 13-year-old had no regrets, it didn't make the bullying from classmates any easier. Lambert's peers tormented the young mother-to-be.
"In gym class, they would, like, put balls in their t-shirts and be like, 'Hi, I'm Maddie Lambert. I'm a teen mom,'" she said. "Somebody even messaged me saying, 'I hope you guys die in labor.'" Her whole world was about to change, and the bullying was close to unbearable.
Turning Her Life Around
Since there was nothing Maddie could do about the hateful classmates, she decided to make the haters her motivators. The expectant mother used the bullying as motivation. "I took that, and I shifted it. I said, 'This is making my life,'" Lambert explained.
"The hate made me want to do better," she continued. "It made me want to show them that I'm going to be the best mom ever. Even though I'm young, I'm gonna be the best mom they've ever seen." Maddie felt ready to turn her life around and become a mother.
Welcome Baby Everly
Early in 2018, Maddie welcomed her baby girl into the world. "I was induced on January 4th and on January 5th Everly was here," Lambert said. "She was five pounds. She didn't have to stay in the NICU, she didn't have jaundice, she was perfectly healthy."
"And I honestly think that's such a blessing because it's crazy how things work," Maddie added. "Usually, pregnancies at my age are so high-risk, and she was healthy. Like my mom would tell me that I had a healthier baby than she did because she just had my brother two years ago." Everything was about to change - big time.
Everly Saved Her Life
But according to Maddie, having a baby did way more than transform her life. "Everly didn't only change my life, but she saved my life," the young mom said. "I struggled with depression before. I had a suicide attempt when I was 13 before I got pregnant with Everly."
"I was having trouble finding my place on this earth and why I was here," Lambert continued. "When I found out that I was pregnant with her, it gave me a reason to fight." But Maddie emphasized getting pregnant is not a solution to struggling mental health. And as much as baby Everly helped, she soon had other obstacles to face.
An Absent Father
Even though Maddie knew no one else could be Everly's father except for Isaac Frausto, the 15-year-old wanted proof. So he got a paternity test shortly after their baby girl was born. It proved what Lambert was already sure of: Isaac was the newborn's dad.
But Frausto still didn't want to be involved in Everly's life. "Basically, like, I wasn't there for 10 months," Isaac admitted. "So Maddie had the most hate for me... I just couldn't accept the fact that it happened." Lambert was a teen and single mom; it wasn't easy.
Showing Her Anger on Social Media
Isaac disappeared from his daughter and baby mom's life - and Maddie was angry. The teen described how she was "so mad" at Isaac. "It did get pretty bad, and I was really upset. I would post things on my social media and be like, 'He's a piece of crap,' and like say all these things," Lambert admitted.
Looking back, Maddie wished she'd handled things differently. "I was hurting. Me and him had left off on bad terms and I kind of turned that pain into anger which I really do regret," Lambert shared. "I feel like I should have pushed harder and been nicer." It would be a while until Isaac came around.
A Spontaneous Decision
As Lambert grew into her new role, she turned the many emotions that came with being a young, single mom into something creative. "When Everly was about four months old, I decided on a whim, 'Okay, we look cute today. You know what, I'm gonna go film a YouTube video,'" Maddie recalled.
Lambert titled the video Single Mom at 14: My Story. "I decided to make this channel, so I can share my story because... I had her when I was 14," Maddie said at the beginning of the 6-minute video. After all of the hate she'd received through the pregnancy, Maddie couldn't believe what happened next.
The Video Went Viral
Maddie wanted to give viewers another perspective on being a teen mom. "[Everly's] the best thing that's ever happened to me, so I just kind of want to share to inspire other young people who are maybe going through the same thing," Lambert explained in the video.
"So they can see, like, it's possible to turn something unexpected into something wonderful," she continued. It seemed the video succeeded in inspiring others - Single Mom at 14: My Story went viral. Maddie realized there was career potential in content creating with her baby girl.
Building a YouTube Channel
After the success of her first video, which as of the writing of this article has over six million views, Lambert decided to build a YouTube channel. She filmed life as a teen mom and showed viewers the highs and lows of parenting at such a young age.
"[Everly's] my pride and joy and loves to show off her humor and intelligence in the vlogs," Maddie said. "My goal is to inspire my audience and show you can THRIVE as a teen mom." But while she loved motherhood, it still broke her heart that Isaac was not in the picture.
Everly's First Time Meeting Her Dad
Isaac wanted no involvement in Everly's life for the first ten months. At 16 years old, it was hard for him to accept that he'd become a teen dad - something Frausto likely never dreamt would happen to him. But finally, the baby daddy came around and met his baby girl for the first time.
And after meeting Everly, Isaac regretted his previous absence. "I feel like it would just be a lot better if I would have like came out like, 'Hey, this is my daughter, this beautiful angel,'" Frausto said. "It would have been different, but I was gone for 10 months, and I can't do anything about it now, just to be there for her."
Would They Be Able to Co-Parent?
So Isaac was now a part of Everly's life, and it seemed that he was here to stay. But Maddie and her ex-boyfriend/baby daddy still had a lot of tension between them - would they be able to raise their girl together? As Lambert put it, the pair had to "teach ourselves to co-parent when we didn't [even] really know how to parent."
It wasn't long before Isaac and Maddie started fighting over spending time with Everly. "We both want her as much as possible," Frausto explained. Lambert added, "But the times was something that we struggled on agreeing on." So the co-parents took their issues to court.
They Went to Court
Since Isaac and Maddie had trouble agreeing on how much time their baby spent with each of them, they let the state decide. "We went to court so we can do the times, and we can come to an agreement because we couldn't agree, so we had to get some lawyers," Frausto shared.
The teens got documents that included the times they each got with Everly and how they would co-parent. "Honestly, that was the best for us because obviously, we couldn't like figure it out, so we just had the grown-ups do it for us," Isaac said. But later on, Frausto wasn't the only teen boy in his child's life.
A Teen Stepdad
Maddie had been completely heartbroken after the breakup with Isaac. But some time later, she found love again. The teen and her new boyfriend, Cody, met through mutual friends who thought they'd be a good match. Cody joked that he sent in a "stepdad application" the first time the pair talked.
"I wasn't looking for another relationship, but here we are," Maddie admitted. "I have to be really careful now, and I've carefully evaluated the relationship. I've been studying it." Lambert knew that as a mom, she had to be cautious about who came around Everly.
Did Everly Like Cody?
So after evaluating the romance with Cody, Maddie decided he could come around her daughter. But did Everly take to the teen "stepdad?" "She loves Cody," Lambert said. "They actually get along really well, and he helps me out a lot with her. I really appreciate it."
Maddie added, "What he'll say is like, 'You've been doing this for two years by yourself, I'm gonna help you' ... And once he even texted me and he was like, 'Maddie, please tell me anything I can do to help you, like, I want to learn.' And it's just really good, really, really good." Could he be the one?
His Parents Didn't Mind
Cody loved both Maddie and Everly. But how did the teenager's parents feel about him dating a teen mom? Fortunately, they were accepting. "They do not mind at all, actually," Cody said. "They really like Maddie cause she came to my birthday party, and she met a lot of my family."
He continued, "She talked to a lot of them, and they got along really well." Even Everly's dad took a liking to the potential stepdad. Isaac also had a girlfriend at the time, and the two couples all met each other. According to Maddie, "They all get along." But things soon took an unexpected turn.
Maddie and Cody were going strong when all of a sudden, Lambert's feelings changed. "Cody is literally such an amazing guy. I would consider him the best relationship I've had," she said after breaking up with him. "He was really good to me." So what shifted?
"But I think I was just like fooling myself honestly because I knew deep down... I was not ready for a relationship, and I wasn't in the right mental state for a relationship," Maddie explained. "Literally, I was so in love, and then the next day, I just didn't have feelings."
Her GED Was Revoked
Maddie didn't understand how the love could just evaporate overnight, but the teen mom had more pressing stuff on her plate. After dropping out of school, Lambert worked towards getting a GED in place of a high school diploma. But things went terribly wrong during one of the exams.
She was in the middle of a test when Everly came into the room crying. "[The proctors] say like, 'No one can come in your room,' ... I was like, 'I'm sorry I have a daughter,'" Maddie recalled. But they didn't care, and the teen mom's exam got revoked. "I just don't think it's fair," Lambert said.
People Assume She's a Bad Mom
Things might get tough at times, but this young mother says she is committed to doing whatever is necessary to give Everly a good childhood - despite what others might think. "People assume I'm a bad mom just because I'm a teenager, but I have the same capacity to parent as anybody in this world," Maddie said.
"A good mom is somebody who drops everything for their child. I dropped my whole childhood," the proud mama continued. "I do everything for that little girl. She is my entire world." But what about Everly's dad? Have the young parents worked things out?
"Communication Is Key"
Thankfully, Maddie and Isaac have improved their co-parenting skills since the young father first came into Everly's life. The pair was able to work things out after getting some help from the court. Their secret to success? Talking. "Communication is definitely key," said Lambert.
Isaac couldn't agree more. "If you can't sit there and just grow up about it and have a communication with your baby mama or your baby daddy to talk about your kid's life and your future and their future, like if you're not even grown up enough to even do that, then you shouldn't have one at all," he said.
Realizing What Truly Matters
But what's helped Maddie and Isaac move past their differences most of all is their shared love for Everly. The young parents have come to realize that it's not about the two of them; it's all about their baby girl. "You kind of get that mentality where it's the villain and the hero," Lambert explained.
"And you make yourself the hero, and you make the other person the villain. But it's not like that," she added. "You're just both basically side characters. Everly's the hero." Want to follow Maddie and Everly's adventures? Catch them on the Gram @maddieelambertt.