Maddie Lambert was just 13-years-old when she switched from being a teenager to a mother. And while this may have been frightening at the time, today, she insists that becoming a teen mom is what saved her life.
When Maddie was just a small child, her parents gave her dolls and dress up costumes. It was a picturesque image that would soon change forever. But in the end, Lambert couldn't have been happier with the turnout.
Maddie Lambert was born in Fort Worth, Texas. In her own words, she struggled with mental health issues even as a young child. "The girl who couldn't attend regular school because of anxiety," is how she described herself. But she was also “strong,” a trait that would become more obvious over the years.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
But Maddie's early years weren't only colored by depression and anxiety. She also discovered young love, in the form of a relationship with her boyfriend Isaac. But at only 13-years-old, he ended their coupling. "This was the hardest breakup I ever went through in my life," Lambert later admitted.
"That was the only relationship that I remember myself being fully in and not like losing feelings," she shared. "I'm not saying I want to date him again...but like... this hurt me a lot." But Maddie couldn't have known that she would be seeing much more of Isaac, whether she wanted to or not.
Was She Sick?
Soon after their relationship ended, Maddie had a bout of ill health. Almost every day, she was feeling physically sick, but the family thought it might be due to her mental health. "As soon as I and him broke up, like, I thought I was just really depressed because I felt really sick...I was throwing up," she mused.
But as time went on and her physical symptoms continued, she knew she had to see a doctor whether it was a mental health issue or not. Day-to-day Maddie was feeling very nauseated, and she and her parents were concerned. But, none of them were prepared for the truth.
A Baby On The Way
What was more concerning was that young Maddie had also missed her period. "I had a pretty irregular period, so...[I] brushed it off," she explained. But by some miracle, a nurse convinced her to take a pregnancy test. "[The nurse] actually had her baby at 16, so she just had this like gut feeling," Maddie recounted.
And it was only a matter of time before they pinpointed the problem. "My doctor called my mom and said, 'Can I talk to you alone for a minute?' And I knew it was my test results," Lambert said. The doctor shared the news, and suddenly, everything changed.
A Full Support System
Maddie struggled with the reality of her situation. "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. Thankfully she found support in her family structure.
In fact, Maddie's mother made it her prerogative to show up for her daughter and to let her know that she wasn't going through it on her own. "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,'" recalled Lambert.
Real Teen Mom
Despite the show of love and support, Maddie was still scared and uncertain about the situation. "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," she explained.
"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 explained. Was 24/7 drama and scandal really what the naïve 13-year-old was in for?
Options To Consider
Maddie was an educated teenager, and she knew that she had other options if being a single mother was too daunting. When she discovered the results of her pregnancy test she was already 12 weeks pregnant. Thus, Lambert knew she had to figure out what she wanted to do.
"I got pregnant when I was 13. I thought about abortion, I thought about adoption," the young mother admitted. But after seeing her ultrasound for the first time, she knew what had to happen. "Literally the second I looked at that ultrasound screen, I thought, 'I can't give up this baby,'" she admitted.
Now things were set in place. Maddie knew that the baby was on its way, and that she was going to be a young mother. At that point, she only had to do one more thing - tell the father of her child. "I went to get a sonogram, and I sent him [the] picture," Maddie recalled of the day she dropped the bombshell on her ex.
"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 later recalled of the news. "And then when she showed me the scan, I felt scared...I was just shocked." But, his response was not what Maddie expected.
Am I The Father?
Understandably young Isaac had a lot to consider. "So I talked to my mom, obviously, about it," he said. "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."
Isaac needed to know for certain before he made any big decisions, but Maddie was steadfast. "I know who...the dad is. He's the only person I've ever been with," she explained. "But he wanted to get proof." If that wasn't enough, the youngster had more to deal with.
A Terrifying Journey
As it turned out, Isaac was one of the least of her worries. Though she had the full support of her family behind her, not everyone was as positive. "When I actually got pregnant, I was so scared for the reaction people were gonna get," she shared. Sadly, her 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 this wasn't just happening over the phone or on the internet.
Trouble In The Schoolyard
Maddie had spent a lot of time considering her situation and making decisions that few girls her age would ever have to. She had matured far beyond her years, and she hadn't even had the baby yet! Sadly, the same can't be said for her schoolmates, who chose to torment the young girl because of her unusual situation.
"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 recalled. "Somebody even messaged me saying, 'I hope you guys die in labor.'" This bullying was more than anyone her age should go through, but it instigated an important change in her life.
Big Life Movements
Maddie soon realized that there was little she could do to stop her bullies. But she could change how she let the bullying affect her. So, Lambert took the harsh treatment she received and turned it into inspiration. "I took that, and I shifted it. I said, 'This is making my life,'" she 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." The haters proved to be all the motivation Maddie needed to fully embrace the challenges of adolescent motherhood.
Everly Is Born
Then, in 2018, young Maddie gave birth to her precious baby girl. "I was induced on January 4th and on January 5th Everly was here," She said. "She was five pounds. She didn't have to stay in the NICU, she didn't have jaundice, she was perfectly healthy," the new mom gushed.
"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." Yet, there was more news in store for her.
Her Baby Saved Her
As it turned out, bringing this precious little baby into the world did more than just change Maddie's timetable. "Everly didn't only change my life, but she saved my life," Lambert exclaimed. "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," She continued. "When I found out that I was pregnant with her, it gave me a reason to fight." But the young girl has made it clear that she doesn't believe pregnancy is a proper solution to mental health, despite the amount it has helped her.
A Single Mom
Meanwhile, 15-year-old Isaac Frausto still wanted hard evidence that Everly was really his. Despite the fact that Maddie knew there was no other possible candidate, he wasn't convinced. Not long after the baby was born, Isaac ordered a paternity test to find out once and for all. And sure enough, he was the father!
But accepting the responsibility of a child was still too much for young Isaac. "Basically, like, I wasn't there for 10 months," he admitted. "So Maddie had the most hate for me...I just couldn't accept the fact that it happened." Young Lambert had to face life as a single mom, and she wasn't happy about it.
Lashing Out On Social Media
After the positive paternity test, Isaac more or less vanished from their lives. Maddie was furious, she was "So angry,' and understandably so. "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.
In hindsight, Maddie isn't proud of how she reacted to the situation, and would change things if she could. "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," she said. "I feel like I should have pushed harder and been nicer."
A Simple Vlog
In the first few months of her life as a young mother, Maddie soon found herself channeling her feelings into new and interesting formats. "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,'" she recalled.
Maddie made a short vlog called Single Mom at 14: My Story and uploaded it to YouTube. She introduced herself to viewers by saying "I decided to make this channel, so I can share my story because...I had her when I was 14." She wasn't sure what response the video would get if any. But the young mom was in for a surprise.
It was Maddie's goal to share the perspective of a realistic teen mom, not just the overdramatized MTV version. "[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," she said in the video.
"So they can see, like, it's possible to turn something unexpected into something wonderful," she continued. And soon enough, Single Mom at 14: My Story was making the rounds on the internet. Maddie soon wondered if she could go further as a content creator.
Becoming A YouTuber
The video would go on to garner over 6 million views, so it's no wonder Maddie decided to work seriously on building her YouTube channel! She took over the platform with videos that detailed her life as a teen mom as well as the highs and lows of early motherhood.
"[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 was enjoying being a mother and putting on a brave face, it still upset her that Everly's father was absent from her life.
Everly Meets Isaac
For the first 10 months of her life, young Isaac Frausto had been completely out of the picture. He was still struggling to accept his newfound role as a 16-year-old father, something he could never have expected. But after nearly a year, he finally made a decision to reach out to Maddie and Everly.
Almost immediately, Isaac regretted waiting so long. "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,'" he 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."
It was now official - Isaac wanted to be a part of Everly's life, no matter what. But his willingness to be a father didn't dissipate any of the past tension and hurt between him and Maddie. According to Lambert, the couple had to "Teach ourselves to co-parent when we didn't [even] really know how to parent."
Sure enough, they quickly found themselves butting heads. Neither could agree on how much of Everly's time they were willing to share. "We both want her as much as possible," Isaac said, and Maddie added, "But the times was something that we struggled on agreeing on." They soon found themselves in court to dispute the issue.
Take It To Court
Neither Maddie nor Isaac would relent on how much time they thought baby Everly should spend with them. Instead, they took it to the state to 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," Isaac explained.
They were both given documents explaining each parent's allocated time with Everly, and how they could effectively 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 soon there was another man in Everly and Maddie's life.
Being dumped by Isaac had devastated Maddie. But over time, she was able to move on. Soon enough, she met a young man named Cody. They were paired up by a mutual friend who thought they would be compatible, and they were right! Cody later joked about a "Stepdad application" he sent to Maddie before they dated.
"I wasn't looking for another relationship, but here we are," Maddie shared. "I have to be really careful now, and I've carefully evaluated the relationship. I've been studying it." She knew that she couldn't date just anyone. Lambert had to be cautious of who she let into her and Everly's lives.
Everly’s New Stepdad
After a period of thought and evaluation, Maddie finally decided to introduce Cody to Everly. But how did the child feel about this new adult on her doorstep? "She loves Cody," Maddie exclaimed! "They actually get along really well, and he helps me out a lot with her. I really appreciate it."
She 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." But was Cody the one for Maddie?
The In-Laws Approve
Cody adored his girlfriend and her child, but could the same be said for his parents? Thankfully, they embraced the young mom. "They do not mind at all, actually," Cody shared. "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." If that wasn't enough, even Isaac approved of Everly's potential stepdad! He had entered a new relationship of his own, and the separate couples were on good terms. "They all get along," Maddie said. But, all of that would soon change.
Things Come To An End
Their relationship had been going so well, but Maddie's feelings had started to fade. After ending it, she said "Cody is literally such an amazing guy. I would consider him the best relationship I've had. He was really good to me." But, if things were so good, what changed?
"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," she continued.
While Maddie was still reeling from her sudden loss of romantic feelings, she had more important things to think about. She had previously dropped out of school to raise her daughter properly and was working toward earning her GED. But suddenly, everything went downhill.
Lambert was taking an online test when baby Everly entered the room in tears. "[The proctors] say like, 'No one can come in your room,' ...I was like, 'I'm sorry I have a daughter,'" Maddie said. But it didn't matter. Her exam was revoked. "I just don't think it's fair," she said.
Despite her hardship, Maddie has always embraced her role as a mother, and done everything she can to raise her daughter right, though many others are skeptical. "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," the deflated mom shared.
"A good mom is somebody who drops everything for their child. I dropped my whole childhood," the defiant teenager continued. "I do everything for that little girl. She is my entire world." But can the same be said for Isaac? Have the former lovers and joint parents worked things out?
Against all odds, Maddie and Isaac have come very far as co-parents. With the help of court-appointed adults, the teens have been able to come to an agreement and work well together. They attribute their improvements to communication. "Communication is definitely key," Maddie insisted.
And thankfully, the young dad agrees. "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," Isaac said.
Love Conquers All
But communication isn't the only thing that has helped them. The most important part of moving on and putting aside their differences is their shared love for their daughter. At the end of the day, they have to do what's right for her. "You kind of get that mentality where it's the villain and the hero," Maddie explained.
"You make yourself the hero, and you make the other person the villain. But it's not like that," she said. "You're just both basically side characters. Everly's the hero." How sweet! And if you're anything like us, you'll be keeping up to date with this adorable family on Instagram and Youtube.