Bristol Palin: How She Became a Teen Mom and What Her Life Has Looked Like Since

Many years have passed since America first got acquainted with Bristol Palin. The oldest daughter of Sarah Palin, Bristol’s defining feature during her mother’s unsuccessful run for vice president was that she was about to become a teenage mother. So it makes sense that the first time many people thought about her in years was when she announced that she was joining the cast of Teen Mom OG.

Do you need to refresh your memory on how Bristol Palin become a teen mom in the first place? Or are you curious about what Bristol Palin has been doing in her time away from the spotlight? Read on to get all the answers.

Bristol Palin lost her virginity to Levi Johnston

As The Daily Beast reports, Bristol Palin wrote in her memoir about losing her virginity to Levi Johnston on a camping trip. As Bristol tells it, her virginity was “stolen” after a night of downing wine cooler after wine cooler. Bristol grew up in a Christian household. And she had planned to save herself until marriage.

So when she woke up the morning after, she realized that “all of my plans, my promises, and my moral standards had disappeared in one awful night in a series of bad decisions.” They had an on-again, off-again relationship. And Bristol realized she was pregnant just two days before Levi’s 18th birthday.

Bristol Palin became pregnant with her first child at 17

As Vanity Fair reports, Bristol Palin gave birth to her first child, Tripp, when she was 18 years old. The publication explains that during Sarah Palin’s time in the limelight, Bristol “would become, in essence, the teen mom of America.” Many people wanted all the juicy details on their split, just a few days after Bristol delivered Tripp. And their subsequent engagement also made headlines.

But Vanity Fair warns against diving too deep into a wave of nostalgia now that Bristol Palin has resurfaced. The publication even characterizes the Palins as “a family that gradually retreated back into the woods after a brief and terrifying stint out in the known world.”

She became an abstinence advocate after her first pregnancy, then had two more children

Bristol Palin attends' The Harsh Truth: Teen Moms Tell All' Town Hall Meeting sposored by The Candie's Foundation in 2010

Bristol Palin attends ” The Harsh Truth: Teen Moms Tell All” in 2010. | Astrid Stawiarz/ Getty Images

The Washington Post notes that Bristol Palin became something of an abstinence advocate after her first pregnancy. (Yes, even though numerous studies have indicated that abstinence-only sex ed doesn’t work.) In fact, Bristol earned $262,500 in 2009 as a teen pregnancy ambassador for The Candie’s Foundation. But she didn’t stay on-message for long.

She met Dakota Meyer in 2014. And she raised eyebrows in 2015, when she announced that she was pregnant amid a split from Dakota. They got engaged. Then they called off the engagement. And then they got married in 2016, five months after the birth of daughter Sailor Grace. And Bristol gave birth to their second daughter, Atlee Bay, in 2017.

Divorce rumors have swirled about Bristol Palin and Dakota Meyer

As People chronicles, Bristol Palin and Dakota Meyer went through many ups and downs. Some of the highlights included a custody battle over Sailor Grace, their surprise wedding, and the birth of their second daughter. But they seemed to intend to split in early 2018.

At that point, Meyer filed for divorce. He even cited “discord or conflict of personalities,” as the reason for the split according to The Washington Post. But as People pointed out, the two appeared to have reconciled. (Or at least that’s what everyone thinks, due to a friendly series of Instagram posts.) Either way, Teen Mom OG will likely offer some insight into the status of their relationship.

She opened up about life as a teen mom to tell other girls to wait

Bristol Palin let a People reporter join her on the day she graduated from high school. And she said that she was opening up about life as a teen mom as a way to advocate for the prevention of teen pregnancy. “Girls need to imagine and picture their life with a screaming newborn baby and then think before they have sex,” she said. “Think about the consequences.”

That logic squares with an interesting finding by researchers. Experts found that 16 and Pregnant — the original MTV show of which Teen Mom is a spinoff — led to a measurable decline in teen birth rates. Maybe that’s what convinced Bristol Palin to sign on for Teen Mom OG.

Read more: Sarah Palin Says John McCain’s Comments Were a ‘Gut Punch’ But These 7 Things Reveal Their Relationship Was Never That Good

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