“I was definitely surprised and scared,” Sessler said. “I just feel like I have a lot of support from my family, so I knew I would be able to do it.”
Sessler gave birth to Izaiah Cole Alexander on Sept. 30, and MTV viewers across the country will watch her journey at 9 p.m. Monday.
Sessler and her child’s father, Stephan Alexander, 20, of DeKalb, are one of five young couples featured on MTV’s newest iteration of “Teen Mom,” “Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant.”
The series also will begin premiering internationally in April across Viacom’s international network of MTV channels in nearly 180 countries, according to a statement from the parent company. The “Teen Mom” franchise consistently has been a top performer for MTV, and even has been credited with affecting the teen birth rate, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Bureau of Economic Research.
It documents several young couples as they cope with unplanned pregnancies.
Sessler, Alexander and their son already have been featured in promotional clips on social media and a “Meet The New Moms” special, which aired at 7 p.m.
“I mean, we don’t get along all the time, but we’re definitely a duo,” Alexander said in a promotional clip for the special.
The two can be seen arguing at Sessler’s home, and Sessler talks about how Alexander is a habitual cheater. Sessler said they are focusing on parenting and will figure out the rest later.
Sessler and Alexander met in a class at DeKalb High School when they were
15 years old and 16 years old, respectively. Alexander was reserved but very kind, Sessler said. Their relationship is portrayed as rocky in the docu-series, and the two never wanted to have children in high school.
“You were a lot more mature when you were younger than you are now; you went the opposite way,” Sessler said of Alexander in the promotional clip.
Aerial shots of the Cortland water tower and various local destinations, such as the Sycamore Family Sports Center, 725 E. State St., Sycamore, are featured in the March 5 special and first episode. Sessler describes her hometown as “very rural; there’s cornfields everywhere.” Alexander also dons a “DeKalb” shirt.
MTV’s cameras, producers and microphones became part of her normal routine when she was being filmed, Sessler said.
Clare Corbin, 16, of DeKalb befriended Alexander through mutual friends and was curious when she noticed he had cameras set up on the dashboard of his car. When she learned the two were going to be featured on “Teen Mom,” Corbin said she could not imagine having her life displayed on TV, but the young couple is doing well in their new role.
“I know they fight a lot, but they do love each other, and they want what’s best for Izaiah no matter what,” Corbin said. “I know they both love their son.”
Sessler said she is attending classes at Kishwaukee College and hopes to eventually get her own apartment, graduate college and pursue a career. She is considering studying psychology. In MTV’s first episode, she discusses putting college on hold to focus on raising her son. Sessler’s mother also raised her as a single parent.
“I never thought when I had a baby it was gonna be like this,” Sessler said.
But she is looking forward to the show’s premiere Monday because she feels she can be a role model for other young moms.
“Just because you’re a young mom, you can still be successful,” Sessler said. “There’s such a stigma, but you can definitely be successful and be a great mother to your child.”