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Maci Bookout doesn't need to love pregnancy to be a good woman

Chanel Dubofsky is a fiction writer, journalist and editor based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work on gender, sexuality, religion and reproductive justice has been publishing in Cosmopolitan, RH Reality Check, The Billfold, The Toast, The ...

Teen Mom OG's Maci Bookout is every woman who wasn't happy about her unplanned pregnancy

We knew even before this season of Teen Mom OG began that cast member Maci Bookout was pregnant with her third child (a boy named Maverick Reed), and now it's been revealed on the show. Bookout, who got engaged in the first episode of the season, was noticing changes in her body when fiancé Taylor McKinney suggested that she might be pregnant. We watched the couple receive results of the test, which Bookout referred to as "real positive." In Sunday's new episode, Bookout learned that she was actually much further along in her pregnancy than she thought, and she was not at all psyched about it — which, frankly, was super refreshing to see.

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At her ultrasound, Bookout didn't smile; she seemed overwhelmed by the reality of another child alongside Bentley and daughter Jayde, who just turned 1. Later in the episode, when she notified Ryan and his parents about her pregnancy, she told them that the good thing about having her children so young is that by the time she'll be in her mid-40's, all the kids will be out of the house.

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Bookout's reaction to her pregnancy is much different than reactions we've seen on this show before. And it's great to see her be real about her feelings instead of fronting, which women often feel pressured to do because it's still assumed that pregnancy, planned or not, is the best thing that could happen to us, no matter when or how it happens. Bookout knows what it's like to face a pregnancy she didn't plan — that's how she got on this show — but just because she has a partner and a stable income and has graduated from high school, it doesn't mean that she has to feel great about being pregnant again. Her attitude of "Oh, crap, this again" was totally all over the episode, although there was no question about whether or not she'd be carrying the pregnancy to term.

Bookout has been a visible and vocal proponent of birth control — she's been a spokeswoman for the The Candies Foundation Teen Pregnancy Prevention campaign for years — so having an unplanned pregnancy in public can't have been easy to deal with, although she's not a teen anymore. As a society, we can't wait to punish women for getting pregnant accidentally (and, of course, for accidentally getting pregnant outside of marriage, as many of Bookout's Instagram followers were quick to point out), and we pressure them to carry a pregnancy to term and parent no matter what circumstances are at work in their lives. If we're not happy about that pregnancy, we're monsters who don't love the children we already have or the one we're about to have, because feelings aren't allowed to be complicated. Bookout is not here for that, and it's great to see her acting counter to that narrative.

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Do you think Maci Bookout should have to act like she's happy about having an unplanned pregnancy? Tell us in the comments!

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Teen Mom OG's Maci Bookout is every woman who wasn't happy about her unplanned pregnancy
Image: MTV
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