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16 and Pregnant recap: Paging Maury Povich!

A young football star feels the strain when his resentful family wonders if he’s really the father of his girlfriend’s baby

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16 Pregnant Christina

16 and Pregnant

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Wait a second: Did someone order a DNA test? Last night on 16 and Pregnant, expectant teen dad Isiah had three generations of strong, opinionated women, advising (read: telling) him what he should do — and it didn’t involve changing diapers.

Isiah, a high school football star in Huntsville, Ala., had a college scholarship and plans for a Heisman Trophy, NFL contract, endorsement deals, and beyond. When Christinna (his girlfriend of eight months) got pregnant, we were told that Isiah chose to stay home with her, rather than move away to play football. Christinna graduated early, the two secretly got married (but excluded family from the ceremony), and she moved in to a home that was scarier than the set of The Walking Dead. Isiah’s grandmother Kathy refused to speak to Christinna, relaying messages to her only through Isiah, even when they sat at the same dinner table. “Last week I told you to tell Christinna….did you tell her?” Are you sure you aren’t the teenager in the relationship, Grams?

Isiah’s family was upset with the situation, and they were not afraid to voice their feelings. “I don’t talk much, because it just hurts,” said his mom Karina. However, they blamed the sadness they felt about their child’s change of plans on Christinna, with Grandma Kathy even hinting that the baby might not be Isiah’s. “How are you gonna feel if you find out she ain’t yours?” Kathy asked. “You didn’t have to be here. And not only are you here, you brought something with you!”

Isiah never actually stood up to his family, but according to Christinna, he felt bad about what happened at the dinner table. That’s all well and good, but I wanted him to prove he was up to the task of defending his wife and future child — if you’re too scared to tussle with Grandma, how can you handle the very adult responsibility of raising a baby? Since Christinna (understandably) didn’t feel welcome in Isiah’s home, finding their own apartment became imperative. Isiah was the only one with a paying job, so the burden of making and saving money was solely on him. The couple had disagreements over who was working harder; Christinna didn’t fully grasp what Isiah had given up and the pressure he felt to work, while his vision of pregnancy consisted of way too many naps and Gossip Girl marathons, and not enough bouts of morning sickness and stretch marks.

Despite their financial pressures, Isiah did have a moment of weakness, when, acting like a typical teenage boy, he spent his money on speakers for his car (for  “personal enjoyment”) — something Christinna thought was completely irresponsible. But he soon went from 50% committed to 200%. He accompanied Christinna to doctor’s appointments, he found them an affordable apartment, and he held Christinna’s hand through all 25 hours of labor. Grandma Kathy was right, I never heard either one say “I love you,” but by the end of the hour, they had evolved into a true partnership rather than just a romantic relationship. And as long as Christinna insists that she “[doesn’t] believe in getting divorced, at all,” they’re legally bound together for the long haul.

NEXT: Baby Destiny arrives, and things take a turn for the ugly.