The 27-year-old mother of three, her then-husband, Dakota Meyer, and her family are as candid as ever about the former pair’s ups and downs.
“When Bristol let us know that she was pregnant, I was really shocked and knew right off the bat, ‘Wow, life was really going to change and things were going to be a lot more difficult,” Bristol’s 54-year-old mother, Sarah Palin, recalls of finding out about her daughter’s first pregnancy. “Teen pregnancies put a little glitch in anybody’s plan.”
In 2008, Bristol was 18 when she welcomed her first child, Tripp, with her on-again, off-again boyfriend at the time, Levi Johnston. This was the same year her mother ran for vice president with Senator John McCain. In 2015, Bristol welcomed her second child, Sailor, with Dakota. The two also have a 1-year-old daughter, Atlee.
Sarah isn’t the only one opening up on Meet the Moms. Bristol recalls meeting Dakota for the first time, and admits that they got engaged “really fast,” nearly a month after dating.
The veteran popped the question at a Rascal Flatts concert, and the night turned out to be very important for more reasons than one.
“He got down on one knee at the concert, and I got pregnant the night we got engaged,” Bristol reveals. “My parents just said, ‘Here’s a check for the wedding. We’re going to have a big wedding. Let’s have a big celebration!’ I just found out I was pregnant with Sailor and I just got cold feet. I just had hesitation about marrying him. I left and he was heartbroken and we didn’t talk again until Sailor was born.”
Bristol and Dakota reunited after the birth of their first daughter and eloped shortly thereafter. “I’m not a real proponent of kids getting married young, even though at the time I thought Bristol and Levi should get married. But I’ve learned,” Sarah admits.
Not long after tying the knot with Dakota, Bristol was pregnant again. “He gets a vasectomy, within two weeks found out I’m pregnant,” she remembers. “It wasn’t that much of a shocker for me. I was super excited. But for him, I think he was a little devastated because he knew that being pregnant with Atlee was going to change a lot of things.”
One of the main issues in the couple’s marriage stemmed from Meyer’s PTSD. While he was deployed in Afghanistan, the Marine witnessed the brutal deaths of his entire team.
“As a wife, I don’t know how to handle it. I’m not a psychiatrist,” Bristol confides. “I don’t know what’s best.”
“Every one of my dreams end with me seeing the faces of my teammates again,” Meyer notes, revealing that when he first returned from abroad, he would sleep with a pistol on his chest every night.
A sneak peek clip from an upcoming episode of Teen Mom OG shows just how volatile things got between the two when Bristol accuses Dakota of using his PTSD as an excuse to be rude to her. The couple officially divorced this summer, which will play out on this season of the series.
ET spoke with Bristol earlier this month where she praised her ex for his involvement in their daughters’ lives.
“He is an incredible father and I would never say anything about him as a father because he’s blown my expectations,” she said. “I think our marriage was something that was very fast, and he would agree too.”
On Monday morning, Dakota took to his Instagram Stories to answer some fan questions, and concurred that he and his ex are amicable. When asked if they get along, he wrote, “The best we ever have. We don’t talk to each other.”
Here’s more of ET’s exclusive interview with Bristol: