Former Bachelorette, host of “Love It or List It Vancouver” and a self-proclaimed “busy bee,” Jillian Harris is returning to reality TV with fiance Justin Pasutto in their new show: “Jillian & Justin”.
The four-part docu-series will give fans a candid look at Jillian’s life with partner Justin, including their experience as first-time parents and the process of finding and then renovating their forever home.
“It has been a really surreal, crazy year,” the 37-year-old says of the filming process. “It’s been a lot of ups and downs and it’s been an extremely jam-packed year, with a few breakdowns,” she jokes before adding, “but it’s been so worth it and we feel incredibly blessed right now.”
And how could the couple not? Finally moved into their gorgeous home, Jillian and Justin welcomed their son Leo last year; a moment that features heavily in episode one of their new show.
“At first, they kept on asking if they could be a part of the labour and delivery,” Jillian says. “I said, ‘absolutely not, no way. This is a private moment between Justin and I and we already share so much, I don’t want to share any of it.'”
But thanks to Justin’s “agreeable” nature (Jillian joked that Justin “did everything the camera crew wanted him to do”) the biggest moment in their lives makes for one pretty dramatic portion of the episode.
“We had two days of filming left in August,” Jillian shares. “[The first day] was about 14 hours and we were totally exhausted and I kept on saying to them ‘I can’t do another day of this.'”
Within hours of wrapping their second last day before a two-week break to have the baby, Harris’ water broke. “I went into labour early,” Harris says, adding, “the first thing Justin did (without asking me) was call the camera crew.”
Harris shares that it was her cousin Sam who let her know and that she wasn’t entirely sure it was the right call, but it was her fiance’s calm reasoning that steered her into ultimately filming the whole thing.
“I said ‘Okay, everyone get in the car,’ so everyone piled in the car and went down to the hospital… it was totally awesome, I would have never, ever changed it for the world – it was like the coolest delivery,” she says.
But with her dad, cousin, makeup artist, Justin, two cameramen, a sound guy, a director, a producer and “about five doctors” Jillian makes her cramped delivery room sound like a backyard BBQ.
“[There’s] 15 people in the room, all talking, all laughing, asking questions and it sounds overwhelming but looking back it’s exactly the way my labour would go,” she says. “Chaotic and hilarious.”
Justin adds, “it was the complete opposite from what I ever expected, and it really goes to show how my last five years have been with Jill.” Adding, “I never never never in my wildest dreams expected the life I’ve had in the last five years.”
Sharing advice for any other families going through similar life changes, Jillian poignantly points out: “Life isn’t perfect. A lot of times we put too many expectations on ourselves, but sometimes you’ve gotta embrace the disaster.”
Now that the family has settled into their happy blend of chaos and calm, Jillian is back to a more normal routine (if that’s a thing when you have a huge house to finish, a 1-year-old and a career to run), which includes sharing her thoughts on the premiere of “The Bachelorette” with the “awesome and sassy and dramatic and articulate” Rachel.
“Jillian & Justin” premieres on W Network June 21st @ 10 p.m. ET/PT.