Amid global chaos, “Married at First Sight”’s Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner welcomed baby boy, Hendrix Douglas, on May 13. Joining 3-year-old sister, Henley “Gracie” Grace, Hendrix’s arrival came following heartbreaking fertility struggles.
As they relish every minute as a family, the couple shared how the coronavirus pandemic and social unrest has impacted their parenting, and how their late first son, Johnathan (who they lost four months into Jamie’s pregnancy in 2016) remains in their thoughts.
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Dear God, help me raise these babies to love all LOUDLY.🙏🏼🙏🙏🏽🙏🏾🙏🏿 When I don’t have the answers, please guide me with what to say that will teach them to peacefully stand up against injustices & speak out against prejudices.✊🏻✊✊🏽✊🏾✊🏿 More importantly, help me lead by example. Let me be a light that shines on darkness who helps others in need—no matter what color or religion.🙌🏻🙌🙌🏽🙌🏾🙌🏿 AMEN!🙏🏿✊🏽🙌🏻 ***I’ll be the first to admit that up until now I didn’t say much bc I didn’t know WHAT to say. I still don’t have the right words. My heart breaks for George Floyd & the countless other people who lost their lives bc of their skin color. But I recognize that my heart breaking isn’t enough. I need to actively do SOMETHING to make change. I signed the petition by texting FLOYD to 55156. I may not be able to go out & make a huge change in this world, but I can make a big change in my own home by educating myself & my kids and raising them to LOVE instead of hate.💗 I found this amazing resource w blogs, books, and more to help me learn how to raise my kiddos to love all shapes, sizes, & COLORS. I linked it in my bio if you wanna read more on it too.💙 #blacklivesmatter
“When I look at Hendrix, I always wonder if Johnathan would look the same or have the same personality,” says Jamie, who welcomed Gracie in 2017, but experienced further miscarriages before conceiving Hendrix. “It brings back memories. But it’s wonderful to spend quality time as the family we fought for. We never gave up hope, even though many tears were shed, so it’s amazing to see we’re a family-of-four, Hendrix is here and his big brother’s in heaven looking down over him.”
The dream family comes six years after the couple wed after meeting at the altar on “MAFS”. Given the struggles they’ve faced since, the pair, who are filming quarantine life for “MAFS” spin-off “Couples Cams”, were understandably anxious for the day they could hold Hendrix in their arms.
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My new fav pic!!!💯🥰 Definitely Not bc my hair & make up’s on point🤣 or bc both my kiddos are looking at the camera🙅🏼♀️ …sometimes the raw, authentic and “unposed” type of photos are my fav!☺️…I’m on bed rest which turns out to be great for ALL THE SNUGGLES!💗 Aaand random side note: I still can’t believe I have KIDS – two – plural!🤗 Dreams *do* come true!🙏🏻🥺💙
However, his home birth became complicated when he passed meconium (stools) during labour, and Jamie’s background as a delivery/labour nurse gave her heightened awareness of associated risks. “I told myself I have to push his whole body out with the next contraction, then pushed like a madwoman!” recalls the 33-year-old former “Bachelor” contestant.
Adds Doug: “All I could think was, ‘Please cry, please breathe.’ Once we heard that cry, the heavyweight of stress I’d been carrying lifted and I was overjoyed.”
Jamie and Doug kept a 48-hour diary to give ET Canada a glimpse into their long-awaited family life with Gracie and Hendrix.
Friday, June 5
5:40 a.m.: Jamie: “Hendrix’s up! Nursed him, then gave him to Doug to burp and change.”
8:45 a.m.: Doug: “Gracie and I are getting ready. I’m working from our basement during the pandemic. There was a lot of guilt at first with managing my time as a husband and father and wanting to be a teacher to Gracie. I’m figuring it out, and fortunate I work in software sales in construction, so still have my job.”
9.01 a.m.: Jamie: “Gave Gracie a bagel and fruit. She took two bites and was “not hungry anymore” – toddlers!”
10:17 a.m.: Jamie: “Nursed, burped and changed Hendrix.”
12:10 p.m.: Jamie: “Played hide-and-seek with Gracie.”
12:45 p.m.: Jamie: “Put Gracie down for her nap and nursed, burped and changed Hendrix.”
1:15 p.m.: Jamie: “Doug came upstairs on his lunch break – I immediately gave him Hendrix, so I can pee in peace!”
3:12 p.m.: Jamie: “Gracie’s up and we’re playing with the black doll we gave her amid the Black Lives Matter movement. I’m embarrassed and ashamed to admit out-loud the extent of my white privilege. You hear about racism, but I hadn’t witnessed it the way I did with George Floyd and it shattered my heart. It broke me in a way I needed to be broken as a white woman in America. I thought, “I just had a white baby boy – how can I ensure my white privileged babies grow up loving black skin, white skin, coloured skin?” I looked around Gracie’s room and all her toys are white. We weren’t doing a good enough job teaching her black is beautiful. So, we bought her a black baby doll and books where black kids shine. I want the black community to know there’s one more privileged white woman who hears their cries and wants to help – and it starts with raising my kids to love theirs.”
6:04 p.m.: Jamie: “Had ravioli, sweet potatoes and spinach for dinner.”
7:07 p.m.: Jamie: “Hendrix and Gracie are in the bath. I think Gracie’s still weirded out by Hendrix. She’ll ask to hold him, then push him away. But if he cries, she’s like, “Mommy! Get his pacifier!” She’s going to be a great big sister.”
8:15 p.m.: Jamie: “Story time with Gracie and Hendrix before Gracie sleeps.”
9:45 p.m.: Jamie: “Hendrix is nursed, burped, changed. Seeing his little smiles (even though it’s probably gas!) and tiny feet kicking just makes me smile. The world’s madness right now, so having a newborn and Gracie takes my mind off the agony out there.”
10:45 p.m.: “Jamie: Mom and dad are watching TV. Hallelujah!”
Saturday, June 6
6:02 a.m.: Jamie: “Gracie woke up crying for daddy. Doug gave her milk and thought she’d fall back asleep … nope!”
6:20 a.m.: Doug: “Gracie wants to brush her teeth – she doesn’t like the milk and wants yogurt and banana. She had three spoonfuls, then said she’s done.”
7:42 a.m.: Jamie: “Fed Hendrix, put nipple cream on and asked Doug to take him downstairs to change.”
8:02 a.m.: Doug: “Started changing Hendrix and he immediately pooped in the new diaper before I strapped it on. Changed it again, but after putting diaper cream on, he peed in the new one. Put a third diaper on and within three minutes…major poop explosion!”
8:20 a.m.: Doug: “Set Hendrix in his swing and handed Gracie the tablet to watch cartoons, so I can nap on the couch.”
8:26 a.m.: Doug: “Gracie’s waking me every time I close my eyes. Going to watch cartoons with her, drink my coffee left in the fridge last night and start cleaning the kitchen.”
10:30 a.m.: Jamie: “Fed Hendrix and he’s fallen asleep. The silver lining of lockdown is getting to cuddle and spend more time with him than we could with Gracie. It’s just sad all our family can’t meet him yet.”
12:00 p.m.: Doug: “Put Gracie down for a nap.”
1:00 p.m.: Jamie: “Fed and burped Hendrix.”
3:00 p.m.: Jamie: “Doug just got back from the pool store, changed in the garage then sanitized his hands, face and car. We’re very diligent – I still order groceries online and wipe them down. I don’t want to risk Hendrix catching the virus or becoming separated from him.”
3:06 p.m.: Jamie: “Doug made delicious bean burritos, while I nursed Hendrix.”
4:10 p.m.: Jamie: “Gracie’s up!”
4:48 p.m.: Doug: “Taking our first family-of-four trip to look at backsplash for our kitchen.”
6:48 p.m.: Jamie: “Playing with Gracie on the swing set.”
7:08 p.m.: Jamie: “Dinner’s ready! Having pizza and pasta leftovers, sweet potato fries and chicken nuggets for Gracie.”
7:52 p.m.: Jamie: “Giving Gracie and Hendrix a bath before Doug takes Gracie to brush teeth, read a story and go to bed.”
9:00 p.m.: Jamie: “Watching murder shows with Doug. Dateline’s my jam, which sounds terrible, but I just get lost in it!”
11:00 p.m.: Doug: “Hendrix is fed, burped and changed. Spooning Jamie until she falls asleep!”
11:44 p.m.: Doug: “Cleaned up, now playing video games.”
2.32 a.m.: Doug: “Bedtime!”
“Couples Cams” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Lifetime Canada.