Jamie Otis Recalls the Moment She Delivered Son at 17 Weeks Pregnant: 'He Was Perfectly Formed'
On the newest episode of their Hot Marriage Cool Parents podcast, out Wednesday, the Married at First Sight alums opened up about the barrage of emotions surrounding the 2016 loss of their first child: son Johnathan Edward, whom they lost when Otis, 32, was four months pregnant.
“I’m a labor and delivery nurse, so I’ve envisioned the day of having my baby more than I ever envisioned ever getting married or anything, really,” said Otis, who shares 16-month-old daughter Henley Grace with Hehner and, since Gracie turned 1, has endured both a chemical pregnancy as well as a miscarriage.
“I never, in my wildest dreams, would’ve envisioned that I would be delivering a 17-week-old baby who went immediately to be in heaven,” she revealed. “Not only did he go to heaven, but when we looked at him, he was perfectly formed — he had all 10 fingers, all 10 toes. He had a little button nose.”
“He was a perfectly formed baby who just couldn’t look at us, who couldn’t cry to let us know that he needed us. He couldn’t communicate to us and we couldn’t protect him.”
Hehner, 35, recalls the aftermath that included a period of questioning, when the couple would “look for reasons of why it happened” while they were grieving.
“Even when the doctors tell you that it’s more common or it’s kind of a fluke, you don’t necessarily want to believe that,” he said. “You want to find a reason. You want to at least make sure that this wouldn’t happen again or shouldn’t happen again.”
“You realize that there’s just a lot of things that are out of your control and as much as you want things to go right, you start to prepare for all situations,” Hehner explained. “It was such a dramatic turn from pregnancy and happiness.”
Despite the tragic circumstances, Otis considers the experience a “mixed blessing” due to the outpouring of support she and Hehner received following the loss of their son.
“At first it was just nothing but excruciating, but then when I would have women reach out to me and share their stories … it just made me feel so much less alone and it made me feel less at fault,” she said. “I did feel at fault — even if you know in your head that, ‘No, you should not feel at fault, you did nothing wrong,’ you still wonder, ‘Did I do something wrong? Could I have done something differently?’ “
“It just felt so good to hear other women come to me and say, ‘Hey, listen, this happened to me too.’ And honestly, the best thing that I could have ever heard was a story about rainbow babies,” Otis continued. “That gave me so much hope and I was like, ‘Why do us women not share our stories with each other?’ “
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This article originally appeared on People.com