It’s a girl for Married at First Sight stars Jamie and Doug Hehner! According to People magazine, the reality show couple welcomed a daughter near their home in New Jersey this morning, and gave her a super-sweet name: Henley Grace.
“Mommy and baby are doing well and Daddy is in pure bliss,” a rep told People early Tuesday, adding that little Henley was born at 5:24 AM and weighed in at 8 lbs., 2 oz.
The reality show couple first shared the happy news of their pregnancy back in January, with an Instagram post that racked up over 63K likes for a touching reason: Henley is the couple’s rainbow baby, born a year after Otis and Hehner suffered the devastating loss of their baby Jonathan Edward, at just 4 months gestation.
Otis and Hehner — who first met and married when they were paired up on the Lifetime reality show, Married at First Sight in 2014 — first shared the news of their loss with fans on Instagram last October, in honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Their candid post resonated with thousands, not just for Otis’ touching words, but also for the heartbreaking image she shared of her holding baby Jonathan in his last moments.
“I realize there is a great stigma associated with sharing photos of your baby who was born too early and has already gone to heaven,” Otis wrote at the time, “so I want to say sorry if this offends you. However, if there’s one thing my husband has taught me it’s this: ‘Don’t live life trying NOT to offend anyone and trying to please everyone.’ I hope by me sharing my sweet boy, Johnny (as Doug and I call him), you’ll realize that he’s a harmless, helpless baby who deserves to be remembered, not hidden away because his image may offend someone. And if you’ve lost your baby early, please know that you’re not alone.”
In the last year, it seems the couple has done their best to heal, and are continuing to honor baby Johnny however they can, while still celebrating the joy of Henley’s arrival. In their pregnancy announcement photo back in January, the couple could be seen happily surrounded by rainbow balloons, while Hehner held up a chalkboard sign reading: “Hand picked for Earth by my brother in Heaven.”
In a blog post written just a few weeks later, Otis opened up about the moment she learned she was pregnant with Henley — and shares that her son was the first person she thought of.
“As I sat there on the toilet staring at a plastic device I had just peed on [I] whispered up to our little Johnny how much I love him and will always love him,” she wrote, “and I thanked him for this sweet, sweet gift he gave us.”
Speaking with Us Weekly earlier this month, Otis also shared that they’re keeping Johnny’s memory alive in Henley’s nursery, too.
“My sister’s mother in law made me these beautiful, golden angel wings as a little something to have in Henley’s room as a sign that her big brother is always with her watching over her and protecting her,” Otis shared. “They will be hanging on the wall next to her crib.”
While Otis admits it’s been difficult opening up about her loss, sharing her story is what’s ultimately helped her cope.
“The best thing I did for myself was talk about my loss,” she shared in her blog. “I felt like I could validate my sweet, innocent son’s life in this way. I didn’t want him to just be forgotten — or worse — never even known about as if he never existed.”
Congrats to the happy new parents — and here’s wishing all the best for baby Henley!