Jamie Otis Explains Her Decision to Get Pregnant So Soon After Losing Son: 'I Felt Very Empty'
During a visit to PEOPLE Now on Wednesday, Jamie Otis explains why she wanted to get pregnant so soon after the loss of her son
During a visit to PEOPLE Now on Wednesday, Otis explained why she and Hehner decided to try again so soon after their loss.
“Immediately, I felt very empty,” Otis says. “It was just strange. One morning I wake up and the baby’s just not there anymore. For me, I wanted it back immediately. So we started trying immediately.”
Emptiness was a feeling that plagued Otis when she first lost Jonathan. “I think ultimately, I felt very lonely,” she explains. “And I shouldn’t have because I had an amazing family — my husband’s so supportive. But I felt so alone.”
She used those feelings and poured them into her blog, where she quickly learned that so many other mothers were struggling with the same thing yet keeping it to themselves.
“You can’t talk about this,” Otis says. “It’s so uncomfortable to bring up, even if it’s your friend. It’s very awkward — it’s a tense moment to talk about! So I would write and I would blog and these women from all over would say, ‘Oh I never had the chance to talk about my loss before because it’s so uncomfortable.’ ”
“I just wanted to reach out on their behalf — to speak on their behalf. This should be something we’re allowed to talk about. Why do women have to hold this in and not talk about this?” she adds.
It’s part of the reason she encourages so many moms to talk about their pregnancy as soon as they learn their pregnant, rather than waiting until the traditional mark.
“To these women who don’t announce it until 12-13 weeks … if they suffer a loss, it’s so lonely,” she says. “I’ve heard of women having to go to work and hurry up and hide their tears because no one knows they just lost their baby. Can you imagine? I felt fortunate because I had such an outpouring of love and support.”
Much of that love and support was coming from Hehner, who admits that he struggled in the beginning.
“I wasn’t prepared for what was going to happen — even when we went to the hospital, knowing we had to terminate,” he tells PEOPLE Now. “You don’t know how to react. You don’t know what’s happening.”
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But he says that the outpouring of kindness he and his wife felt from their family actually gave them the strength to try again.
“You have to remember that family is everything and you’re not alone going through anything,” he says. “It’s okay to just lean on somebody else and to just become a family — become a unit. The spirits were high still and Jamie and I went right back at it. I’m always up for practicing to have babies. Right back in!”
And though Hehner says the threat of another loss is “always in the back of your head,” he’s “just so happy” for their new baby.
“You just can’t imagine the emotion,” he says. “It’s joy, it’s happiness, it’s sadness … I’m happy with how it happened the way it did. I think we’re stronger for it.”
Otis agrees. While she and Hehner’s decision to try again came quickly, the mom-to-be says she understands that not every couple may be ready to start the journey over again.
“I think for some women, it takes longer for them, ” she says. “Everyone handles it differently.”