Why RHOP's Dr. Wendy Osefo Was Upset That Ashley Darby Brought Her Baby Boy on Cast Trip
In a teaser for an upcoming episode, the women are seen getting into it after Darby, 32, shows up to Monique Samuels' lake house with little Dean in her arms. When the women ask why her husband Michael Darby couldn't take care of their son while she was away, Darby explains that she didn't want to leave him.
"Ashley, come on now," Osefo, who joined the cast this season, tells her, prompting Robyn Dixon and Gizelle Bryant to speak out in Darby's defense. "She's a new mom. Look, this is your third, don't judge," Dixon tells Osefo, who welcomed baby daughter Kamrynn in July of last year. Osefo, 36, and her husband Edward Osefo also share sons Karter, 7, and son Kruz, 5.
Of Dixon's comment, Osefo tells PEOPLE: "I think that is often a big misconception for people. Yes, being a first-time mom is hard, but being a mom in general is super difficult."
Osefo says it wasn't that she was necessarily personally upset with Darby for bringing her son — rather, she would have liked if she were "extended the same courtesy."
"I was just missing my baby," Osefo says. "If I had received the same invitation to bring my baby [on the trip] I definitely would have."
"Ashley and I, our babies are two weeks apart. Her son is actually older than my daughter. We were both exclusively breastfeeding, I'm still breastfeeding my baby and in order for me to have the ability to go on that trip for three days, I was up four days prior, around the clock, pumping so my baby would have enough milk for me to go away," Osefo explains.
"I was coming from a place where I was simply saying, 'Wait, we all made sacrifices to be here and if I knew I didn't need to make that sacrifice and I could have just brought my baby, I would have done that.' I just wish I was extended the same courtesy."
Osefo explains that the girls trip was also her first time ever leaving her baby girl — and it was "heart-wrenching."
"It's so hard. The first scene you see me with Candiace, that was four weeks after I had Kamrynn. Then I did this show literally two months after having her. And for me, part of the reason that confrontation happened with Ashley and I is [because] that was my first time ever leaving my daughter," Osefo says.
"There's fear that no one tells you lingers when you have a NICU baby. A lot of times the things that happen to them are at night, so it was heart-wrenching to leave her and then, to see another baby there, I was like: 'Oh my God, why didn't I bring her?' "
Little Kamrynn's first few days in the world were especially difficult for Osefo, whose daughter arrived prematurely.
"Kamrynn was born at 34 weeks and because of the hospital where I had her, any baby born before 35 weeks is automatically put in the NICU," Osefo tells PEOPLE.
"No one goes into the hospital not expecting to leave the hospital with their baby and that was the position I was in. She came early and I thank God nothing was wrong with her, but we were in the hospital for nine days," the mother of three explains.
Osefo says she never left her baby's side "even after I was discharged."
"They said, 'Go home. Your baby stays here' and I said, 'No.' I forced them to find me a room in the hospital — it didn't have a bathroom or anything and I didn't need those amenities. It was like a closet with a bed, and I stayed there every single day because my baby was in that hospital. For anybody who has ever been in the NICU, it’s the worst experience. You hear machines going off, you see babies around your baby coding, you hear families crying. Again, I thank God that Kam was healthy and she was just born early, but there were families that had been there for months. The NICU experience is something that a lot of people don’t talk about. Everyone is waiting for your baby to come home and here you are in the hospital and it’s just so sad and heartbreaking."
As for how Osefo balances being on the show as well as being a mom, a professor at John Hopkins, and a political commentator, she tells PEOPLE: "This is Wendy's life."
"It has been the most chaotic time of my life. The fall semester just started for my students and I'm teaching three classes. I'm juggling teaching three classes and being present for this show, but that is the story of my life. I always have multiple projects going on at the same time and I just try my best. It has been crazy to say the least, but this is Wendy's life."
She's also proud that she gets to represent Black women and showcase her Nigerian heritage on television.
"I think it’s important for me to show that Black women come in different ways and we represent different industries. All the women have a segment they represent and when I come on the show, I’m representing the segment of Black women who may be professors, who may have PHDs. I am excited to show a different representation of what a Black woman can be in society. Growing up, I never saw that, so I think it’s important to show that on TV," Osefo shares.
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"I'm excited for the viewers to see some pieces of my culture. This season, I do a Sip and See as well but its rooted in Nigerian tradition. You get to see our customs and attire and just the way we celebrate the birth of a new child in our culture. I am proudly Nigerian and I’m so excited for the viewers to see a glimpse of my culture," Osefo says.
Osefo also dishes on this season's drama, sharing her thoughts on the tension between Samuels and Candiace Dillard.
As viewers recall, Samuels, 36, and Dillard, 33, are at odds with each other after Samuels found out Dillard had become close with Charrisse Jackson Jordan. Samuels claimed on the show that Jackson Jordan had been spreading rumors about her family; and according to Bryant, it's alleged that Samuels was having an inappropriate relationship with her fitness trainer. (Samuels has since denied the affair and Jackson Jordan denied spreading the rumors.)
"The Monique and Charisse situation is something I’m actually finding out as I’m watching the show. I feel like all the ladies knew about it, but since I never knew Charisse, that was not a conversation I was privy to. I would love, honestly, if Charisse, Monique and Candiace sat down and had a conversation. I think that’s what needs to happen. Those three women are the source, so it would be good to see where all of this is coming from," Osefo says.
As to which Housewife she's surprisingly clicked with in her inaugural season, Osefo says that Bryant has warmly embraced her.
"I did not know how Gizelle would receive me," Osefo says. "She's a strong personality and is beautiful and I was like I don't know how she's going to receive me."
"But, she has been so warm to me, even the whole notion of Gizelle-monster when Candiace said that, she's never shown me that side at all. She is really amazing, so hats off to Gizelle for being a good person. She's also my sorority sister, but I really do like her and I have a lot of respect for her," Osefo adds.
The Real Housewives of Potomac airs Sundays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.
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