The Bachelor's Ashley & J.P.: "Mommy Guilt Is Real"
P: How are you hanging in there? New parents!
A: It's new, but you know what? He's been such a good baby that he's made it kind of easy for us. At first he was sleeping throughout the whole night, for the first three months, and now you know that's changed a little bit. We were really prepared going into it and we were excited about it. We've been working together a lot. You really learn to work with your husband when you have a kid.
J.P.: He really is just so sweet and good. I'm not just saying that because he's my kid.
P: Tell me about the first moment you held him.
J.P.: It's so cliché, but you can't describe it. It's just an overwhelming feeling of joy that you have brought this little life into this world and that you came to the hospital with really no responsibility and now you're leaving with all the responsibility in the world to keep this poor little thing alive.
P: I know you had a C-section—
A: He was breach. It felt to me the safest way to give birth.
P: This was your first pregnancy, so now having your first baby be a C-section, what would your advice be to other first-time moms who don't know what to expect?
A: My C-section experience was amazing. I heard horror stories and I was really nervous about it. I enjoyed every moment of it. I was awake. I was aware. J.P. was right next to me. I didn't feel anything. Recovery's tough. I'm not gonna lie about that. It's abdominal surgery so you have to suffer with all the things that go along with that. I'm ok to do it again if that's the safest way to do it again. We got to hold him. I got to hold the baby.
J.P.: She was like, "As soon as they are ready to take him away, do not leave his side." They tag you up so you're not losing your baby, but for almost 3 hours I'm just sitting at the nursery staring through a window.
A: I was like
don't take your eyes off of him. I don't want to have a switched baby at birth. Definitely not switched. Looks just like him.
P: He looks
just like you.
J.P.: Really? I don't see it.
A: THANK YOU!
A: It's a mini J.P.
J.P.: No. I think he's a mix. It's so hard to say something looks like you, someone looks like you so I don't see it. Up here [the eyes] I think he looks like you.
A: Ooook. As long as he gets my personality.
P: What has been the biggest surprise?
A: My biggest surprise was how difficult breastfeeding was and how getting into the routine was very emotional. It was very uncomfortable. As a mother, I just had to push through and work through the pain for weeks. I didn't know that. I thought breastfeeding was something that just
hey! happens natural, which it is. People don't talk about it...
J.P.: ...and everyone telling you different techniques and all contradicting each other.
A: Oh everybody's an expert, you know. Surprisingly, my sister helped me out. I was just like HELP ME. She physically [squeezed and] helped me.
P: Is there anything you wish someone had warned you about aside from breastfeeding?
A: Mommy guilt is real. If something's happening and you don't know what the right thing to do is for your child, there's just this guilt that you feel. The largest weight on my shoulder that I've ever felt in my entire life. Being a mom, you just feel so much responsibility to do the right thing for your child. The mom guilt is something I wish people told me about because it is real, baby. It is real.
A & J.P.: Yes.
J.P.: There was no debate.
A: But I'm traumatized from the bris.
J.P.: And I can understand.
A: That was not the part. It was the wine part. That part I had a really hard time with. The circumcision part, it had to be done.
J.P.: In any case we had given him a little sugar water and they drop in a little bit of wine, but it turns the whole bottle pink. I didn't put the cap on correctly, so when he gave the bottle to Ford it looked like he drank the whole thing. And she didn't know it was just a drop.
A: I thought the whole thing was wine.
J.P.: A whole six ounces of wine that he just downed and she kind of lost it a little bit [laughs].
A: I lost it. In front of everyone. I was struggling to breastfeed him at this point and I was like,
here I am trying to provide him with this breast milk and here you guys go give him 6 ounces of wine?!
P: Your wedding was a beautiful blend of traditions. How, if at all, that will carry through now that you're raising a child?
J.P.: I'm still gonna send him to Hebrew School, and he's still gonna get Bar-Mitzvah'd but he has a taste of multiple religions and we're gonna expose him to all of it. I'm a reform Jew, so we have certain traditions that I hold dear to me that I want to pass along to him, so we will continue that.
You're both very much in the public eye as we sit. Are you concerned at all about Fordham growing up in that public eye? Do you think it will fade?
A: It already has. We live a fairly normal life.
JP: I agree. I think we fly under the radar a little bit. We're not an Angelina and Brad type.
A: What? Speak for yourself.
P: Why do you think "The Bachelor" worked for you guys?
A: I think it's who we are. I think a lot of people who go on the show are looking for something else, whether it's fame or a stepping stone to doing something else. We're pretty normal. We wanted to go back to our normal lives. We just happened to like each other and fell in love and came back to reality and our relationship just worked and we fell deeper in love.
J.P.: It's a huge change after the show is over when all the glitz and glam is gone and you're back to normal life and you've got each other and now it's like ok...
A: You have to really like that person.
P: I see on Twitter you guys are watching the show. Do you think that there are clues in seasons that reveal they make it work?
A: Welcome to our world. I do think you can maybe tell who they end up with.
J.P.: Wait. Before you do this, are you gonna give her a spoiler because you know who it is?
A: No, no. In general, the show wants the relationship to work out, so I think for the most part they're going to make the two people that end up together, they're gonna show some of the romantic moments, and they're going to cover up some of the things that could harm the relationship so it doesn't break them up.
J.P.: So you're saying if we ever did have a bad moment, it wouldn't show it because I ended up with you.
Or if she had some amazing moment—
A: ...with Ben or somebody...
J.P.: Did you??
P: Well as you grow as parents how will you stay
solid husband and wife?
A: We have a great relationship, but right now we are both all about Ford. Like Valentine's Day, we didn't even know it was coming up. Once the novelty wears off, we do need to kind of have some date nights and just keep things fresh.
J.P.: We're enjoying what we're doing. We want to stay home with him. But how will we keep ourselves...?
A: Go to the gym? Try and stay sexy?
J.P.: We will need regular date night.
A: I like our day-to-day, I like our simple life. We live a very simple life and we don't have to go out and go on crazy vacations. We've done all of that. Now we just enjoy the day-to-day life. That's what we do best. That's how we keep it fresh.
- Read more about Ashley and J.P.: How they decided on a baby name
Ruthie Fierberg is an editorial assistant at Parents
. Though she does not have children of her own, she's practically been raising kids since her first babysitting job at age 11. She is our resident theater aficionado and can be found constantly running around New York City to find the best new show, the most awesome dance party, or the hottest Bikram yoga studio. Follow her on on Twitter @RuthiesATrain.
Photograph: J.P., Ashley, and Fordham Rosenbaum / Courtesy of The Rosenbaums