Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner appeared in the very first season of Married at First Sight in 2014. There, they met each other down the aisle for the first time and tied the knot without ever having seen each other before.
So what are the odds that their union would actually turn into a real love story? In the case of Jamie and Doug, the unlikely became reality. This is the wonderful story of the two.
Love sure can be a tricky thing. Sometimes, things just makes a relationship impossible, but in the end love can really conquer all.
It’s simply impossible to explain what it feels like to be in love. It’s rather just one of those magical things that doesn’t have one simple explanation or answer; we all have different experiences.
Married at First Sight
Love can be so many things, and sometimes, love can appear in the most strange or unexpected places. If anyone can explain how love can develop in the strangest of ways, it’s the people starring on reality television show Married at First Sight.
In order to fall in love with someone, you have to know the person, at least to a certain extent. After all, marrying someone is a step to celebrate the extraordinary love present between two people.
Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner
Well, for the people on Married at First Sight, it’s a bit different. The reality television series has aired for over 15 seasons, with the concept since spreading across the world. These brave and open-minded singles meet their new spouse for the first time at the altar, and then entering a legally-binding marriage.
The concept is truly crazy and wholly unique. Personally, I love to see it from many different perspectives. First, of course, it’s lovely seeing two people getting to know each other and *hopefully* falling in love for real.
Second, it’s very interesting seeing how people react upon tying themselves to each other at first sight and later on trying to start a life together.
Do they find their spouse attractive? And what personality traits do they share or not share? There are so many questions – but the show is amazing to watch.
Of course, some of the people who appear on the show don’t end up together. But one pair that did was Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner, who starred in the first season of the show, which aired in 2014.
Through the years, people have been able to follow their romantic journey, from the first tough weeks to them falling in love and eventually even having a family.
But the road hasn’t been easy for either of them, with the couple tragically experiencing a miscarriage, as well as contending with hateful comments from others.
So what are they up to today? Well, just a couple of weeks ago, the Otis Hehner family delivered some wonderful family news.
This is their story!
It wasn’t Otis’s first time on television when she saw her future husband, whom she’d never met before.
Jamie & Doug’s love story
In fact, it wasn’t certain that she was going to be featured on Married at First Sight at all in the first place.
Prior to appearing on the reality television show, she’d been on season 16 of The Bachelor. She didn’t make it all the way, but since she’d been on The Bachelor, the experts, including the show’s resident sex educator, Dr Logan Levkoff, were reluctant to choose her.
“She came in the room to meet with me and I was very cynical going into it, and I fell madly in love with her,” Dr. Levkoff told People of their first encounter.
“I looked at the rest of the team and we all sort of had the same reaction. We really believed she wanted to find love. And if you think about the journey she’s been on to find love, you have to really want it to have done all those things.”
She was chosen, and it changed her life.
Prior to the show choosing the people featured, four experts — sexologist, Logan Levkoff, MD; spiritualist, Greg Epstein; psychologist, Joseph Cilona, MD; and sociologist, Pepper Schwartz, MD — created what they believed were “perfect couples”.
Wanted something different
There were several interviews to go through, and for Otis, it sure was special.
“It wasn’t the expert’s level of professionalism or education that made me feel I could trust them,” Jamie Otis told The Knot.
“It was the honest conversations we had — especially sociologist Dr. Pepper Schwartz, who I instantly felt a connection with. When she came to my home we just sat down and talked about everything in life. She promised me they weren’t just throwing people together for the show’s sake. The experts weren’t certain they would be able to find me — or anyone — a match. So when they called and told me they found someone for me, I was in complete shock!”
To tie the knot with someone you’ve never met before is what you could call an extreme type of dating. But for Jamie, it was an exciting way to do things. She grew up without a father, and had never really envisioned a traditional wedding.
“I didn’t have a father growing up, so I always knew I’d have to find someone else to walk me down the aisle”, she explained.
“My mom is difficult to reach and I wasn’t sure she would even be able to make my wedding. That being said, nothing about my life is traditional, so why worry about having a traditional wedding?”
Some of Jamie’s friends didn’t like the idea of her marrying a complete stranger. But she was definitely up for the challenge.
Married at First Sight
Walking down the aisle alongside her little brother at the Westin Grand Central Hotel – with her three sisters serving as bridesmaids – she met her future husband Doug Hehner for the first time.
But the reaction wasn’t one she wanted. Jamie simply didn’t feel the chemistry between the two of them at all; she just wasn’t attracted to him.
“Initially, the whole thing was very awkward,” she recalled. “I was in absolute shock for the entire reception. I would try to sneak into the bathroom to pull myself together, but I’d always end up running into a group of my husband’s guests.”
Even though Jamie Otis in shock, she was now married to Doug Hehner. The couple started their journey together, and as already mentioned, it can take a little while to fall in love with someone.
In the case of Jamie and Doug however, you could say it was a love home run.
Renewed their vows
Jamie and Doug fell deeply in love, to everyone’s great joy. A year after Married at First Sight, the couple were featured on the spin-off titled The First Year. Viewers got to see the wonderful moment when they celebrated their one-year anniversary.
In fact, they got married again in a rather more intimate ceremony. Jamie surprised her husband by giving him a letter from the security office saying, ‘Jamie Nicole Hehner.” She’d changed her legal name.
“For some reason we both took a leap of faith and we responded to a random phone call,” Doug told Jamie. “If that phone call came a month or two earlier or a month or two later, we probably wouldn’t be here.”
“Our journey began a year ago when we said ‘I do’ as strangers at the altar,” Jamie told her husband, reading her vows. “What I didn’t know then was that I just met the most amazing, kind, patient and handsome man.”
Just months following the couple renewing their vows, Jamie and Doug shared the heartwarming news that they were expecting their first child.
Tragic loss of son
However, just weeks later, they opened up about the loss of their son.
“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 … and I thanked him for this sweet, sweet gift he gave us,” Jamie wrote in a blog post, according to People.
It sure was a difficult moment, but the couple showed great strength in moving on. And, just six months later, Jamie and Doug once again shared news that they were expecting a baby.
“This news couldn’t have come on a better day. I was due to have our sweet first born son, Johnathan, on December 20th,” Jamie wrote. “The feeling of mourning our loss and being excited for this new miracle was all consuming.”
She added: “I’d be lying if I didn’t add that we are also a bit fearful of losing our sweet little peanut, but we are choosing happiness and excitement over fear,”
This time, the couple were blessed with a little baby girl. For Jamie, the relationship with her beloved daughter was going to be extra special.
In her memoir, Wifey 101, she wrote about the mother-daughter relationship she experienced with her own mother – namely that she didn’t really have one.
“I secretly hoped to be a mommy to a little girl and to have a little mini me.”
Jamie Otis & Doug Hehner – family
On August 22, 2017, the couple welcomed daughter Henley Grace. They were all doing great following the birth.
So why Henley? Well, it wasn’t a celebration of musical legend Don Henley.
“When Doug and I first got married — we were married at first sight, so we didn’t obviously know each other very well — and the first morning, we wake up and he goes, ‘You’re Jamie Nicole Otis, and I’m ‘Douglas Edward Henley?'” Jamie explained.
In May of 2020, baby boy Hendrix was born. Six years after the couple appeared on Married at First Sight, they had now created a wonderful family.
“He’s HERE!” Otis wrote in a Instagram post, “I want to thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for all the prayers, positive vibes, & sticky baby dust you sent me throughout my pregnancy with Hendrix. I truly have the best frans!”.
She continued: “All that positive energy sprinkled out into the universe WORKED! He’s snuggling on my chest perfectly calm & content as I write this caption to you!”
A challenging time
The Otis Hehner family are doing great, and we’re so happy to see their healthy little baby boy, as well as their now four-year-old daughter, Henley Grace.
However, the time following the birth of their second son has been challenging for both Jamie and Doug.
“This is the day our life & marriage changed in many ways for the better, but our sexual intimacy went straight out the window,” Jamie wrote in October 8. “Bleeding during sex while pregnant is 100% natural. I know this as a labor and delivery nurse. Yet, after we had sex and I saw blood I panicked.”
Jamie Otis went on to say that she was careful with sharing these types of fears publicly due to the negative energy. On their podcast Hot Marriage, Cool Parents, the couple explained that they haven’t had sex since the birth of son Hendrix.
“Someone said, ‘Jamie, you don’t put out,’ and I wanna be like, ‘Excuse me, girlfriend. First of all, I had a 9-pound, 4-ounce, baby tear me to shreds downstairs and then at my six-week appointment, I had to have a colposcopy, so I couldn’t have sex again for two weeks. And then I had the [loop electrosurgical excision] procedure and couldn’t have sex again for two weeks. I don’t feel like having sex, because I’m frickin’ depressed! I don’t feel sexy, I don’t feel hot; I’m anxious, I’m insecure,'” Otis said, as quoted by US Magazine.
She added: “So you’re right, I don’t put out. And it’s not that I don’t love my husband immensely and it’s not that I’m not attracted to my husband — it’s that I’m not attracted to myself and that I’m depressed.”
A wonderful family
In the middle of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner have had plenty on their hands. They are now a loving family of four … just imagine everything came from the two meeting at the altar for the first time!
Just a couple of days ago, as Jamie continues to fight her depression, she shared some new wonderful family photos, including a picture of the whole family at Disneyland. It seems like they are enjoying life to its fullest.
“I am going to be the parent I needed when I was a little girl,” Jamie wrote. “We went to Disney with my friend Paige & her kiddos today! (I met her when I was on the bachelor years ago). It was hands down one of the best days of my life. Looking at life through the lens of my children’s eyes makes everything so much more magical!
Love can appear when you least expect it, and that is really what’s so wonderful about it.
And if you’d ever doubt that true love actually exists, just looks at Jamie Otis and Doug Hehner from Married at First Sight and you’ll have the answer. We are so happy for them and wish them all the best in the future!
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