'Married at First Sight's Jamie & Doug on 'Couples Cam' & Sharing Their Birth Experience
Married at First Sight is taking the next step in their relationship with O.G. cast members Jamie Otis-Hehner and Doug Hehner as they get candid for Married at First Sight: Couples Cam premiering Wednesday, May 20.
The couple — who tied the knot during the reality series' first season — are one of nine returning couples filming themselves for Lifetime's six-episode spinoff offering fans a peek into the lives of the show's successful couples. Among the others joining them are Season 5's Ashley and Anthony; Season 6's Shawniece and Jephte; Season 8's Danielle and Bobby, Steph and AJ, and Kristine and Keith; Season 9's Beth and Jamie, and Greg and Deona; and Season 10's Austin and Jessica.
Already connected with fans via their social media presence, Jamie and Doug have been documenting their lives as parents to daughter Henley Grace and newborn son Hendrix on Instagram, YouTube and through their podcast Hot Marriage. Cool Parents. Ahead of the Married at First Sight: Couples Cam premiere, we caught up with Doug and Jamie who open up about the series, their thoughts on MAFS Season 10, their decision to go with a home birth and much more.
What can you tell us about Married at First Sight: Couples Cam? How did you get involved?
Doug: I think it was brought on as a reaction to the quarantine. We were approached to be part of a diary cam type show where they follow some of the couples that have stayed together. As the OGs, we're always willing to jump on anything Married at First Sight. And it's a perfect opportunity to connect with our fans and some of the newer fans that have been part of Married at First Sight's newer seasons.
Jamie: Yeah, I think that ultimately everyone is trying to survive this pandemic the best way that they know how, and we're all going through it in different ways. I know that, based on what we film now, the show is very raw and real, but it's also very positive and uplifting in the sense that we're all going through the same thing together. Maybe the way I cope through it is a little different than someone else, but either way, we're all going through it together. And from what we have filmed, that's the overall message that people will get from this and really be able to relate to.
How does it feel to be sharing your lives once again on Married at First Sight in a new way?
Doug: We were going to be filming everything on our own anyway, because we were so excited to document this process, especially for some of the fans that have been with us for so long, but we were definitely excited for the opportunity. I think we've always been open and honest and brought people into our lives. That even goes for our daughter Henley Grace. We had the whole series Jamie & Doug Plus One that was documenting us as new parents, and this is a great extension to the fans to see our second baby being born.
Jamie: It wasn't in the plan initially, and as a mom who doesn't have an awful lot of baby pics from when I was growing up, I always felt like I wish I could have looked back on that. And now my daughter is two and a half and I'm like, "Man, because we filmed Jamie & Doug Plus One, we don't have our own personal footage from when she was really small, because they're busy filming that. So Doug and I decided we genuinely want to start a YouTube channel to blog our life and be able to show our kids and look back.
We have the most loving and loyal and supportive [fans], and it's an amazing thing to be able to share your ups and downs, it's like a family. I get as many tips from these fans as I give out, they're amazing. We were going to film the home birth for our own YouTube channel for our son since I would love the chance to be able to relive it back and have those moments captured. When I watched Jamie & Doug Plus One, and the moment I got to hold my daughter, every time I cry. It's just an amazing thing to be able to relive. And we're really thankful that Married at First Sight has decided to pick this up, and excited to get to know the new couples a little bit more on a personal level.
Speaking of the other couples, is there anyone you've become close to from this season of Couples Cam?
Jamie: Yeah, just [the other day] I was on a call with the other wives who have children and we were just giving advice on how to keep our toddlers and our babies happy and entertained other than just sleeping. Nap time only lasts for so long. It's so nice. A wife that I've always really, really loved is Shawniece, because girlfriend keeps it real on and off camera. She is a hundred percent the same on and off camera. I just love that about her. She's not trying to be anything other than who she is. And I just also like the confidence that she has. Inevitably you get closer to some more than others.
Doug: It's like a big club that you're part of, because we're all brave weirdos that go through this crazy process. We've all overcome a lot of obstacles and changes in our lives, obviously, and we go through something that not everybody can say that they have gone through, but it is nice to learn a little bit more about people on a personal level. And Jamie and I have always been available to any of the casts of Married at First Sight — we have a lot of acquaintances. We're always available for people, and this is just the perfect opportunity to start to build better friendships with others.
Season 10 of MAFS just finished recently. What's your take on the controversial season?
Jamie: As the host of Unfiltered I'm supposed to play devil's advocate for the person who's not there and just stay neutral, but I have such a strong personal opinion that I use sometimes. For example, that whole friend thing [with Zach], I couldn't play Switzerland.
Doug: Yeah, it's something that people get thrown into, but you also decide to be part of the show. It's disrespectful to the show, to everybody that's involved with the show, and the Married at First Sight brand when you get into it without having the right intention. And I think that's one of the biggest issues for me and a lot of other people that I've spoken with.
Jamie: Mindy is, dare I say, my favorite wife of all time. She's the most optimistic, and loving, and kind, and forgiving soul I've ever met in my whole entire life. She genuinely is, I love her.
Doug: Yeah. We know that not everybody's going to stay together. And I've always said it from the beginning, that even if you get a divorce, it happened, but it's also a process where you get to learn about yourselves and what you actually want and who you actually want to be with. When you take these lessons and you really leverage the help of the experts that are part of the show, it's a personal self growth. It's a tremendous learning experience for you and for your future relationship.
Jamie: The Mindy's of the world just get it, and maybe even Derek or Meka. I think that both Katie and Michael probably went into it and then it just didn't work out for whatever reason, but Zach didn't seem like he went into it at all for marriage.
Doug: He checked out on the honeymoon.
Jamie: After shooting the last episode of Unfiltered together, I have give [Zach] props for at least taking accountability. It was way too late, and I told him that, because he put Mindy through a really difficult time. The very last episode of Unfiltered that we shot, he was definitely taking more accountability and not talking in circles. I could tell that he realized that he really hurt someone, and really messed up. And she wasn't really there for him to apologize to, but I could tell that he meant it in his heart ... So, I think I just want to give him a shout out for that, because Michael still doesn't even think he's lying.
You have your own YouTube channel. How will Couples Cam differ from the self-produced content you're already sharing with fans?
Doug: The fans that have been with us from Season 1 and have followed us through social media, even through our podcasts, Hot Marriage, Cool Parents, our YouTube channel, I think that one of the reasons why they appreciate and follow us is because we've been the same people since day one. We're fully transparent, we give everybody the good, the bad and the ugly. And even for this show, it's going to be no different.
Jamie: Yeah. I think that the thing about us being able to film our own show is that there's no producer right there. TV is hard and you have to make a storyline. No one's going to watch 24 hours of someone's life, so it's important [for us to get] involved a little bit. The great thing about this show that's really going to be different than any other reality TV is that it is going to be the realist of all reality TV in the sense that there is not a producer guiding it.
You mentioned that your son's birth will also be shown in the series. How did you come to that decision?
Doug: It was a really, really hard decision for Jamie and I to decide on a home birth rather than going to a hospital. So this is going to be as real as it gets as far as bringing you into the decision, bringing you into us meeting the midwife, trying to decide whether it's even safe to do it at home. All the challenges that come with the steps that we need to take care of before we could even have a home birth. So, I'm really excited to be able to share that with everybody.
Jamie: I'm a labor and delivery nurse, and I would never really recommend, per se, a home birth. I wouldn't oppose it either. I just didn't know anything about it. And I just always thought, why wouldn't we be at the hospital where there's medical equipment available and skilled professionals everywhere. And until this pandemic happened, and right as we're trying to decide how we're going to deliver this baby safely, MAFS calls us and says, "Oh, we want a home show." So we were very honest about all of that stuff in our life. If we're going to film we're just going to be honest and be ourselves. And so we did share, and it's actually very eye-opening, because a home birth is a great opportunity for someone who is a low risk pregnancy.
Married at First Sight: Couples Cam, Series Premiere, Wednesday, May 20, 8/7c, Lifetime