The Bachelorette alum Ashley Hebert and hubby J.P. Rosenbaum welcomed their first child, son Fordham Rhys, on September 30th. The reality star mama recently worked with nursery designer Vanessa Antonelli, proprietor of NessaLee Baby, to create the perfect “travel-themed rustic/modern nursery” for her bundle of joy.
Celebrity Baby Scoop catches up with Ashley about the nursery, the story behind her son’s name, and why pregnancy was “refreshing” for her. She goes on to reveal the toughest part of postpartum recovery and how “being a new mom has brought a lot of peace” to her life.
CBS: Tell us about the nursery. Who did you work with to help design the nursery? How did you choose colors and theme? What elements did you use to tell Fordham’s story?
AH: “I worked with Vanessa Antonelli of Nessalee Baby for our nursery. I went into our first meeting not really knowing what I wanted, but, after seeing some of her ideas, we decided on a travel-themed rustic/modern nursery. After we decided on the theme, Vanessa and I went back and forth with ideas for the individual pieces in the room, but, overall, Vanessa selected many of the colors. She has much more experience with this, so I knew I was in good hands!
I couldn’t decide if I wanted a manly rustic room or a clean modern look, so we decided to mix the two together! I could not be more happy with the way the room turned out. It’s a room that Ford can really grow into, and we’ve gotten SO many compliments from people that come visit. Even J.P. loves it, and he is a tough sell. My favorite part of the room is the Stikwood wall. It adds such a cool feel and look to the room and was easy to put up! The BarnLight Electric Chandelier is my other favorite part of the room. These two items make the room feel so rustic and manly for our little guy!”
CBS: Can you tell us how you chose his name? Is there a special meaning behind the name or a family connection?
AH: “I knew I wanted a unique name for our baby, a name that very few people had. J.P. and I always looked at signs while driving and tried to make baby names from them. Then we were driving through New York and I saw a sign for Fordham University. I completely fell in love with the name Fordham (Ford for short), because it is a power name. I love it. It took me about 9 months to convince J.P. that he loved it too!” [laughs]
CBS: What did you enjoy most about being pregnant? What was the hardest part about the pregnancy for you? Do you think you’ll have more kids?
AH: “Pregnancy allowed me to focus on taking care of myself and my needs. I’ve never been a big eater or napper, but when I was pregnant, I really listened to what my body needed and it was refreshing. I ate whatever my body was craving and napped whenever I needed to. It was nice to focus in on taking care of mommy and baby. The most difficult part of pregnancy was not being able to lift heavy items and be self-sufficient. I hate asking people to do things for me, so it was tough to always need help doing things towards the end of my pregnancy. I had such a beautiful pregnancy and delivery, that we will definitely have more kids!”
CBS: Besides sleepless nights, what has been the toughest part of postpartum recovery for you? How are you feeling now?
AH: “Knock on wood, our baby loves to sleep. We haven’t really had any sleepless nights yet! The most difficult part of recovery was starting to breastfeed. It was so emotional and physically painful! There were a few days after surgery where every part of my body hurt. I could barely walk or move without being in pain, and all you want to do is care for your new baby. Luckily, I had J.P. and my family there to help. Now that I’m fully recovered, I am feeling great and really enjoying being a mommy!”
CBS: How has being a new mom changed you? How has your relationship with J.P. changed since becoming parents? Is he a hands on daddy who helps out with diaper changes and 3am feedings?
AH: “Being a new mom has brought a lot of peace to my life. Its so nice to not make life plans and just focus on caring for Ford. He is the best little baby and we are so grateful that he came into our life! J.P. and I feel more like a team now than ever before. With the birth of Ford, a whole new dimension of love was created between us. During my recovery, J.P. changed EVERY diaper! Now, I try to do the 3 a.m. feeds and changes myself, but J.P. usually ends up helping me in some way!”
CBS: J.P. had to go back to work already, how hard was it for him to leave Fordham and you at home? Will you stay at home and enjoy being a mom for a while, or do you have plans to return to work?
AH: “J.P. went back to work rather quickly, but he works about 5 minutes from our home and it feels like he is close. My mother was also here to help for a couple of weeks. I couldn’t have done it without her. I plan on staying home for a few months before returning to work, as I really want to enjoy as many of Ford’s firsts as possible.”
Vanessa Antonelli, experienced celebrity nursery designer and premier modern baby gear expert, also shared what it was like to work with Ashley on her nursery:
“When I initially met with Ashley, she told me she wanted the baby’s room to be neutral colors and pointed out everything she liked in my showroom. Her style ranged from very modern, to some more traditional pieces. At first I laughed and thought, ‘Oh boy, we have our work cut out for us.’ Then she mentioned she liked the idea of a subtle travel theme and suddenly a fusion of everything started coming together in my head.
You’ll see her crib is actually incredibly modern, but the rustic driftwood wall tones it down. The color palette is very soothing! All around the room are tiny travel-related pieces, ranging from the clocks on the the walls showcasing important places in J.P. and Ashley’s relationship to the map behind the dresser and little knickknacks like airplanes, boats, and even a custom picture of the world. They were such a fun, excited and sweet couple to work with. I hope they have more kids so we can do this again!”
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