90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After? star Paola Mayfield gave birth on Sunday night's new episode.
Now, Pao and Russ are opening up about the experience, their controversial choices, and their experiences as parents.
They also drop hints about when fans can expect to see baby #2.
Now that Paola Mayfield has given birth on 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?, she is free to discuss the childbirth.
In a new interview with Us Weekly, she and Russ did just that.
"I wanted to have more control about my son," Paola explains about why she elected for an at-home birth, like a pet cat.
She adds: "I wanted to be able to see everything that was happening with him,"
"And," Pao continues. "I know that at the hospital, they normally take the baby away.”
I hope that someone explained to her that it's not, like, permanent. It's so that you can sleep for a little while.
“So when I was talking with the midwife," Paola continues. "She told me that I’m going to be there, he’s going to be on my chest."
Yep, that's where newborns go. That's often the case in hospitals, too.
"And," she shares. "I did my investigation and all about the placenta …"
Paola read about the placenta "and how to keep the baby connected to the placenta for almost two hours."
We're not sure what another couple of hours of placenta nourishment are meant to accomplish after nine months of it.
But hey, at least she didn't fry and eat it.
"It’s just a long process and so natural," Paola says of the birth.
"That I was like, ‘I want to do it this way. I don’t want to go to the hospital and do it. They don’t do it that way,’" she explains.
"And," she expresses. "I didn’t want to separate from my son for any minute."
It sounds like Pao and castmate Debbie Johnson are on the same wavelength.
It's hard to tell how much is just Paola being the youngest of six and a first-time mom and how much is anxiety after her previous miscarriage.
Russ speaks of his experience during Pao's hours of labor.
"I allowed myself to relax and I fell asleep," a couple of times, Russ says.
"And then," he continues. "As soon as she kicked into her contractions again, I just snapped back awake."
That kind of sleep deprivation is great preparation for what it's like to be a new parent!
Paola addresses how she has responded to mom-shaming and hate as a new parent.
"I’m like, ‘Oh, whatever.’ I just don’t care,” she expresses.
Paola continues: “I think I just want to do what I think is best.”
Russ has a similar perspective.
“We’re the only ones that know Axel," Russ says. "We know the best way to raise our son."
The problem with those statements is that good parents and bad parents say them, but we promise that parent-shaming rarely works.
Paola tries to explain her reasoning for opting for a midwife, like a peasant in a period piece, instead of a doctor.
Paola says that she "didn’t have a connection with the doctor."
(I cannot imagine wanting anything from a doctor except for competence and professionalism, but ... it's Paola's life)
So instead of having an epidural, Paola experienced 13 hours of excruciating labor.
"I pushed five contractions," she shares. "And he was finally out,”
“Five really painful contractions," she adds.
Eventually, Paola gave birth -- on New Year's Day, just 22 minutes into 2019.
"At midnight, we hear fireworks, and we said, ‘Happy New Year,’ to each other," Russ says.
Meanwhile, Paola recalls not being especially excited about the holiday. You know, because of the horrific pain of childbirth.
The couple also reveals that they kept baby Axel's name a secret from even close friends and family before the birth.
"Russ was the one who actually chose," Pao reveals.
Axel is adorable, but what is this now-almost-6-month-old like?
According to the Mayfields, Axel is active, funny, grumpy.
"He’s got Mama’s attitude," Russ comments.
Pao then attributes Axel's adorable looks to Russ.
Paola reveals that she has been "working on” fitness and her post-baby body, but only when she has time.
Her first priority is being a mom, after all.
“It’s more like a revenge body or something," Pao expresses.
She explains: "because I got so many people hating on me and calling me names."
As critical as many fans may be of her alarming vaccine hesitancy, name-calling doesn't solve anything.
“I want to do it in a way that I’m not starving myself," Paola says of her fitness journey. "I’m not affecting my baby's milk."
"We could have a girl but not anytime soon,” Paola says when asked about having more children.
Russ suggests: “I say let’s get it over with."
"I’m all about him having a sibling," he says. "And I agree this is a lot of hard work, especially for mom."
"So why not package it up in a bundle rather than spreading it out?" he asks.
Spoken like a first-time parent.
"Pao is definitely more overprotective,” Russ says, referring to their parenting styles.
“I’m more relaxed on a lot of things," he admits. "And there’s definitely compromise and there’s definitely heated discussions."
Russ says that he and Paola "definitely need to do some more us time."
This from the guy who wants to rush right in and have baby #2?
Buddy, you're not getting much "me" time until the 2030s as it is.