'Bachelor' Baby Boom! 1st Time Moms From Franchise Gush About Parenthood

From roses to rattles! Following their time in the Bachelor franchise, Ashley Iaconetti and Raven Gates join several other first-time mothers who are honest about their experiences.

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“It is so much harder and more work that I ever thought!” Iaconetti, 34, exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now. “But the payoff is so rewarding. I also have such a renewed sense of motivation. Taking care of another person really pushes you to work harder.”

The Bachelor in Paradise alum praises her 5-month-old son Dawson, whom she shares with husband Jared Haibon.

“[Dawson]’s the sweetest! He’s starting to make more sense and knows a small amount of sign language,” she shared, noting that her baby has made great strides with his sleep schedule. “It’s better than it was. Since we decided to bottle-feed, it’s easy for Jared and [me] to take turns if he’s hungry.”

After welcoming her newborn earlier this year, Iaconetti opens up about how motherhood has changed her perspective. “I always had empathy but becoming a mom has made that even [stronger]. I feel so much for other mothers, other people,” she tells Us.

The Virginia native, who married Haibon, 33, in 2019, also hints at plans for baby No. 2, adding, “I would be nervous because [this] pregnancy was so rough. But Dawson is such an amazing little guy. We may want to add more, we’ll see!”

Raven, 30, for her part, spoke candidly about the “wild turn of events” after her son Gates’ arrival in January.

Raven Gates and Adam Gottschalk’s Son’s Cutest Pics

“What was life before him??? I can’t recall,” she wrote via Instagram three days after giving birth. “So many of you told me ‘seeing your child for the first time, it’s a feeling you can’t explain.’ You all were so right! … The most comforting part of all was looking into Adam’s green eyes knowing we were in this together. Many things could [have] went wrong but God heard my prayers. My sweet baby is healthy. I am very blessed! We are officially home as a family!”

The reality star shares her baby with husband Adam Gottschalk. The pair, who met on season 4 of Bachelor in Paradise, got engaged in May 2019. After multiple postponements, Raven and Gottschalk, 31, tied the knot in April 2021.

Raven Gates and Adam Gottschalk’s Relationship Timeline

Later that year, they announced that they were expecting their first child. “Our Honeymoon baby will be here in January,” the Arkansas native wrote via Instagram in July 2021. “I’ve loved you before you were in my womb!”

The new parents have used social media to offer a glimpse at the new addition to their family. “In our happy place,” Gates captioned an Instagram Story in March of her son sleeping on her chest with a smile.

For more on how first-time mothers including Astrid Loch and Jen Saviano are doing after welcoming their children, look for the new issue of Us Weekly, on stands now.

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