From singleton to dad-to-be, it's been a whirlwind three years for The Bachelorette
's J.P. Rosenbaum. First, the construction manager beat out 24 other eligible men vying for the affections of Ashley Hebert
during the show's seventh season. He then married his lovely bride in a televised wedding
officiated by Bachelorette
host Chris Harrison
Now he faces the biggest adventure of all: parenthood. I spoke to J.P. Rosenbaum recently to learn how he's reacting to his latest life change.
Before the Birth, A Boys' Night Out
The charming father in waiting was all smiles at his recent "dadchelor" party, thrown by Mike's Hard Lemonade. Rosenbaum and a handful of close friends and family members gathered in New York City for a night of poker, pool and laughs. He told me the night was energizing, even though the event ran into the wee hours.
"It's strange, but I felt great the next morning," he said. "We must have been together for seven or eight hours--it was a wonderful time. And no hangover!"
The no-gift "shower" highlighted male bonding, not baby clothes, with six hours of poker the big draw for his guests. Rosenbaum says he lost, but "only a little."
And did he feel guilty enjoying the host's tart alcoholic beverages with a pregnant wife at home? On the contrary -- the mom-to-be encouraged him to go and have a good time with the guys, which he clearly did.
A Riddle Inside an Enigma, Wrapped in a Baby Blanket?
Unlike some other public couples, the Rosenbaums have maintained an air of mystery around the new arrival's name.
"Ashley and I are keeping that to ourselves," he said. "I've been through every male baby name on every website on the planet. But it's 80 percent likely we'll use the one Ashley picked, and it's a name I already love."
He confirmed earlier reports that the couple will give their son a middle name whose first letter will be in memory of a late relative -- a nod to his Jewish heritage. Other than that, mum's (or Mum's) the word.
Ironically, one lucky fan almost had the baby-naming honors, if he or she had been in the right place at the right time. In early August, Rosenbaum tweeted, "Anyone at the front of the JFK security line willing to trade places? I'll name our first born after you!"
Any takers? "No one tweeted me back! JFK was a nightmare -- I've never seen a security line like that. People missed an opportunity!"
Miami's Nice for a Diaper-Changing Dad
Although Baby R's name remains under wraps, the enthusiastic father-to-be doesn't hesitate to reveal what he hopes to share with his son.
"Definitely sporting events," he said. "We'll be at Islanders games, Michigan football. That's number one. Then there's his first Little League game, but we've got some time before that."
Without even being asked, Rosenbaum said he also plans to do his share of diaper changing. "I'm going to do my part. I don't think I'll have a choice about it. You just suck it up and do it, right?" (No wonder Ashley fell for this guy!)
Their son will also start life in the couple's adopted home city of Miami, where they moved a few months ago from New Jersey.
"Ashley had lived in Hawaii and liked the warmer weather," he explained. "We talked about L.A., but didn't want to be away from the East Coast. Then my company offered me an opportunity to be in Miami, and I took it. It's all worked out."
He's already planning to make sure his son spends plenty of time up north, however, and not just for family in New York and New Jersey. "Northeast seafood is different from Florida -- I'm already missing lobster and fried clams!"
Sage Advice from a 'Bachelorette' Vet
On a different subject: Was he surprised that fans really seem to love him and Ashley as a couple?
He paused for a moment, and then said, "We're just ourselves. Nothing about the show has changed us. If you speak to anyone who knew us before, they describe us as the same people they've always known. I guess people like that about us. I think we're very relatable, normal people."
He then laughed and added, "Except for the fact that we met and fell in love on a reality TV show, of course."
Speaking of which -- any guidance for other contestants looking for love? (His tweets about the current Bachelor in Paradise
are hilarious. Even if you don't watch the show, follow the tweets!)
"For Bachelor in Paradise -- no advice whatsoever!" he said. "But for The Bachelorette, I would say to never stop being yourself. Once you get used to the camera, your personality comes out and everyone can see that.
"Oh, and don't get drunk on the first night. That was the best advice I got, right before we started production. I was a little more mature than the other guys, so I wasn't going to do that anyway, but still -- it's a good recommendation."
No amount of advice could have prepared J.P. Rosenbaum for what was to follow his successful proposal. "No way! I could never have pictured everything that's happened over the last three years. I had a normal life and wham! Everything changed -- for the better, of course."
He concluded our talk with some musings about his near future. "I'm really looking forward to fatherhood -- it's only about seven weeks away now. The main things that worry me are the unknowns. I'm a little bit of a control freak and not being in control sort of concerns me."
Fortunately, like any good modern father, he knows where to find answers to the mysteries of parenthood. "I figure if I don't know something, I can just Google it."
(Image courtesy of Mike's Hard Lemonade)