Jovi Dufren and Yara Zaya welcomed their first child, a little girl named Mylah Angelina, in September 2020. And while the 90 Day Fiance stars were still adapting to life amid the pandemic, they were also adjusting to becoming first-time parents to their adorable newborn. The learning curve that came with parenthood also came with a whole new set of challenges in the age of COVID-19.
Jovi, 32, and Yara, 25, told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY why it was particularly “tough” given their circumstances. “Since Mylah was born things have actually gotten worse,” Jovi said about the time he spends away from home for his job as a ROV (remotely operated vehicle) supervisor. “I have to quarantine for two weeks and then go to work for longer periods of time, so it’s been pretty stressful and pretty tough. I was worried when I got home from work that [Mylah] wouldn’t recognize who I was. I was pretty nervous coming home for the first time.”
The couple, who married in Feb. 2020, made their debut on the hit TLC franchise during season 8 of 90 Day Fiancé which showed Yara’s transition from Ukraine to Jovi’s hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. Jovi’s job in underwater robotics put a strain on things as it had him gone for four weeks at a time, leaving Yara to settle into The Big Easy on her own. But now with safety precautions due to the pandemic, Jovi is gone for two months at a time, leaving Yara at home even longer with baby Mylah.
“It’s hard because we go out and we don’t have a phone connection or anything,” Jovi said. “We do have WiFi available on most vessels, but it’s not to use for having a video call. It’s basically to be able to send a text message and keep in touch with your family because you can’t have the best connection out there. So it’s really hard, especially now having a baby and going away. It’s like okay, ‘I can’t see my baby except for a picture.’ Like, I want her to see my face, I want her to hear my voice, and normally that’s not really possible.”
“For me it’s really so hard because first of all, I cannot call him and talk to him. Because sometimes, I’m a new parent and sometimes I need his emotional help and he’s not able to talk to me. It’s hard, especially because I am 24 hours with the baby, alone. I love my baby so much but sometimes it’s really hard to be all the time alone. And, like I don’t have friends here, somebody to talk to.”
You can follow Jovi and Yara’s journey as they join the cast of 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After which airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on TLC, and new episodes are also available Friday mornings on discovery+.