90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way star Ariela is opening up about her intense experience giving birth in Ethiopia, which was shown on Sunday's episode of the hit TLC show.
ET's Melicia Johnson spoke with Ariela on Thursday ahead of the episode airing, and the New Jersey native said she cries when looking back at footage of her giving birth to her son, Aviel. Ariela had to give birth unexpectedly after her doctor told her that they had to perform a C-section on her that very day, since her baby was in breech and she had low amniotic fluid. Not surprisingly, Ariela and her boyfriend, Biniyam, were stunned and felt unprepared.
"I just remember how scared I felt," she tells ET. "It was not a wonderful moment when I just woke up [from anesthesia] because the last thing I remember is like, them telling me, 'We gotta do this now,' and I'm like, 'No, because I'm not ready. You can't do it if I'm not ready,' and they're like, 'We have to.' ... When I woke up, honestly, I was just in so much pain that I couldn't really focus on anything else."
"After the baby's born, having that moment where we're together, it was like, any problem that we ever had before, like, it didn't matter because we experienced this moment together," she explains.
Still, Ariela did have an issue with Biniyam's comments to cameras that according to his culture, when women give birth naturally, their love for the baby is stronger as opposed to when they give birth via C-section.
"It was a point of contention between us," Ariela says, revealing that he told her even before she gave birth that he did not want her to have a C-section. "I don't see how he could think that you could love your baby more or less, but, he's a little bit superstitious, so, it's something that we did argue about."
"I know that other women are going to beat him up for that because that's such a silly thing to say," she adds. "I think he's gonna catch a lot of heat for it, rightfully so. But, you know, sometimes we believe and say stupid things, so, you know, we're human."
Ariela also addressed Biniyam having another son with his ex-wife, who, like her, is American. Biniyam no longer has contact with his ex and older son, after she went back to the United States following their split. Ariela said she would like for Aviel to have a relationship with his half-brother.
"It's actually something I think about a lot," she says. "As I got older in my life, I realize family is really important ... knowing where you came from. ... Obviously, I want my son to know about his culture, but the other thing is, I want him to know his place in the world, and that means knowing his extended family, it means knowing he has a brother. I want him to know about his brother in America."
"Regardless of what has happened in the past with Biniyam and his past relationship, these kids, they don't have to be involved in that," she continues. "They can just be brothers."
Later, Ariela responded to some viewers' criticism that she expects too much out of Biniyam, such as when it comes to their living conditions, and expecting him to make money while also being with her and the baby as much as possible.
"I think that a lot of the fans who watch the show don't expect much from the men on it," she shoots back with a laugh, noting that because the show is condensed, there are also certain things that are not explained fully. "Biniyam is great, he does try very hard, but I think if people saw the amount of things that I do for him, they would demand a little bit more from him."
"I also think it's a learning process for Biniyam because he grew up without parents, you know, an example of what is a successful marriage, and we're from different cultures," she adds. "There's a difference of expectations with what the man is supposed to do in the culture and everything. In some ways, he's a very modern guy, you know, he's a guy that loves to take care of his baby and all this stuff, and in other ways, he is very affected by cultural ways of thinking. I think it's a learning process for him to kind of understand what I expect from him."
As for the rest of the season, Ariela says there's still plenty of intense and "extremely emotional" moments to come.
"This past year has been the craziest year of my life," she reflects. "I think a lot of it is unbelievable that someone goes through so many things and such a roller coaster of emotions in such a short period of time. I would definitely say there's a lot more intense moments to come and a lot of surprises and it's gonna be a very emotional journey. ... It's pretty emotional."
90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on TLC.