Tom Arnold Introduces Daughter Quinn Sophie: We Were ‘Shocked’ Over Another Pregnancy

02/19/2016 at 09:00 PM ET

Tom Arnold and his wife Ashley weren’t expecting to have a second child after a difficult road to pregnancy with their 2½-year-old son Jax Copeland.

“I was shocked we were having another baby because Jax came after 22 rounds of in vitro that failed,” the comedian tells PEOPLE exclusively. “We had one more embryo, and Ashley said, ‘You know what, what the heck? Let’s just try this.’ And then she got pregnant. It was just a blessing.”

The couple welcomed daughter Quinn Sophie into the world in December. “Quinn is so small!” says Arnold. “When you’re holding her, you forget she’s there.”

Despite welcoming his second child at 56, Arnold couldn’t have been happier with the arrival of his daughter. While he once worried about his age — and how it factored into fatherhood — his attention has shifted to soaking up the everyday memories made as a family.

“When you’re an older father, you catch yourself saying, ‘Oh, I’m 56 so when Quinn has her bat mitzvah, I’ll be 70, and what does that look like? ‘ ” he says. “But I stopped doing that because I have a 2½-year-old that changes every day. Plus, it’s thinking about myself. The less I think about myself, the more joy I find in life.”

Tom Arnold daughter Quinn family photo
Diana Koenigsberg

With a new baby in the home, both Arnold and Ashley found a new normal when it came to their parenting responsibilities. While Ashley spent much of the first few weeks caring for Quinn — including nursing their newborn every three hours — the doting dad focused his attention on Jax.

“To be honest, the real down and dirty co-parenting didn’t start until after Quinn was born. Before then, I did all the tough parenting and Tom and Jax’s relationship was all about play,” Ashley shares. “But during my second pregnancy, Tom slowly had to take over a lot of what I was doing, so he wouldn’t be left with a crash course when the new baby was born.”

The “biggest shift” came when Tom successfully managed to transition Jax into his big boy bed — a moment that defined his new role.

“He worked with him for a week supporting Jax with this change. This was the pivotal point when it all changed and we became co-parents,” she says. “Now he puts Jax to bed almost every night, and takes him to school every morning.”

Although she’s already “changing every day,” Arnold thinks Quinn definitely resembles Ashley, 40, more than him. “She looks like her mother, thank God!” he says. “I’m excited to see who she becomes.”

Tom Arnold daughter Quinn family photo
Diana Koenigsberg

While Arnold says Jax is “rambunctious” and “fearless,” baby Quinn brings a “different energy” to the house. “She’s more calm,” he says. “I feel she’s a little more analytical, taking it in.”

Despite their opposite personalities, Jax has already adapted to his big brother role. “He loves it,” says Arnold. “He holds her every day.”

“Jax is so in love with his sister,” adds Ashley. “It’s been incredible to watch him with her. He can’t stop kissing and hugging her. He is the sweetest soul.”

While Arnold is overjoyed to have a new addition to the family, he does admit parenting has gotten more challenging. “It’s harder,” he says. “I used to be able to sleep in once in a while, but that’s not happening!”

But he wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s perfect,” says Arnold. “It took a long time for things to be perfect, but I am very blessed.”

He adds, “My favorite thing is seeing Ashley and them together in bed — it makes me feel as happy as I can feel and very proud. I have no idea how I can ever deserve that.”

For more from Tom Arnold, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

— Gabrielle Olya and Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: Babies , Exclusive , Kids , News , Parenting , Tom Arnold

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Showing 21 comments

Anonymous on

So happy for him. Glad he is happy at last!

Lane17 on

Beautiful children.

Jen on

This is such an uplifting story. Parenting children is a whole new world and such a rewarding one.

myuntidydesk on

Twenty-two rounds of IVF? Wow. It’s amazing they are still together given how stressful that can be on a couple.

liz on

Had to click on the link to the prior story to clarify the “22 rounds of in vitro”, thinking it was all with this wife. It actually was “Twenty-one cycles of in-vitro with four different women”. That makes a heck of a lot more sense.

notinourhouse on

I am so happy for them! Good job Tom and Ashley! Enjoy every minute you have, it doesn’t matter what age you are, since she is 40, not 25, they will both be “up there” in age when either kid graduates from high school. I love the name Quinn! I was told by a junior high teacher I had, when we were supposed to come up with words for the letter “q” (and other letters in the alphabet) and I said Quinn for Q, and she said “oh no, that isn’t a word”, and I thought poop on you! Ha ha, Mrs H, it is here to stay! Love you Tom, you have definitely seasoned well for your age (time on earth to be more PC!)!!

Debbie Downer on

They spent around $330,000 to get pregnant.

I FULLY 100% understand the need & want to have a child of your own flesh & blood. But, at what point does a caring society say. Hey you know what…. We could adopt?

I am happy for them of course. But, it just feels like the money could be doing so much good being placed into something or someone else.

I was just reading another article with everyone upset about Ethan Couch literally getting away with murder because he was a rich spoiled kid.. NOT SAYING all kids who grow up in rich households are that spoiled. But, what good will this world be with a bunch of kids being raised by parents who see no problem spending hundreds of thousands of dollars like this. How many couples out there right now are breeding future Ethan Couches? :o/
Just some food for thought is all..

Gretchen on

Tom Arnold has really blossomed since he has been with Ashley, and even more since they have had Jax, and now Quinn. He wanted to be a father so much, and I haven seen how much he has changed in his acting…he is not so frenetic, he’s at peace within himself. These are two children who were very wanted and deeply loved…… Congratulations to the Arnolds!

Von on

There is no problem to have kids at 56. Congrats.

gracie on

I saw a recent show…Hollywood Medium , I believe…in which Tom talked about his childhood and his mother. I guess it was pretty disfunctional and abusive. It was heartbreaking to hear him say he was never told he was loved. He said , now that he has children, he totally focuses on his kids having a childhood in which they constantly feel loved and protected. He seems to be so much more centered, calm and introspective now that he is a dad. I wish Tom, Ashley , Jax and Quinnnmuch happiness and love.

Tia C. on

I saw that episode to Gracie, I felt so bad for him having to grow up like that but he seems calmer, happier and at peace. Congratulations to them.

Carrow on

His children are beautiful. Congratulations! I wonder did he get Quinn’s name from Sons of Anarchy too?

Angela on

So happy for them! Congratulations.

sandy on

So happy for them. Such beautiful pictures! Congratulations! And Tom, 70 is not that old! My parents are 87 and 82 and still here and enjoying life!

exit82 on

wow- I think he’s got it just right!

LA on

He is so deserving of this happiness. He’s always wanted to be a Dad. He and Ashley seem very happy and their two babies are darling. Love the picture of little Jax feeding his baby sister. What a lifetime of joy these two will bring their Mommy and Daddy. God bless them.

h fisher on

CUTE KIDDOS and looks like a sweet family…I am SO enjoying being a new Nana, at 52, to my Baby Boo Girl, age 3 months, and each minute
spent with this new life is precious:) Enjoy the years Tom and Ashley!!!

guest on

I am so happy for Tom and Ashley. I always liked Tom and I’m glad that he was able to finally be a father!! Those are two lucky and very loved children.

Regina Ernest on

Congrats to the happy family. I remember when Tom and Roseann broke up. She was being interviewed on it and said they tried having a baby but found out one of them needed a penis. The reporter couldn’t help but laugh. I guess those other women were not meant to be and he is finally happy at last.

Nardia on

Very happy for them! Congrats.

Anonymous on

Fact: Dax Shepard was the sperm donor. I admire both men. Dax for unselfishly giving so Tom could become a father. Tom for accepting he could not naturally have his own and able to accept this gift from another man. Speaks highly for both men.