Emily Maynard has opened up about the birth of her sixth child, Jones West. The former ‘Bachelorette’ star gave birth to her son on August 31.
“I’m so grateful,” Maynard shared in an interview with People. “But I’m still processing everything. And I have to make sure everything is going to be okay.”
Shortly after Jones was born, Maynard, 36, and her husband, Tyler Johnson, learned their son had been diagnosed with Down syndrome, as well as a rare birth defect of the colon.
The colon abnormality required surgery, and Jones had to stay in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit for a month after she was born.
“I was in shock,” Maynard recalled of his son’s diagnosis. She shared with the outlet that she did not have any genetic testing before giving birth.
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“It’s not on my radar,” he continued. “I refuse to believe. I just want to hug him and make everything okay.”
Once the former reality TV star realized her son would be in the NICU for a month, she found it “devastating” that she wouldn’t be able to go home right away.
“I just cried the whole thing and the experience was so different from what I expected,” she shared. “When I woke up the next morning I heard all the babies crying in the hallway while I was alone in the room, it was so painful.”
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Maynard shared that she leaned on her husband Tyler and oldest daughter, Ricki, 17, during this difficult time. She has four other children: Jennings, 7, Gibson, 6, Gatlin, 5, and Nola, 2.
“She’s been my best friend through everything,” Maynard shared of his eldest daughter. “When I was in the hospital, he sent me 47 roses to represent Jones’ 47 chromosomes.”
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21.”
Maynard also took to Instagram on Wednesday to share the news that her family has grown. “SURPRISE ! On August 31st, Tyler and I welcomed our adorable son, Jones West Johnson, into the world,” she wrote.
“During my surgery, we learned that he was born with Down syndrome, and while it was certainly a surprise, we have so much peace in God’s perfect plan and know that Jones will be a blessing to our family ,” Maynard continued. “He was in the NICU for just over a month and thankfully is home now with all the chaos and we couldn’t have loved him more. Thank you to everyone at @levinechildrens for all you have done for our family. I’m so happy to finally share the news and can share all the photos with you guys! He’s really the icing on the cake!”
Now that Jones is at home, the mother of six is enjoying her “sweet and smiley” baby.
“He’s the easiest baby to live with and he’s just been our biggest blessing,” she told People. “I’m still learning about Down syndrome, but I’m also trying to experience Jones as Jones and not as different as any of the other kids.”
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Maynard’s two-month-old son has another surgery scheduled in the coming weeks.
“Looking back on my life, a lot happened that I didn’t expect,” explained Maynard. “But I wouldn’t change my life for anything in the world. And I wouldn’t trade Jones for any baby in the world.”