Emily Maynard Johnson Talks Welcoming Sixth Baby, Born With Down Syndrome
After welcoming her sixth child in August, season eight Bachelorette star Emily Maynard Johnson is finally sharing more about her son Jones West Johnson.
In an Instagram post featuring her happy family of eight, Maynard Johnson recalled her baby boy’s birth and the “unexpected journey” that followed. “On August 31st, Tyler and I welcomed our sweet son, Jones West Johnson, into the world. 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 Jones is going to be a blessing to our family,” Maynard Jackson wrote.
The New York Times best-selling author went on in her post and in a special interview with People to say that initially, she “was in shock” when she was told that Jones was born with Down syndrome and a rare congenital colon abnormality that required surgery and a monthlong stay in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
“It was not on my radar at all. And I refused to believe it. I just wanted to hold him and for everything to be okay. I was just grieving all of it and that the experience was so different from what I had expected. Waking up the next morning hearing all the babies crying down the hallway while I was in the room alone, it hurt so much.”
There would be brighter days ahead, though. Now that the reality TV star has finally brought her baby boy home, she’s been savoring every second. “I am so grateful,” Maynard Johnson told the magazine, adding, “He’s the easiest baby and he’s just been our biggest blessing. I’m still learning about Down syndrome, but I’m trying to also just experience Jones as Jones and not as different than any of the other kids.”
Jones West joins quite the crew of siblings, including Ricki, 17; Jennings, 7; Gibson, 6; Gatlin, 5; and Nola Belle, 2. Maynard Johnson says it was her family who got her through hard times in the hospital. Her eldest, Ricki, sent 47 roses to represent Jones’ 47 chromosomes. Down syndrome occurs when a person has an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. Typically, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes.
Ultimately, “looking back on my life, a lot of things happened that I wouldn’t have planned,” Maynard Johnson said. “But I wouldn’t change my life for anything. And I wouldn’t trade Jones for any baby in the world.”