Emily Maynard Johnson is grateful to have her son home.
Maynard Johnson, 36, and husband Tyler Johnson welcomed a baby boy named Jones West on Aug. 31. The “Bachelorette” alum’s son was born with Down syndrome as well as a rare congenital colon abnormality that required surgery. Jones spent a month in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
“I was in shock,” Maynard Johnson said People. “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.
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“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.”
Fortunately, baby Jones is home now.
“I am so grateful,” Maynard Johson said. “But I’m still on my journey of processing everything. And I have to trust that it will all turn out alright.”
Maynard Johnson leaned on her eldest child, Ricki, during Jones’ health scare. Ricki sent her mom roses to represent Jones’ extra 21st chromosome.
“She’s been my best buddy through everything,” says Maynard Johnson. “When I was in the hospital she sent me 47 roses to represent Jones’ 47 chromosomes.” (People with Down syndrome have an extra copy of the 21st chromosome).
Maynard Johnson is having a wonderful time connecting with Jones and learned about Down syndrome.
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“He’s the easiest baby and he’s just been our biggest blessing,” she says. “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.”
“Looking back on my life, a lot of things happened that I wouldn’t have planned,” said Maynard Johnson. “But I wouldn’t change my life for anything. And I wouldn’t trade Jones for any baby in the world.”
Maynard and Tyler Johnson share children Ricki, 17, Jennings, 7, Gibson, 6, Gatlin, 5 and Nola Belle, 2, along with Jones.