You remember Emily Maynard, right? She was one of the most adored Bachelorettes in the Bachelor/Bachelorette series. We loved her immediately. She was sweet and southern and we just instantly related to her. Her story was heartbreaking – her ex-fiancé Ricky Hendrick had passed away and she was a single mom of daughter, “Ricki”.
A couple of years after her Bachelorette experience, she married Tyler Johnson in 2014 and now she’s a mommy of SIX!
Her youngest child was born on August 31st and after declining genetic testing while pregnant, the couple found out that sweet Jones was born with Down syndrome as well as a rare congenital colon abnormality that required surgery and a monthlong stay in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit.
Emily said she was in shock when she learned of her baby’s diagnosis. She was in disbelief. That diagnosis and the fact that the newborn had to undergo surgery and stay in the hospital was new territory for her. While she never grieved Jones’ birth, the whole experience was different than what she had come to know with her first five children.
Baby Jones is home now and Emily says he’s the sweetest and easiest baby. And while she’s still learning about Down syndrome, she’s adamant that she wants to experience her son as Jones – not as a child that is different than any other child.
If you watched Emily on The Bachelorette, you probably remember her young daughter, Ricki. That little girl has blossomed into a beautiful seventeen-year-old who has helped her mom through each of her siblings’ birth. To show her mom how loved and supported she and Jones are, she sent 47 roses to her while they were at the hospital. The 47 roses represented her baby brother’s 47 chromosomes. (In most cases of Down syndrome, a child gets an extra chromosome 21 — for a total of 47 chromosomes instead of 46.)
Along with Jones and Ricki, Emily and her husband have Jennings, 7, Gibson, 6, Gatlin, 5 and Nola Belle, 2.
Emily’s story will be published in People magazine’s Friday issue.
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