'Bachelorette' Emily Maynard Johnson Explains Why She Never Chooses Prenatal Genetic Testing
The TV personality recently welcomed her sixth child, Jones West, who has Down Syndrome.
So much of pregnancy and having children is personal — and it should be no one’s business but your family’s. But Emily Maynard Johnson is being open and honest about how she approaches prenatal testing during her pregnancies as well as her thinking behind it.
The Bachelorette star recently welcomed her sixth child, Jones West, in August. Jones was diagnosed with a rare congenital colon abnormality and Down Syndrome at the hospital, but came home healthy after a surgery and a month-long stay in the NICU.
Earlier this week, she annouced the baby’s arrival, and now she’s following up to clarify why prenantal genetic testing isn’t for her family.
"We've never done any of the genetic testings," she told People in an exclusive interview. "You get what you get and you're going to love it either way so there's no sense in worrying about anything because it's all going to work out and in the end, everything is going to be okay.”
She then clarified that she did opt for other types of prenatal testing, including anatomy scans.
“We did the anatomy scans, check the heart and brain and two arms, two legs, but no blood screenings,” she said.
Jones was diagnosed with a blood test after his birth, and Emily understandably was “in shock” and concerned for her baby’s wellbeing.
"It was not on my radar at all. And I refused to believe it," she told People. "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."
But since he’s emerged healthy from his colon surgery and joined the family at home, Johnson has returned to feeling joy for the birth and her new son — and thankfulness that it wasn’t “so many other diagnoses.”
"I realized this could be so much worse," she said in the interview. "This is nothing. This is joyful. Everybody that I've heard from shares how much love they have in their hearts."
She also gave an update on how Jones is doing.
"He has the sweetest little smile and I'm just so excited. He's so cute and he's the easiest baby," she said. “I just know God is going to see so much good through this sweet baby. Especially because we weren't planning on having a sixth kid, but with Jones, our family is complete."
Jones joins a big family: Ricki, 17, Jennings, 7, Gibson, 6, Gatlin, 5 and Nola Belle, 2. Johnson shares the youngest five children with her husband, Tyler Johnson. her oldest, Ricki, was born just months after her race car driver father, Ricky Hendrick, died in a tragic accident.
She announced Jones’ birth on Instagram about two months after his birth.
“SURPRISE! 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. He was in the NICU for a little over a month and is thankfully now home in all the chaos and we couldn’t love him more.”
She also gave a shout-out to everyone at the hospital where Jones stayed.
“Looking back on my life, a lot of things happened that I wouldn't have planned," she told People in an interview earlier this week. "But I wouldn't change my life for anything. And I wouldn't trade Jones for any baby in the world."