Emily Maynard Secretly Gives Birth to Sixth Child; Reveals the Newborn Has Down Syndrome

Former Bachelor contestant and Bachelorette star, Emily Maynard Johnson, has some exciting news for her fans. After keeping her pregnancy and childbirth a secret, the 36-year-old announced in an Instagram photo that she gave birth to her sixth child on August 31, 2022 – a son named Jones West Johnson. 

She explained how she her and husband Tyler Johnson learned during her surgery that the child was being diagnosed with Down syndrome. “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,” she said in the Instagram caption.

The baby spent a little over a month in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before being sent home and has been in the care of his parents since. “Im so happy to finally share the news and can share all the pictures with you guys! He’s absolutely the cherry on top!” she said, adding they ‘couldn’t love him more.’

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With the newest addition, Emily Maynard Johnson is now a parent to six children. She shares five of those children – Jennings, 7, Gibson, 6, Gatlin, 5, Nola Belle, 2, and newborn Jones – with Tyler Johnson. The couple started dating in 2013, got married in 2014, and started growing their family in 2015. 

Maynard Johnson also has a 17-year-old daughter, Ricki, who she shares with her late fiance and former NASCAR driver Ricky Hendrick. In October 2004, Hendrick died in a plane crash that killed nine others. Not long after, Emily learned she was pregnant with his baby – she gave birth to Ricki in June 2005. 

Emily described the birth of her first daughter – who’s full name is Josephine Riddick ‘Ricki’ Hendrick – as ‘the day I got a piece of Ricky back.’ Now some 17 years later, Ricki is beaming with joy over the newest addition to the family. “I thank Jesus more and more for you each day sweet boy,” she said on Instagram

Every year, roughly 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome in the United States – accounting for roughly 1 in every 700 births. It remains the most common chromosomal disorder with more than 400,000 people living with the disorder in the US alone. It’s a lifelong condition that impacts their life in every way. 

Emily Maynard Johnson is Grateful, But Still Processing Everything

Emily Maynard Secretly Gives Birth to Sixth Child; Reveals the Newborn Has Down Syndrome
via Instagram (@emilygmaynard)

For the first time since announcing the exciting news on November 2nd, Emily Maynard Johnson opened up about the newborn and his diagnosis in a brief interview with PEOPLE. “I am so grateful. But I’m still on my journey of processing everything. And I have to trust that it will all turn out alright,” said Emily. 

She mentioned how ‘devastating’ it was leaving her baby at the NICU for a month after birth. “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.” 

To sweeten the moment, Emily’s eldest daughter Ricki sent her mother 47 roses when she was in the hospital, commemorating the 47 chromosomes Jones was born with. The 36-year-old added that Ricki has ‘been my best buddy through everything.’ 

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Now that baby Jones is home, she’s intent on enjoying every little moment she has with her newborn – who is already two months old! “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,” said Emily Maynard Johnson.

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