Emily Maynard is a mom again! The Bachelorette star surprised fans when she announced that she’d given birth to her sixth child on Aug. 31. In an Instagram post, Emily shared a family photo of herself, husband Tyler Johnson and all six of their kids. Emily shared that her newborn son’s name is Jones West Johnson, and revealed that he was born with Down syndrome, which she didn’t learn until after she gave birth.
“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,” Emily wrote. “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 went on to thank the staff at the hospital where Jones was born. “I’m so happy to finally share the news and can share all the pictures with you guys!” she concluded. “He’s absolutely the cherry on top.”
Before Emily was ever part of Bachelor Nation, she was engaged to race car driver Ricky Hendrick. He died in a plane crash in Oct. 2004, and shortly afterward, Emily found out she was pregnant with his child. She gave birth to their daughter, Ricki, now 17, in 2005. Emily then appeared on season 15 of The Bachelor in 2011 and got engaged to Brad Womack, but they split after the show ended. She went on to star on season 8 of The Bachelorette in 2012 and got engaged to Jef Holm, but they ultimately broke up as well.
Emily then married her now-husband, Tyler, in 2014 and they had their first son, Jennings, now 7, the following year. In addition to newborn Jones, they went on to have three more children together: sons Gibson, 6, and Gatlin, 4, as well as daughter Magnolia, 2.
Emily admitted to People magazine that she was in “shock” when she learned of Jones’ Down syndrome diagnosis. She opted out of genetic testing during her pregnancy, so she did not find out until her baby was born. “It was not on my radar at all,” she said. “And I refused to believe it. I just wanted to hold him and for everything to be okay.” She added that it “hurt so much” to hear other babies crying in the hospital while her son was in the NICU.
Once Jones got home, though, things started looking up. “He’s the easiest baby and he’s just been our biggest blessing,” Emily gushed. “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, but I wouldn’t change my life for anything.”