They went into “solider mode” after Jack’s birth
After trying for a year, Faris’ pregnancy was dubbed geriatric because she was 35. And though she gained nearly 70 pounds, the first 30 weeks had no bumps.
Until August 10, 2012. At just 30 weeks and one day, “I woke up at two fifteen to a massive gush,” she recalls. “The bed was soaked, and even though I felt the fluid coming out of my vagina, I smelled it to make sure it wasn’t pee. For those of you who haven’t had babies, let me assure you: you can’t really mistake your water breaking for peeing. They are entirely different sensations. But when you aren’t due for two more months and you’re taken by surprise by a sudden burst of fluid, you will pray that it’s urine, and you’ll go as far as sticking your nose in it if necessary.”
At the hospital, she was told she could not leave until the baby was born and was immediately put on bed rest. “This was not the kind of easy bed rest where you hang out on the couch but can sneak out to pee or get a snack,” she writes. “This was hospital bed, catheter, no showers, no standing up, ever.”
Seven days in, she went into labor: “The pain was so crazy that I could barely speak.”
Born premature, Jack, now 5, was in the NICU for a month, though Faris was released after just two days. “For the next four weeks, I spent all day there, pumping milk for my baby until my nipples were bleeding and blistered, because it felt like the only thing I could do to help him,” she recalls. “He was fed the milk through a tube up his nose.”
The hits kept coming. Four days after welcoming Jack, a pediatric neurosurgeon told the new parents that their son had severe brain bleeding and there was a possibility he would be developmentally disabled. But they wouldn’t know until he was 18 months old.
“I only half heard the words as they came out of the doctor’s mouth. I was in complete shock,” notes the actress. “We held hands while the doctor spoke, and we held hands — and smiled! — as we left the hospital, because we were getting paparazzi every time we left, which, frankly, was horrible. How do you smile when you’re spending your days worrying about your sub-four pound baby? But you don’t really have a choice because if you’re frowning, then who knows what the tabloids could say.”
When a four-pound, three-ounce Jack was able to eat on his own, he was finally brought home on September 12. Faris continued to shuttle him to daily doctor appointments with brain, heart and eye specialists, as well as physical therapists.
“He was speaking at an early age and people were constantly telling us how smart he was, which I know people probably say to all new parents but it took on even more meaning for me,” admits the mom. “But our instincts were right and it turned out that Jack’s development was progressing completely on par for his age.”
Today, Faris and Pratt are in endless awe of their son. “He still has a couple of physical problems — his legs have high tone and often appear stiff, so he walks on his tiptoes a lot. He wears glasses and has to wear an eye patch for twenty minutes a day to strengthen his vision. But given that these are the biggest challenges, we count ourselves extremely lucky.”Back to top