Anna Faris’ life was changed forever five years ago. The 40-year-old actress, who recently split from husband Chris Pratt, got pregnant at 35 — an age considered high risk for pregnancies — with the couple’s only son, Jack. Anna was lucky enough during her first 30 weeks of pregnancy, but everything changed on a specially scary morning.
In her new memoir, Unqualified, Anna candidly opened up about the day Jack was born. “For those of you who haven’t had babies, let me assure you: you can’t really mistake your water breaking for peeing,” she writes.
“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.”
Her water broke at 30 weeks (approximately seven months) 10 weeks before her due date, and even though everyone at the hospital tried hard to stop the labor from progressing — they tried everything from giving her magnesium to putting her on strict bed rest — little Jack came into this world just seven days after her water broke.
Labor was painful and intense, “I could barely speak,” she recalls. But that wasn’t the worst part.
A 30-weeker is considered a premature baby, so Jack was immediately taken from her to be checked. “When you have a healthy pregnancy, you never wonder if you’ll get to hold your son right after he’s born. It’s a given,” she writes.
“I was terrified, but I also knew I had to be a soldier.”
The mom-of-one spent the next four weeks commuting back and forth from the hospital as Jack was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit waiting to gain enough weight to go home. She pumped milk from him, something that left her nipples blistered and bleeding. He wasn’t breastfed at the time because he needed to be fed as efficiently as possible, and that meant doing so through a tube up his nose.
His preemie status kept everyone on their toes, including his doctor, who only four days after Jack was born gave his terrified parents the news that the baby had a brain bleed and could possibly be developmentally disabled. But there was no way of knowing just yet. The couple would have to wait until Jack was about 18 months to find out if there were any long-lasting effects from the bleed.
Fortunately for them all, Jack is now a healthy and happy 5-year-old who only suffers of minor vision and leg muscle issues.
“We know how fortunate we are to have a happy ending,” Anna writes.
“The fact that we have a charming and outgoing and athletic kid who loves dinosaurs and introducing himself to people, Chris and I are both grateful every day.”
[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/Getty Images]