Anna Faris opened up about her son’s medical battle in her upcoming memoir, Unqualified.
The actress and her husband, Chris Pratt, welcomed a baby boy named Jack in August 2012. Jack was born nine weeks early and spent a month in the NICU. Faris had been on bedrest for a week before going into labor.
In Unqualified, which is set to hit shelves on Tuesday, Faris wrote about the medical issues their newborn faced and the “emotionally exhausting” period after his birth.
“The pediatric neurosurgeon sat Chris and me down to tell us that Jack had some severe brain bleeding and there was a chance that he could be developmentally disabled,” she wrote, according to People. “I was in complete shock... So Chris and I did what we could, which was hold hands and hope and face it together.”
Doctors told Faris and Pratt they wouldn’t know for sure if Jack had special needs until he was around 18 months old. The mom described the attitude she resolved to adopt during this time: “I have to be as strong as I possibly can … I have to.”
Although Faris and Pratt announced their separation in August, the actress wrote in her memoir that this experience with Jack five years ago brought them closer.
“These moments can be hard on couples, but for us it really brought us together,” she explained. “It felt like it was us against the world.”
After about a month in the NICU, Jack got to go home with his parents. He is now a happy, healthy 5-year-old with only some slight vision and leg muscle issues.
“Today, Jack is at a beautiful age,” Faris wrote in her book. “He has some temper tantrums occasionally (did I mention he’s 5?) but he’s a really good kid and he’s happy and delicious and likes cuddles.”
Faris and Pratt have spoken about their son’s health battle in the past.
In 2014, Pratt reflected on their journey in a speech at the March of Dimes Celebration of Babies. “I’ve done all kinds of cool things as an actor. I’ve jumped out of helicopters and done some daring stunts and played baseball in a professional stadium, but none of it means anything compared to being somebody’s daddy,” he said.
Speaking about Jack’s time in the NICU, he recalled, “I made promises in that moment about what kind of dad I wanted to be and I just prayed that he’d live long enough that I could keep them.”