Halfway through Justine’s pregnancy, doctors discovered that their developing baby girl had an omphalocele, a birth defect that caused her organs to grow outside her body. An omphalocele occurs in approximately 1 in 4,000 births.
Even though they knew that the baby was having issues, the religious couple decided to continue on with the pregnancy. On Sept. 26, Justine gave birth via C-section to a 4-lb., 5-oz. girl whom the couple named Victoria Anne. The infant died less than two hours after her birth at a hospital near the family’s home.
They allowed MTV to document the whole ordeal for the third season of their show Run’s House and spoke to PEOPLE about how their faith, along with a surprising openness to MTV’s cameras, has helped them heal.
Joseph and Justine did an interview with People. Here are some of the highlights:
- Once they found out they were having a girl, Justine decorated the nursery in pink. They have not changed it, the nursery is still as it was originally done.
- They knew mid-pregnancy that the baby had omphalocele, but did not tell anyone because they were not sure how things were going to turn out.
- The kids found out on camera that the baby didn’t make it.
- Justine has always wanted to adopt and Joseph is supporting her. They are currently working on the paperwork to adopt a little girl.
Almost 50% of babies who are born with an omphalocele will survive the condition, but may have an increased incidence of cancer of the kidneys, liver, and adrenal glands. Omphalocele may occur in infants with other serious genetic problems such as extra chromosomes.
Everyone has their way of healing and I am glad that they were able to recover from such a devastating loss by talking about it on their show. I hope they find a special child to adopt. The world needs more families who are willing to adopt.