On New Year's Day, The Bachelorette alum posted a series of Instagram Stories that highlighted her moments from 2020. One slide, in particular, stood out from the rest, as she revealed that she had been diagnosed with Bell's palsy in September—which is a condition that causes a temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face, per Healthline.
"Had to wear a patch," Emily wrote in reference to her condition on Friday, Jan. 1. It was also discovered that at the time of her diagnosis, she was pregnant with her fifth child, a baby girl, who she welcomed in mid-October 2020.
Following the news, the reality TV personality opened up even more about her health in an Instagram Story on Saturday, Jan. 2, where she explained this isn't the first time she's been diagnosed with Bell's palsy.
"I had it in high school," she captioned her post, "and lucky me am one of the very few people that get it twice."
The Bachelor Nation star then explained how she knew she had it again last fall. As she described, "It started with a bad headache that got progressively worse and went into my jaw. Thought it was an ear infection but then woke up one morning and couldn't spit out my toothpaste or put on mascara."
Emily said her doctor prescribed her a steroid, however, she admitted, "It got worse before it got better."
"I thought by age 34 I was free from the vanity I cherished so much in my 20s but there's something very humbling about being 9 months pregnant and not able to move half your face," she continued, "I cried a lot and felt horrible but thankfully it got better day by day."
While Emily said she's "not sure" what caused the Bell's palsy to return, but she seems to be feeling better.
A month after her diagnosis, Emily and her husband, Tyler Johnson, welcomed their fourth child together. In October, Emily shared the baby news with a two-minute video that captured her entire day leading up to her little one's arrival. It appeared she had a Caesarean section.
"Welcome to the world Magnolia Belle Johnson," the mom of five captioned her Instagram post on Oct. 17. "You are the most perfect addition to our family and to say your brothers and sister are already in love would be an understatement."
She concluded, "My sweet Nola Belle, you are absolute magic and I can't wait to see God uncover your personality each day. I'm so happy He picked me to be your mommy!"
Emily and Tyler are also parents to Gatlin Avery, 2, Gibson Kyle, 4 and Jennings Tyler, 5. She is also the proud mom to her 15-year-old daughter, Josephine Riddick Hendrick, who she shared with late racecar driver Ricky Hendrick.
Emily hid her fifth pregnancy and didn't announce the baby news until she was ready to give birth. As for the reasoning behind keeping it a secret? The star admitted there was "no real answer or plan."
"Lots going on in the world at the time and social media/news gave me anxiety, so I just never put it on Instagram," she shared on Friday, Jan. 1. "After a while, we decided it would be fun to just surprise everyone with a new baby!"