Anna Faris is doing what she can to help other families prevent premature births.
The 44-year-old Mom alum was a featured speaker at a virtual event for nonprofit organization Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth (GAPPS) on Thursday, May 6. During her speech, the actress and GAPPS board member shared details of herself and then-husband Chris Pratt welcoming son Jack in August 2012, seven weeks before the due date.
"I was 35—a geriatric pregnancy, as my OB-GYN delicately put it—and I had been having what I thought was a pretty amazing pregnancy," she told the attendees. "So when I woke up in the middle of the night in a small puddle of fluid, I truly didn't have any idea what to do."
The star explained she then had a week of bedrest in the hospital before going "into labor, and my baby was coming seven weeks early."
Jack was born at three pounds and 10 ounces, and she "was able to hold him very briefly" prior to him spending a month in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). She said that during this time, she "had to live in this almost robotic-like state" to avoid thinking about what the future might hold.
"The day came when I got to take Jack home, and the first years were filled with doctor's appointments, five surgeries, physical therapy, a lot of laughter—because Jack was and is the most adorable cutest thing I could ever have imagined," continued the Scary Movie star, who is currently engaged to cinematographer Michael Barrett.
Anna recalled that once things started to get settled at home with the "happy, slightly chubbier baby," she couldn't stop asking herself why this happened.
"Why did my water break? So of course I tried to look for answers," she shared. "I asked my doctor if my dream could have caused my water to break because I remember having a pleasant sensation right before I woke up. She laughed and said no. I asked her if the baby's nails could have torn the sack, I asked her if my sack was lacking something, if I ran too much, if I ran too little. I did gain 60 pounds—I was up to 160, and my doctor suggested at one point that I ease up on maple bars."
She continued, "I couldn't stop searching. I was asking her if the 'geriatric' thing had something to do with it, if the cold cuts that I ate… I couldn't turn off. I couldn't turn off my own hamster wheel in searching for answers. And the truth is, in many of these cases, we have no idea why this happens. And after Jack was born, my dad joined the board of GAPPS, and a few years later I did as well. So, GAPPS' No. 1 goal is prevention. And in order to prevent premature births, we need answers."
Anna and Chris, who filed for divorce in December 2017, have both previously spoken about Jack's birth and frequently use their platforms to raise awareness for infants with specialized needs. She told Redbook magazine in 2015, "Chris and I were so scared, but when Jack came out, even though he was so tiny, he looked so good to us."
On April 28, Anna promoted the GAPPS event by sharing a precious photo to Instagram of herself holding newborn Jack, who was wearing a feeding tube at the time.