Although 15-month-old Malti Marie is a happy, world traveling baby now, she came into the world in a very scary way. Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas’s daughter spent 110 days in the NICU, first at Rady Children’s Hospital in La Jolla, California, and then at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. In a new cover story interview with TODAY — where Chopra Jonas looks gorgeous covered in flowers in photos taken by photographer Phylicia J. L. Munn — the Citadel star goes into more detail about Malti’s entrance into the world and how the new mom struggled to cope after finally bringing Malti home.
Speaking to reporter Hoda Kotb, Chopra Jonas revealed that she didn’t know how to cope with the news that Malti, who was born via surrogate, was coming into the world early.
“I remember he just held me by my shoulders, and I said, ‘Just tell me what to do, because I don’t know what to do,’” Chopra Jonas said about her husband. “And he’s like, ‘Just get into the car with me.’ And we drove to the hospital. She was born, and from the moment she took her first breath to now, she’s never been without one of us, ever.”
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The two divided their time to always be with their baby. “I don’t think it was our test. I think it was her test,” Chopra Jonas says about Malti struggling to survive. “I realized very, very early that I did not have the luxury to be scared or to be weak, because she was scared and weak. And I had to be her strength as her mom. I needed to make her feel at every given moment that she’s not alone…that we’ve got her.”
Being thrust into motherhood and immediately fearing for your baby’s life left an impact on Chopra Jonas. How could it not? When her baby finally came home, the Citadel star had a difficult time believing that her daughter was OK.
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In her interview with TODAY, Chopra Jonas says that in the NICU, “you know your child is alive, because you can see their heartbeat [on the monitor].” But when they got home, Chopra Jonas said, “I couldn’t sleep for days, because now suddenly she was home without a monitor. I used to put my ear on her chest. I would wake up every couple of minutes just to see if she was OK. For weeks, this went on.”
My heart breaks for her! That sounds like such a difficult time that the family of three got through together, with the help of a great support system in their parents, family, and friends.
Priyanka Chopra Jonas & Nick Jonas Didn’t Know if Baby Malti ‘Would Make It’ at First
This isn’t the first time Chopra Jonas has opened up about this harrowing time. In a Feb. 2023 cover interview with British Vogue, Chopra Jonas reveals that Malti was born at 28 weeks’ gestation. “I was in the OR [operating room] when she came out,” Chopra Jonas recalled. “She was so small, smaller than my hand.”
“I saw what the intensive-care nurses do. They do God’s work,” she continued. “Nick and I were both standing there as they intubated her. I don’t know how they even found what they needed [in her tiny body] to intubate her.”
“We spent every single day with her on my chest, on my husband’s chest,” Chopra Jonas told the outlet. “I didn’t know if she would make it or not.”
They Make Family Time a Priority
Now, the Quantico star and “Waffle House” singer make sure to spend time with their daughter every night. She told TODAY that she always makes it home to give Malti her bath.
“After that, I’m not available. We do bath time, story time, bedtime,” she said. “And then it’s our time [for me and Nick], whether we … have friends over or just sit together and watch a movie.” We love that! She’s sticking to her boundaries and making her daughter and husband a priority, which is not always easy to do.
But for Chopra Jonas, this uninterrupted family time gives her the strength to keep working hard.
“It just makes me want to conquer the world,” she added. “When I wake up and do a million things, I can do them really well, because I know that I come back home to my family. And that’s such a priority to me now.”
Malti Is Traveling with Priyanka Chopra Jonas & Her Grandma Dr. Madhu Chopra
Chopra Jonas appeared on The TODAY Show this morning, where she revealed that her daughter is with her now.
“She’s here with me. I’ve been schlepping her on this tour,” she told host Hoda Kotb. “Not everywhere. My mom [Dr. Madhu Chopra] and her are both traveling with us right now because I’m on tour, my husband’s on tour. But we’ll settle down in another couple of weeks. So, we should be OK.”
She added that “family time is most important” to her now, especially after she “ran so hard” in her 20s.
“When you find your home and you build a family that you appreciate and that makes you feel like you want to go to work every day and do your best, then you have to make time for it,” Chopra Jonas said. “I feel great when I leave in the morning to go to work because I’ve had that time with my family. It’s magical and its healing.”
What an inspirational way to look at family time.
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