In August of this year, Congressman Sean Duffy announced that he would be resigning from his position in September due to health complications that his and his wife's unborn baby would be facing. Duffy and his wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy, said that their ninth child would need 'even more love, time, and attention.'
"Recently, we’ve learned that our baby, due in late October, will need even more love, time, and attention due to complications, including a heart condition," Duffy wrote on Facebook. "With much prayer, I have decided that this is the right time for me to take a break from public service in order to be the support my wife, baby and family need right now. It is not an easy decision – because I truly love being your Congressman – but it is the right decision for my family, which is my first love and responsibility.
"On September 23, I will step down and allow others to step forward to begin laying out their own vision and plans for leading this beautiful district and the most honest, hard-working, family-oriented, patriotic, and God-fearing constituents in America," he continued. "I will be forever grateful for and humbled by the faith and sacred trust you have put in me all these years. I am especially grateful for the prayers said on behalf of our family. We hope they keep coming! I will miss being your Congressman, but I am also looking forward to having more time with my family, being home for more birthdays and hockey games, and having time to enjoy and care for our new baby girl, who is already so loved by our family."
The couple, who also shares children Patrick Miguel, Margarita, Maria-Victoria Margarita, Paloma Pilar, John-Paul, Lucia-Belén, Xavier Jack and Evita Pilar, also shared that "could have some other developmental challenges, so we just wanted to create more space in our life.”
Now, a couple of months after that announcement, Campos-Duffy shared the first pictures of their newest addition.
Meet Valentina StellaMaris Duffy!
She was born last week, one month before her due date. She is doing great, though still in the NICU until she learns to eat on her own. I’m home now, trying to recover from my first C-section (hats off to all the c-section moms out there - I had no idea!) and working hard with my breast pump to keep up with her growing appetite. When we visit with her at the hospital, the kids fight over who can hold her - I don’t blame them! She’s the sweetest, most perfect angel we have ever seen.
Valentina was born with a heart defect (2 holes in the heart and valves that need to be fixed). She will need surgery in 3-4 months. As we suspected, Valentina was also born with an extra chromosome, which means she also has Downs Syndrome. That extra chromosome certainly made her EXTRA cute. Life is wonderful!!
Thank you to everyone who prayed for Valentina all these months - your prayers were never felt more than in the crazy hours before her emergency birth. A special thank you to Dr. Merrill, Dr. Bell, Dr. Modi and the amazing team of nurses and specialists at Aspirus OB & NICU in Wausau, Wisconsin. They are a reminder that America is still home to the best and most caring medical professionals in the world! Now, in addition to being “Lady Freedom”, our daughter, Paloma, wants to be a NICU nurse. What a noble profession!
More updates and pictures to come....
Despite the uncertainty that surrounded their pregnancy, it seems the Duffy's have been blessed with a beautiful little baby. There's no question in my mind that Valentina will grow up in a house full of love.