JR Smith and his wife, Jewel Harris, were able to take their daughter, Dakota, home a few weeks ago after several months of closely monitoring her alongside hospital staff. The celebrity couple opens up with ESPN about their daughter’s premature birth that threatened her life.
“I was in pain,” Jewel says of the contractions that came five months into her pregnancy. “Every 15 minutes I was getting what I didn’t know at the time were contractions. And I’m like, ‘I think something’s wrong.'”
Something was definitely wrong. “[The doctor] was like, ‘I’m sorry, sweetheart. This baby is going to come.’ I said, ‘What? When? How?'” The hospital staff asked the difficult question of resuscitation in the instance of little Dakota being unable to breathe on her own. “We was like, ‘Do what you got to do to save her life. Period,'” Jewel shares.
“I could literally hold her in my hand,” JR explains. Although he wanted to break down at times, JR remained strong for his family during the tumultuous time. “My wife needs me, my daughter needs me. Nothing is more important to me in my life at this point,” the celebrity father says.
“You see your daughter go through…like in most of my life I’ve been able to be in control of everything and something like that, you have no control. And it’s your child and obviously, I would do anything for her. It hurt.”
Joy comes from pain, and the Smiths were able to rejoice in Dakota’s discharge from the hospital last month. “We Walked In Together We Walked Out Together,” JR said on his daughter’s big day of leaving NICU. Dakota joined big sisters Demi and Peyton at home.