The wait is over. HGTV star Jenny Marrs’ first book, “House + Love = Home”, hit bookshelves nationwide on November 14, 2023. The book takes a closer look at the Marrs family home and is filled with personal essays and photos featuring some of Jenny’s strongest memories of her spaces.
One essay sees Jenny recounting the birth of her oldest children, twin sons Ben and Nathan, now 13 years old, and the scary moment when Jenny entered labor earlier than she and her husband Dave Marrs had expected.
“When I was twenty-nine weeks along, I unexpectedly went into preterm labor and, after twelve hours of medical intervention to prevent a premature delivery, I was airlifted to Little Rock because our local hospital’s NICU wasn’t equipped to care for twenty-nine-week-old preemies. As the helicopter raced through the night sky, Dave held my trembling hand while hot tears streamed down my cheeks,” Jenny wrote.
Jenny Marrs Defied the Odds
After describing the “terrifying” helicopter ride, Jenny went on to write that she and Dave were told that their twins would be born within 24 hours of arriving in Little Rock. Her boys, however, ended up holding on in utero far beyond this projection. With strict bedrest ordered by her doctors, Jenny was able to stay in the hospital for four weeks before giving birth, meaning the twins were born prematurely at 33 weeks, rather than 29.
According to the Mayo Clinic, babies born at 33 weeks are considered “moderately preterm” as opposed to “very preterm”, which they would have been had they been born at 29 weeks. The average pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, and the later into those 40 weeks a baby arrives, the less likely it is to have health complications associated with its arrival.
After Ben and Nathan’s birth, they required four more weeks of care in the hospital NICU, however they were able to transfer out of Little Rock and back to their local hospital, closer to the Marrs’ home in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Jenny and Dave were well cared-for by their family during their two months in hospitals, and Jenny wrote, “After eight weeks of living in a hospital, we arrived home to find a large banner over the garage and entered a sparkling-clean kitchen with flowers and balloons covering the expanse of our countertops.”
Erin Napier Gave Jenny Marrs Advice for Her New Book
Jenny told Heavy in an October 2023 interview that her book “is about encouraging people to find beauty all around them, and not to feel […] overwhelmed by all of the information out there in the world, like ‘I’m not good enough, my house doesn’t measure up, oh Instagram, Pinterest, whatever.’ But really making your home a reflection of who you are.”
Fear of not measuring up not only exists in home design, but for Jenny, it popped up during her writing process too. Jenny told Heavy that “Home Town” host and author Erin Napier had some good advice when it came to this.
“It’s so overwhelming when you think about finding the time but also thinking about critics reading it. [Erin] was like ‘Don’t think about them. Just think about writing it to your kids.’ So that’s what I did, and that was wonderful advice from her.”
READ NEXT: Ben & Erin Napier Land New HGTV Special