Third season of MTV's 'Run's House' to show family's loss of newborn
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/04/2007
During the first two seasons of MTV's Run's House, viewers learned it could be both fun and trying to live under the same roof as the religious rapper. And when the third season premieres on Monday, April 9 at 10PM ET/PT, viewers will also see how the family deals with tragedy through their faith.
Already the parents of five children between the ages of 10 and 23, the 42-year-old Joseph "Rev. Run" Simmons and his 43-year-old wife Justine learned she was pregnant in early 2006.
"For me to get pregnant that late in my life was a miracle," Justine told People in a March 31 interview. "The pregnancy was not easy. I didn't eat at all. I didn't even gain a lot of weight. For a long time the doctors couldn't even tell [the baby's sex], and we said we know it's a girl. I bought everything in pink for the nursery. Everything is pink; it still is. The nursery is still upstairs."
Halfway through Justine's pregnancy doctors discovered the developing baby had omphalocele, a birth defect that caused her organs to grow outside her body. But the religious couple, which has been married for 12 years, decided to go ahead with the pregnancy.
"We found out that there could be a problem mid-pregnancy. The doctors told us that the baby's organs were growing outside of the body," Run told People. "I'm a preacher; I'm not going to get an abortion. Our strength came from, 'God can create miracles. This baby can be fine.' We stopped looking at the sonogram and walked in faith." Added Justine, "Just me, my husband, our bishop and our pastor knew. We didn't tell anybody else because we didn't know how it would turn out."
Victoria Anne was born on September 26 via c-section and weighed less than four-and-a-half pounds. She died within two hours of her birth at a hospital near the couple's Saddle River, NJ home. While Run called Victoria's death "the biggest tragedy anyone could imagine," the entire ordeal was still captured for the third season of Run's House.
"God, in my mind, gave us something to go through in front of America, so we documented it on-camera -- not so much to show you sadness -- but to show you how we, as ministers, would handle this tragedy," Run told People. "[Our kids] found out on-camera. [12-year-old] Diggy was waiting to see, 'How's Mommy?' And the first words we said were, 'The baby didn't make it.' "
Justine said following Victoria's death, she took a moment to soak in the beauty of her baby and recalled to People how "peaceful" the child looked.
"It didn't feel like a goodbye to me. [Today] I can talk about it, but if I stop to literally revisit, I start crying so fast because I can go right there," Justine told People. "Women need to know you only need to mourn quickly. Don't try to think of [the baby's] eyes. It doesn't sound nice, but it will help them in the long run. I wouldn't have been able to help my kids get to school in the morning if my husband didn't say, 'We have to keep moving.' I did a lot of journaling, writing to God telling him to give me strength."
Run said while Diggy probably would have taken the news the hardest, he didn't let his children dwell on what occurred and instead taught them to be thankful for what they have.
"We all cry, but not a long period of it," Run told People. "We don't have pictures [of Victoria Anne]. We don't look back. We don't want the walls of our house to start crying, and everything to just crumble around us."
Despite the pain and sorrow depicted in the third season of Run's House, it appears the story could still have a happy ending.
"I've always wanted to adopt, and now my husband is with me," Justine told People. "We're doing the paperwork now and praying that God gives us the right baby girl. We celebrate life. We know Victoria is with God in a wonderful place looking down on us, and that's probably why we have a lot of blessings going on now."