Sean Duffy and wife Rachel's 9th child born with Down syndrome, heart defect

Valentina StellaMaris Duffy was born one month early and must undergo surgery in a few months.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Alyssa Newcomb

Former U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy and his wife, television personality Rachel Campos-Duffy, are celebrating the birth of their ninth child, a daughter named Valentina StellaMaris Duffy.

Duffy resigned from his job representing Wisconsin's 7th Congressional District in September after the couple found out their new daughter would need open heart surgery. He said it was "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."

Valentina arrived one month ahead of schedule on Oct. 1. Her mother shared a photo of the newborn sleeping and another of her meeting her big brothers and sisters. She called the baby girl "the sweetest, most perfect angel we have ever seen."

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Campos-Duffy also opened up about the challenges ahead for Valentina.

"She is doing great, though still in the NICU until she learns to eat on her own," she wrote in a Facebook post. "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."

Campos-Duffy said her newborn daughter has two holes in her heart and will need surgery in three to four months. Valentina also was born with three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two, which means she has Down syndrome.

"That extra chromosome certainly made her EXTRA cute. Life is wonderful!!" Campos-Duffy added.

It seems Valentina's eight older siblings, who range in age from 3 to 20, can't get enough of their baby sister.

"When we visit with her at the hospital, the kids fight over who can hold her," Campos-Duffy wrote. "I don’t blame them!"

The couple, who are former reality television stars and met during an edition of MTV's "Road Rules: All Stars," announced on May 6 that they were expecting their ninth child, the same day that baby Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born.

"Buckingham Palace isn't the only one with big baby news ... we found out God isn't done with our family yet," Campos-Duffy wrote. "Baby #9 coming this fall! Don't tell us we're crazy. We prefer brave and full of hope for America's future."

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