With 19 kids and countless grandchildren, the Duggars are no stranger to the miracle of birth. However, even they have had a few scary birthing situations over the years.
From Joy-Anna‘s emergency C-section to Lauren's miscarriage, the Duggar women are no strangers to complications during their pregnancies. They have experienced intense labors that last hours and even lost a few precious lives over the years.
With a brood as big as theirs, they are pretty much the masters of welcoming children into the world. However, here is a look at the most complicated Duggar births and miscarriages over the years.
One of the most harrowing moments for the Duggar clan was matriarch Michelle, 51, gave birth to her youngest child Josie. The little girl was born prematurely by nearly three months on December 10, 2009.
Michelle was diagnosed with preeclampsia and rushed in for an emergency C-section at 25 weeks. Josie weighed only 1 lb., 6 oz. Eight days after she was born she suffered a perforated bowel and had an abdominal drain put it.
“Josie is walking a daily tightrope to keep her vitals stable and the nurses and the whole team here has been wonderful. Years ago, a baby this small wouldn’t have lived an hour. We are so grateful for the ability to help her,” said Jim Bob. Michelle added, “It is incredible what the doctors and nurses can do to save the life of this little person.”
She spent nearly six months in hospital before being released from the hospital. She had grown to a “chunky” 9 lbs., 1 oz.
Jill Duggar, 26, and her husband Derick Dillard, 29, welcomed their first child on April 6, 2015. However, birth came at a price. Jill was in labor for close to three days with intermittent contractions.
Jill revealed that her water broke on Saturday, April 4. At the time she was hoping for a natural delivery at home but Israel's birth “didn’t go as expected.”
The mom-to-be found out she was positive for strep and was forced to take antibiotics via an IV. She then struggled through 20 hours in labor with no progress before noticing a faint stain of meconium (a sign of fetal distress) and was rushed to the hospital.
Jill initially declined Pitocin and pain medication but when she hit the 70-hour mark and the baby was in a transverse breech position they realized the baby had irregular heart rates and was not moving down, she gave in. The couple eventually opted for a C-section and welcomed a 9-lb., 10-oz. baby boy.
Jessa Duggar, 25, and her husband Ben Seewald, 22, welcomed their first son Spurgeon into the world on November 5, 2015. Jessa's labor consisted of 10 hours of contractions that nearly led her to give up on her all-natural home birth.
“Labor is hard,” she later said. “It was very intense, very long. Everything was different than I expected. I said, ‘That’s it! I’m done! I am going to the hospital and I’m going to get an epidural.’ They asked me if I really wanted to do that and I said, ‘No, I don’t, but I do.’ I wanted to try natural if at all possible.”
She eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy weighing 9 lbs. and 11 oz. However, Jessa began bleeding uncontrollably and her midwife became concerned.
The new mom was rushed to the hospital and had to undergo a blood transfusion and stay overnight. Her second son was born without the scary complications.
In 2018, then newlyweds Josiah and Lauren Duggar went through the most painful heartbreak when Lauren suffered a miscarriage while expecting their first child, Asa, together.
The couple took to Instagram to open up about the miscarriage, writing:
“Many of yall don't know this, but a couple of months ago we found out we were expecting, however, soon after we miscarried. At first, we kind of wanted to just stay quiet about the news, but knew that since everyone is anticipating for us to announce that we're having a baby, we felt like it was time that we told everyone that our first and only baby is in heaven. It is hard to hear when people ask us if we are expecting, when we only recently lost our baby. You can imagine it was devastating to both of us."
The youngest mom in the Duggar clan at just 21-years-old, Joy-Anna welcomed her first child with husband Austin Forsyth on February 23, 2018. Joy-Anna was set on having a home birth but ended up being in labor for 20-hours.
Her midwife determined the baby was breech. She was rushed to the hospital and rushed in for an emergency C-section. Baby Gideon was born measuring 22 inches long and weighing 10 lbs., 3 oz.
A year after having her son, Joy-Anna was pregnant again. Unfortunately, at her 20-week scan, it was discovered that the baby's heart was not beating.
"Today marks one week since we heard these words… 'So this is your baby’s heart (pointing to the ultrasound screen). I don’t hear a heartbeat or see any movement.' We had gone in for our 20-week ultrasound and gender reveal. It was a baby girl," revealed the couple on Instagram.
Joy-Anna and Lauren aren't the only Duggars to have miscarried. Michelle Duggar also miscarried her 20th child at just 19 weeks. She also experienced a miscarriage just after she married Jim Bob. She was on birth control which led to the family not trusting birth control anymore.