It took me a couple of minutes to find that the biggest risk factor for pre-eclampsia, a life-threatening condition leading to high blood pressure in late pregnancy, is a previous instance of pre-eclampsia. Another risk factor is maternal age. Michelle Duggar, the reality show mother who is currently pregnant at 45 with what will be her 20th child, had pre-eclampsia in her last pregnancy, resulting in a dangerous very early term delivery of her daughter Josie at just 25 weeks old. According to Michelle, she can’t be too worried about any risks associated with this pregnancy, because pre-eclampsia “is a crazy, random thing.” I guess we can’t expect her grasp basic probability. This woman also believes that the earth was created 6,000 years ago and that dinosaurs and humans lived together at the same time. (I’m not kidding, the Duggars home school their kids so that they can teach them young earth creationism, they took their kids to the “Creation Museum,” and they link to the Creation Museum from their official website. The Creation Museum includes exhibits like this one, which show humans and dinosaurs co-existing.)
Michelle also told People Magazine that she takes a power nap every day, that she eats healthy, and that she knows that having a ton of kids isn’t for everyone.
With 18 kids still at home, one on the way and two grandchildren, how does Michelle Duggar get any rest?
“I am taking a power nap every day,” she tells PEOPLE. “And I’m eating a lot of protein and green vegetables and no caffeine, which is a new thing for me.”
Michelle, 45, and husband Jim Bob, 46, stars of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting are expecting their 20th child after the premature birth of daughter Josie in Dec. 2009 following Michelle’s life-threatening preeclampsia.
“I read up a lot on preeclampsia [while pregnant with Josie],” says Michelle, “and it is a crazy, random thing. I have been getting counseled from a high-risk pregnancy doctor in Little Rock and taking good care of myself.”
The family’s frightening medical journey with Josie – born at only 25 weeks and weighing just over a pound – was documented on 19 Kids and Counting as the tiny micropremie was in and out of the hospital and Michelle’s own life was in danger.
Now, Josie has been released by Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock and is developing normally.
Michelle and Jim Bob watch her oxygen levels using a finger monitor. She accompanied her family on a recent trip to Europe (part of TLC’s Duggars World Tour: Scotland & Ireland, which airs Nov. 13 at 8 p.m.), and she also visited Israel with the whole family.
“The last day of the trip, Josie caught the cold that some of us had,” Jim Bob says. “She couldn’t fly back with a cold, so Michelle and Jill stayed longer in Israel with Josie.”
Michelle, who had just found out she was pregnant, says she had yet to experience any morning sickness.
“I get motion sickness anyway, but thankfully the morning sickness didn’t kick in until I got home,” she says, noting that it hit her hard upon her return but is now gone and she’s feeling good.
“We know having this many kids isn’t for everyone,” she says. “But we are open to receive whatever gifts God wants us to have. And we are so excited and thrilled about this pregnancy.”
Power naps typically last about 15-20 minutes, so I can’t begrudge her that. She also revealed on the Today Show that prior to learning of this latest pregnancy she was spending an hour on the elliptical machine every day. To those of you who ask where she finds the time, she has an entire house full of babysitters.
So God blesses these people with children, it has nothing to do with their choices. He also made the earth and everything on it in one fell swoop a few thousand years ago. The mind boggles. Watch this video and listen to Michelle Duggar explain creationism at 3:11. A little bit later several of the kids are interviewed about their beliefs. The kids say that the world is 6,000 years old, and one older girl says “it’s actually more scientifically proven [that the world is 6,000 years old] than [that the world is] billions of years old.” Holy crap.