Little micropremie Josie Duggar, who was born four and a half months premature last December, has gained enough weight and is stable enough to leave the hospital and go home with her large family in Arkansas. The Duggars will live temporarily in a rental home in Little Rock, near Josie’s hospital, until they feel that she’s improved enough to go home with them to Tonitown.
Josie is the nineteenth child in the prolific Duggar family, which stars in the weekly TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting. She was just 1 lb., 6 oz. at birth and now weighs 4 lbs. 9 oz. and can breathe without assistance. In a statement to People Magazine, mom Michelle Duggar, 43, made it clear that she would care for her premature baby by saying “I will be her main caregiver.” The Duggars have received criticism for the fact that they run their family with a “buddy system” in which an older child is assigned to care for a younger sibling once they stop nursing at six months old.
Today, Josie weighs 4 lbs. 9 oz., is breathing without oxygen, eating every three hours and stable enough to go home, says Arrington. It’s a bittersweet day for the staff. “I will miss being around the baby and the family,” Arrington says. “They are very nice people. But they’ve told me they will stay in touch and come by the nursery to let us see her.”
Michelle says the family’s emotional roller-coaster ride has “leveled out,” and that Josie’s disposition has been a joy in hard times. “She has a strong personality,” Michelle says. “She is a spunky little thing and will keep us all going.”
The littlest Duggars at home – Jackson, 5, Johanna, 4, Jennifer, 2, and Jordyn, 15 months – have never seen Josie in person and “are jumping up and down that they will finally get to meet their baby sister,” says Michelle. Of course, given Josie’s still-delicate state, “the little ones will have to be careful with slobbery kisses to prevent any colds and sniffles,” Michelle adds.
The family will remain in a rental home nearby in Little Rock indefinitely until they are ready to take Josie home to Tontitown, Ark. “I will be her main caregiver,” Michelle says, “and we’ll have a lot of helpers around to take turns feeding her and getting her to sleep.”
Good luck to the Duggars and to little Josie, who is hopefully out of the woods and improving daily. I know that people have strong feelings about this huge family, and that’s understandable. The few times I’ve watched this show I’ve been blown out of the water by how calm and well run their household is. I know I get more stressed out caring for one kid than they do with more than a baker’s dozen. Whatever you think about them, their kids are well cared for and they don’t rely on public assistance.
Of course there’s still the question of whether they’ll continue to have children in spite of Michelle and Josie’s medical scare. They’ve said that they’ll continue to have children as long as God wants them to. It’s unclear to me whether they fully grasp the very active role they play in that situation.
Photos from TLC
Written by Celebitchy
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