Duggar family to hold memorial service for baby Jubilee Shalom

We heard the sad news last week that Michelle Duggar had lost what would have been her 20th baby while she was in her second trimester od pregnant. Mrs. Duggar was at the obstetrician to learn the sex of the baby when she was told that the baby’s heartbeat couldn’t be found. She was sent home to let the miscarriage happen “naturally.” (Those of you who have gone through that harrowing experience wrote that there’s nothing “natural” about it. My heart goes out to you.) Michelle went home to rest and started feeling lightheaded, so she returned to the hospital and was kept for observation. The Duggar family issued a heart wrenching statement about their loss. The baby was a little girl that they named “Jubilee Shalom” in keeping with the tradition of naming all their kids with letter “J” names. “Jubilee” has meaning in Christianity as a “special year of remission of sins and universal pardon.” “Shalom” is a Hebrew word that means “peace” and “completeness” and can be used to say “hello” and “goodbye.” The family held a service for Jubilee Sunday and will have a memorial for friends and family.

Following the miscarriage late Sunday night, Michelle began to feel lightheaded and as a precaution was taken to the hospital, where she was kept for observation, according to a family spokesperson. Michelle is recovering well and expected to return home later on Monday, the spokesperson adds.

“We have had many tears today,” says Jim Bob Duggar, 46. “This is life, and I understand that we are going though something that many others have. You think about the what-ifs, but God gives us strength to go on. We won’t be able to see this child’s life and the phases that we’ve seen for our other children, but we know we will see this child in heaven one day. We are thankful for each child, and we are blessed to have the children we have here and the ones we will meet someday in heaven.”

Jubilee Duggar’s memorial service will be for friends and Duggar family members, who on late Sunday already held a private service in their home.

“We would like to thank everyone for their prayers, emails and outpouring of love,” Jim Bob wrote in a letter he shared with PEOPLE. “As our whole family is grieving, we also know that God promises to work all things for good in our lives. Our prayer is that Jubilee’s passing will help us all realize that this life is short, and our relationship with Jesus is the most important thing. He gives us a peace in our hearts as He guides us through whatever we might face.”

Though the family is in mourning, Jim Bob says they are grateful for the health of youngest daughter, Josie, who turned 2 on Dec. 10. Josie survived against all odds after being born at just 25 weeks and 1 lb., 6 oz. and has developed normally with no lasting impairments.

[From People]

The family’s statement got me choked up. I read an article on Fox 411 yesterday in which doctors were interviewed about Michelle’s miscarriage. The Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD, Jennifer Landa, pointed out that the miscarriage rate for women over 45 is about 50%. Michelle is 45. Landa said that she would advise Michelle against future pregnancies, and she didn’t mince words about it. “I would advise her to consider stop having children. In my opinion, she has a duty to the children she already has not to incur unnecessary risk that may occur with trying to have another child. She needs to be there for the kids she already has. Additionally, her odds of having a baby with special needs are extraordinarily high and this may take away time and resources from the other children. I feel for her because miscarriages are never easy. There are lots of hopes and dreams that are born with each positive pregnancy test, but in my opinion, it is time for her to hang up the baby booties.” Many people agree with Landa.

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53 Responses to “Duggar family to hold memorial service for baby Jubilee Shalom”

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  1. Katyusha says:

    It looks like God has spoken.

    • ahoyhoy says:

      It DOES bother me that they embrace their god’s positive signs—like a pregnancy, but they ignore what just as easily might be god’s negative signs.
      It just seems to me if they put so much weight in signs, they should heed all of them, even the ones they don’t like.

      I’m not trying to offend anyone, it’s just confusing to me. I’m not religious, but I’d heed a sign like preeclampsia (sp?) & miscarriage.

  2. Hautie says:

    Sadly, I doubt this will stop the pregnancies.

    After having such terrible time with baby Josie, that should have been a clear message to stop. But she didn’t.

    And with 19 healthy children… they should be counting their blessings. And be focusing on the children here, that need a healthy Mother.

    • Iggles says:

      I don’t think she’s gonna stop either. She and Jim Bob are part of the Quiverfull movement so they’re keep chucking along.

      I admit, I only skimmed the statement. This whole situation was senseless, and they were warned any further pregnancies would be risky.

      Honestly, I feel like the they’re keep going another finally a statement reads, “Sadly mother and child did not make it”. Accidents are tragedies, but barreling towards the train tracks full speed ahead when there’s a train coming towards you is foolhardy…

  3. Shannon says:

    So sad for them. God bless baby Jubilee.

  4. Mr. StinkyFishFace says:

    I’ve seen so many hateful things written about this terrible time for the family, and I really want to thank you for being kind and non judgmental. My thoughts an prayers are with the Duggar family, this isn’t something that is just hard on Jim Bob and Michelle, the poor kids must be hurting as well.

    • flourpot says:

      I really believe that when people write ‘hateful things’ against the family, it’s because they’re astounded that after having so many children – especially the last one who was born premature and with issues – they keep trying.

      It’s not hate. It’s amazement that anyone would be so completely foolishly clueless that yet another child is a good idea.

      It just comes out as hate because their minds can’t comprehend any other way to get across the ridiculousness of the situation.

      • Mr. StinkyFishFace says:

        On other websites its just gotten down right nasty about this family. I don’t agree with her choice to have so many children, but I would never wish miscarriages, death, extreme rebellion, or for kids to become serial killers on this family. Those are just a taste the hateful things I’ve see.

  5. Ames says:

    I’m not sure what’s worse – a miscarriage or naming your baby Jubliee.

  6. Mr. StinkyFishFace says:

    Hautie, I had a HORRIBLE pregnancy with my second daughter. I went into preterm labor, my daughter was breech and in such a position that if my water had broken naturally we both would have probably died. I was on bedrest for 3 months… Does that mean that I should never have children again? No. It was a fluke. Comparing pregnancies isn’t the reason to stop having kids. Anyone can have a rough pregnancy be it their first or 20th. What should be the reason to stop having kids is her parental responsibility to her children. She needs to stop pawning them off on the older ones and step up and be a mom. She said that she has time to take a nap every day? I have two kids (22 months and 7 months) and I’m lucky to even sit down to eat a meal!

    • Hautie says:

      I made my statement about the 45 year old Mrs. Duggar.

      Not you.

      So there is no need to get huffy. As if I am trying to take away your right to have children.

      After nearly dying with her last pregnancy. A baby that spent the better part of her first year in the hospital… one would hope Mrs Duggar could find her other 19 children important enough… not to risk death. Again.

      • ahoyhoy says:

        I agree. Many women have surprise complications in pregnancy. The Duggars cannot be surprised, their doctors have been warning them.

        My concern is 19 kids who could easily lose their mother. Pregnant at 45 after that many babies is a very risky condition, and should never be taken so lightly. jmo.

    • Rachel says:

      Yes, complications can happen in any pregnancy, but the odds of developing complications in your 20th pregnancy are much, much greater than in your 2nd. The fact is, she’s a 45 year old woman with 19 children, it’s simply dangerous for her to continue becoming pregnant at this point. No one would say anything if she were trying for her third or fourth kid, but she’s already well into breeding double-digits, and she’s putting her life at risk if she keeps procreating. Her living kids deserve a mom…

  7. fabgrrl says:

    Sad, so sad. I highly doubt Mrs. Duggar can bear any more viable children.

    Is that what G*d wants? A baby to die in-utero, or right after a premature birth? Your body cannot produce more children! Be a mother to your existing babies. You want newborns to snuggle? I’m sure that soon enough you will be getting at least one new grandchild annually.

    As I’ve said before, someone needs to slip an IUD in at this woman’s next annual.

  8. ladybert62 says:

    That is an unusual and beautiful name especially in this context. I really like that name.

  9. Redd says:

    I think the family put a lot of thought and heart into the baby’s name and it holds meaning that they will treasure. Not a thing wrong with that.

  10. anne_000 says:

    Since her 2nd pregnancy resulted in a miscarriage, wouldn’t they have counted this last baby as baby #21? Don’t the religious Duggars count the dead babies/fetuses as well? So all this nonsense that they needed an even number of babies doesn’t make sense, since this one would have been baby #21. I guess they meant only living babies count, cuz it seems to them with their careless desires to have another baby means there’s a 50% of miscarriage. If so, that will be her 3rd miscarriage.

    And this is the same idiotic woman who said she would gladly die to have another child. Really? That shows what a piss-poor mother she is.

  11. Deanna says:

    While some people do make fun of the Duggars and say cruel things and imply she deserved to miscarry and such, I think most are frustrated by the fact that although she has been informed of what a high risk it is for her to become pregnant again, not just for her but also for the child, she continues on her apparent quest for pregnancy martyrdom. It isn’t showing respect for life to risk your own in such a blatant way and she already has 19 beautiful gifts to cherish. I think that there may be something to “baby addiction” theory. When she says “I am willing to lay down my life to be pregnant again” it gives me chills. Yes, children are a gift from God but by no means should that mean risking ones life after already having 19 children. Watching medical expert after medical expert on television, say that she is risking her life and that she has more than a 50% chance of miscarrying at her advanced age, even in later trimesters and that the child is at extreme risk of having serious chromosomal problems, makes them look very selfish, not Godly. It must also be very hard on their other children. How many more miscarriage funerals will they have to attend?

    • gg says:

      Exactly. Why put them all through this heartbreak again when it’s been declared by the doctor more likely than not if she keeps on, and puts her own life in danger as well? Why torture everybody? Can’t she honor her family by being there for them and not having risky behavior like this? This seems like addiction to me.

  12. Girl says:

    I’m going out on a limb here but that doctor is wrong. The risk for a miscarriage as late as Michelle’s was is not 45%. Even in her age group. Possibly before the end of the first trimester but not into the second trimester. Maybe he was misquoted.

  13. Heather M (Heather) says:

    Well written CB. I only read this to see how on earth you would handle such a controversial and sensitive topic, and I’m impressed by your diplomacy and nuanced handling of the situation. :)

  14. jc126 says:

    Couple questions here:
    1. Are they going to film the service the show? I sincerely hope not.
    2. All over the internet, I kept reading that she was approximately at 20 weeks gestation. How likely is it that a doctor would send a woman to pass it “naturally at home?

    • Lithe says:

      I hope they don’t broadcast it either. Horrible to say, but sometimes they remind me of the Kardashians.

      • jc126 says:

        It’s not horrible to say at all, you’re just perceptive and haven’t fallen for the hype.

      • Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

        Why? I find some merit in that comparison. Just because you have sympathy for a loss doesn’t mean you have to check your brain at the door. My uncle and his wife lost their third baby when she was a few months old and I only had to watch that sadness, not experience it. They knowingly took the risk, something awful happened, but that awfulness doesn’t negate the irresponsibility that acted as a catalyst and if they persist in this, well, greediness, people will get hurt. You either learn or you don’t, but it would behoove us to remember that any personal trauma we endure affects not just us, alone. Nothing ever happens to just one person. Even if you have all the love in the world, if your kids are a means to an end and it’s always about wanting more, part of me thinks that they’re being a bit ungrateful for God’s gifts. You’ve received a huge bounty, be satisfied and revel in it. God’s not just a personal blessings debit card who metes out our every desire in prompt fashion and if the more than enough that you have been given still isn’t good enough, whose problem is that?

      • GradStudentEatingHotPockets says:

        I hope they don’t show the service. I want to believe that they want to grieve in some sort of peace, without all the cameras around.

  15. Tazina says:

    If they film the service and put it on their show, then they are ratings pigs. Since they filmed their little boy when he was injured and we had to listen to his pitiful cries, I wouldn’t put it past them.

  16. novaraen says:

    Yes…it’s sad to lose a child…but Michelle was warned that she would have troubles if she continued to try to have babies. She brought this on herself and that ginormous family of hers. Sad as it is.

    Take care of the children you already have and stop this nonsense. God IS telling you it’s time to stop.

  17. danie says:

    I feel bad for them but at the same time it’s tempered by the feeling that they are actively setting themselves up for this and various other tragedies .

    I have three wonderful boys. Part of me would love more but I’m done. I had pre-eclampsia with my last two boys and my youngest did a two week stint in the nicu after being born at 35 weeks and 3 lbs. Even at 32, i know I the likelihood of this happening again is to high to risk it. While it is a free country and the duggers can do what they want, the risk they are willingly putting on any future pregnancies is simply unconscionable and cruel to me.

  18. judyjudy says:

    I just don’t appreciate having to hear the details of her birth loss. Is nothing private anymore? These reality stars who share their most private, sacred moments are sick and disturbing.

  19. maxwell says:

    please don’t post about these people. thank you.

  20. Em says:

    I too think it’s sad that people wish such terrible things on this family. I hope they find healing from this loss, and I also hope for Michelle’s own good that her body stops ovulating. You know they will continue to try…

  21. sacha says:

    How gross that they named it and planning a funeral for it. Whats next? Posting pics of the dead fetus on their website??

  22. Stacy says:

    Our society today says you must be focused only on yourself, and your almighty career. Many of those who forego having children, are now facing job loss and abandonment by their employers. There is truly regret amongst those who chose to never have children. Just go visit childfree forums online and read the nasty, hate-filled rants of this sad lot in society. They are obviously bitter and unhappy. Career did not fulfill them, nor did self-focus and self-interest. Women like Michelle Duggar bold enough to not care what feminists or society thinks about them. She does not need their validation. She has lived the life she wanted to and has a beautiful family.

    • diana says:


      What society are you talking about?

      Most Americans I know work and have families that they love deeply and care for enormously. All of them make for great parents.

      Talking about bitterness vs extreme religious people ?!?


      • Hannah says:

        No, actually I WOULD say most of the people I know want to have exactly 2 kids, 1 boy and 1 girl, and want to ship them off to day care so they can go make 100K per year and buy a boat and go on vacations and watch cable tv 100 hours per week. They do not place the value of children over the value of money. This is just what I observe. Maybe I live in a strange town.

  23. ruby says:

    I don’t think it’s gross that they named the baby and had a funeral for it. I think it’s quite normal and a way to process the pain of the loss, instead of behaving as if it is disgusting and pretending it never happened.

    And I much prefer to hear about these people than about the Kardashians. Ok, both have reality shows but I don’t find the Duggars as superficial and puke inducing as the Kardashians. I don’t agree with everything the Duggars do, but they aren’t as bad as the Kardashians.

    Oh and for the record, the Duggars are not part of the Quiverfull movement. I know, it looks like they are but actually they are not. It gets annoying when everyone keeps posting this, it shows how misinformed people are… If you don’t know, don’t make things up. From page 92 of Michelle and Jim Bob’s book A Love That Multiplies: “We find it amusing how many reports copy and paste information they find about us that someone else has copied and pasted without checking the facts. For instance, even though Wikipedia and some Internet blogs report that we are part of a QuiverFull movement, we are not. We are simply Bible-believing Christians who desire to follow God’s Word and apply it to our lives. God says children are a gift and a blessing, and we believe it.” (Found this on wikipedia. Again, I don’t agree with their view of things, but it’s unfair to say untrue things about them.)

  24. Amanda says:

    I feel sorry for the Duggars, but at the same time, Jim-Bob and Michelle were selfish and the baby was the one who paid the price for it.

  25. LeeLoo says:

    I am going to try and show restraint in what I say which is hard but one thing I’ve always been slightly curious about is how much of a say Jim Bob has in all of this. Is it possible he has no say at all or is it possible Michelle has no say. I find their decisions disturbing and irresponsible on so many levels but if this is part of a conservative religious movement it makes me wonder how much of a say Michelle has as these movements usually diminish rights for women.

  26. the original bellaluna says:

    I would love nothing more than to have another baby or two. But since I’ve been medically advised not to (and the last one nearly killed me), we’ve decided to foster and/or adopt instead.

    It absolutely KILLS ME that I cannot have what I so desperately want, but I have a responsibility to the children I already have.

    I have been blessed with “mine, his, and ours” so I choose to be content with them.

    While I don’t wish a miscarriage (been there; suffered that) on anyone, I think it is absolutely selfish and irresponsible that the Duggars refuse to follow medical advice.

  27. Julie says:

    God bless all the Duggars. I am so sad for your family. If you decide to have more children that is your decision. Don’t let the negative letters make your decision. I believe as you do that God has a number in mind. If I had a chance to do it all again, I would have had 10 more kids, but after my 3rd child I decided to stop. Your family is so special to me and I wish someday to meet all of you in person. I love your show and your beliefs. All families should be like yours and there would be more love in the world. God Bless the Duggars.