19th Duggar baby born a preemie by emergency C-section, just 1 lb, 6oz.

The prolific Duggar family are the stars of TLC’s weekly reality show “18 Kids and Counting.” The Duggars believe that children are a gift from God and use no form of birth control. They seek medical treatment and prenatal care but opt out of genetic testing, as is recommended for pregnant women over 35. All of their children have names that start with “J” and all of them are homeschooled under a Christian conservative curriculum that teaches creationism. The Duggars have no debt and raise their children under a “buddy system” in which an older child is assigned to watch out for a younger one once they’re weaned from nursing.

Mom Michelle Duggar, 43, had to be airlifted to an Arkansas hospital over the weekend when she was experiencing early contractions. She had a gallstone that needed to be removed and was reportedly fine afterwards, but was kept in the hospital for observation. It’s a good thing that they kept her there because she needed an emergency c-section. The baby wasn’t due until the spring and is at least a few months early. Little girl “Josie” was delivered yesterday and weighed just 1 lb., 6 oz.

She arrived earlier than expected, but the 19th Duggar baby is here!

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar welcomed daughter Josie Brooklyn, weighing 1 lb., 6 oz., at 6:27 p.m. Thursday, at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas.

Michelle, who has been in the hospital recovering from a gallstone, was taken to the OR for an emergency C-section. She is resting comfortably and the baby is stable and in the NICU for extended care, a rep for the network tells PEOPLE exclusively.

“The most important thing right now is for mom and baby Josie to get as much rest as possible,” reads the statement to PEOPLE. “The family is grateful for all the prayers and well wishes during their recovery.”

[From People]

From what I understand Michelle has had only one other c-section in her many pregnancies. I couldn’t confirm that with a link, but I remember her saying it on one of the shows I watched and she was a big proponent of VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean. She has one set of twins so that could have been the other c-section. The woman should take a hint, though, and stop getting pregnant after this one. (Update: Ana points out that this is Michelle’s fourth c-section. I must have seen the show several pregnancies ago.)

I’ve seen their show and they do seem to be great parents. They’re very calm and loving with their kids and they have a whole system down so that everything moves smoothly in their house. You wonder how much they’re addicted to having more kids though and if they’ll be able to cope without a new addition every year or so. That said, I hope that the baby is fine and that Michelle is ok. 1lb, 6oz is very small but they have excellent neonatal care. Now that the 19th one was born will they change the name of their show?

Update: a lot of you are saying that the baby will face an uphill battle at that tiny size and that it’s too early to tell how she will turn out.

Photos courtesy of TLC

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116 Responses to “19th Duggar baby born a preemie by emergency C-section, just 1 lb, 6oz.”

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  1. e says:

    Please tell me this means she will stop having kids. PLEASE.

  2. Leticia says:

    e, I agree. I hope that she takes this as a sign from above.

  3. Tia C says:

    Maybe it’s time to stop breeding now. Mkay?

  4. Ellen Smith says:

    Her uterus is finally giving up. If this isn’t a wake up call, what is? Will she and her husband keep getting pregnant for the sake of reproduction without any thought to the health/viability of the pregnancies themselves?

  5. Firestarter says:

    Well, I for one, hope that the chld will be okay and join her famly at home.

    Congrats to them too. If we can give Kendra well wishes, we can also do the same for the Duggars.

  6. Shelly says:

    I hope the baby will thrive and be healthy, but I also hope that they take this as a warning that she needs to stop having children. I read that the baby was born 15 weeks early. That’s scary.

  7. Lantana says:

    I audibly GASPED when I read the lead on this. It really makes me sad, and stories on gossip sites don’t usually do that. For the record I am with her 100% on VBACs. I did that and it was the best decision ever.

  8. Jazz says:

    This should be a sign to stop having kids, the next one might not be so lucky. I hope that the baby will be alright. She’ll probably be pregnant again before she’s out of the hospital.

  9. Iggles says:

    Can they STOP having kids now?

    I do wonder how they will last without the constant additions. How will Michelle cope without being an expectant mother anymore?

    Maybe finally the younger kids will have involved parents for a change.

  10. bella says:

    Since she won’t listen to medical professionals, perhaps she will take this as a message from above that she should stop having kids. She’s a woman, not a rabbit, for Pete’s sake. The vagina is not a clown car!

  11. girl says:

    I think it is up to them if they want to stop having kids. Just like it is up to anyone else. They seem to do just fine so I don’t understand how it hurts anyone else if they do or don’t have more children. Maybe they will stop, maybe not. Maybe she had to have an emergent hysterectomy (almost happened to me). I hope mom and baby both do well. They have a long road ahead of them with a NICU baby.

  12. Huma says:

    This is going to be an unpopular opinion and will earn me all kinds of flak, but I really don’t care.

    These people are DISGUSTING.

  13. Novaraen says:

    This definitely must be a sign for her to stop having children. I really hope that the little baby girl will be okay…I know that at only 1 lb…she will have to be in the hospital for awhile. They usually wont release a baby till it is at least 5 lbs.

    Oh…and PLEASE Michelle…stop this nonsense. You have a TON of beautiful children and you should be focusing on them…not repopulating the planet.

  14. Black Kat says:


  15. Peanut says:

    Babies born at 1 lb 6 oz (probably 14-15 weeks early) are definitely not guaranteed to be “fine”, even with the excellent neo-natal care we have available now.

    I don’t really support the Duggars and their constant breeding, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for little Josie.

  16. birdie says:

    I would hardly call them ‘disgusting’… You may not agree with their way of life, that’s fine, but at least they care for and love all their children.

    My aunt works in family law as a child advocate, she tells horror stories. A woman, a meth addicted prostitute has had 16 children. 10 of those children were given up at birth, but she managed to keep her paws on the other 6, who in turn were prostituted for mom’s drug money and abused and neglected from a young age. That’s what disgusting is. What’s truly sad, is that this is a common story. There are children born every day to worse situations than this little Duggar.

    I hope she grows stronger and bigger. She has a loving family that will keep her in their thoughts and prayers.

  17. Raven says:

    This family is not the happy image they put forth in public. The kids don’t have a buddy system. The older girls do all the child care and house work while the boys learn to be “head of household” men with college educations, jobs and money of their own. These people don’t just “not use birth control.” After 6 months the new infant is turned over to older girls to raise while the parents focus on getting pregnant again. Think morning frolics, nooners and romantic evenings, while their girls do all the drudge work.

    These people will not stop trying to get pregnant and the high risk children born will be a drain on their older female siblings burdened with caring for them. I’m praying for an early menopause and that they don’t believe in artificial insemination.

  18. H says:

    D-listed said she is 25 weeks old. So they have a long hall with the baby she is probably vented as her lungs would not be developed enough. The vent itself poses a risk for infections. Baby girls do better than boys though so that is going for them. I don’t agree with not using birth control but having had a premmie myself I hope she is okay. That young she will likely have some medical issues.

  19. Erin says:

    This isn’t just her 2nd c-section. She has had several VBACs, but her last baby was born via c-section as well.

  20. lucy2 says:

    I hope they are all OK.
    A friend had a premie about that size – it was a lot of hard work and a very long road to the healthy young boy he is today, and she had no other kids to worry about, unlike the Duggars, who have many other children to take care of as well. Their next youngest is apparently less than 1 year old. I wish them the best, it’s going to be difficult.
    I don’t agree with their beliefs and choices, and have to echo others here in thinking that maybe this will be a sign to them that their family is large enough. After this medical issue, if they feel the need to continually add to their family, maybe they’d look into adoption to give children in need a home.

  21. princess pea says:

    This is terrible news. Josie is really premature, I hope she’ll be okay. Poor little beastie.

    Congrats Duggars. She’s early, and undoubtedly will need extra care for some time, but I know they love her already.

  22. manda says:

    Raven, thank you for setting forth some more of the facts on these people. I think they are frightening and can’t believe they have a show. They are out of the dark ages, and women are NOT considered equal in their philosophy.

    It’s a shame that they haven’t shared any of their love with foster kids. But I bet they wouldn’t think twice about telling someone else not to get an abortion!

  23. bella says:

    @ Raven;

    Some of the daughters may decide not have children at all due to their experiences raising their siblings. We have a family friend who is the oldest of 6 kids and the only girl. She plans on never having kids of her own, since she has spent most of her life caring for her siblings.

  24. wow says:

    I still can’t put my finger on why they seem sort of off, but I do hope for the best recovery for Mom and child. 1lb is very ricky. I have a friend who had a premie that weighed 2lbs, and it was an uphill battle. Everything turned out great though and I wish the same for this family.

  25. Ana says:

    I found an article for her last baby (the 18th) and she had her third c-section then…making this her fourth. I always wondered what would happen because most women are recommended to only have four.

    This story makes me sad. While I do not agree with this families personal choices, I do see that they work for them. Not everyone can handle so many kids. I see so many horrible kids in my work, just spoiled rotten and mean. But the Duggar’s children are well behaved and nice. They instill values in their children and they seem to be growing up to become respectable adults.

    I may not agree with their beliefs or what they are doing, but I do respect them. They seem to walk the walk…or however that saying goes.

    I sincerely hope this baby grows strong and healthy. That they are both okay.

  26. *Lee* says:

    I don’t understand people thinking that this couple is doing something wrong. In cases where the person/couple is having multiple children and dependent on the state, it’s debatable. But these people are completely self sufficient. Their children are cared for,and seem (I obviously don’t know them personally) to be happy and well loved. The whole family seems a lot closer and more well adjusted than many family with a lot less children.

    They are clearly not just irresponsibly having children to subsidize their lives. I honestly don’t understand people acting like this is so awful. I personally think I would have stopped a LONG time ago, but that’s me.

  27. Kayla says:

    My half-brother was born at 27 weeks and weighed just two pounds at birth (and even dropped down to 1 pound and change for a scary week or so) and he is still feeling the effects of that premature birth 4 years later. He is definitely a miracle but it has been a long road that he is still on.

    No matter what I think of the Duggars & whether or not I agree with their opinions on children, I hope that this baby is healthy and they are able to meet all the changes it is sure to face. I wish them all the best!

  28. wow says:

    @ Huma – Don’t let that stop you. We’re all of varying opinions around here. Keep adding yours.

  29. Instantsoup says:

    I really hope the baby is will be okay and thrive to be a healthy child. But really, this is enough. I like the Duggars. I admit I watch the show sometimes and the children are well-behaved, friendly, and cute. I mean, what family wouldn’t want a Duggar child! LoL!
    But in terms of surviving the real world, I don’t think the children have the skills necessary to break out of the Duggar commune. If a girl walks past them wearing an “indecent top” the older girls will yell “Nike!” and all the boys will have to divert their eyes. Even if they watch television, they will cover up dresses because it might stir “indecent” thoughts. The girls can’t change their hair b/c their father likes their hair to be long and curly. So the girls will give themselves home perms to match their father’s tastes. Now that seems REALLY creepy. If you see the show, you will like them. Michelle seems like a really really sweet woman. But if you REALLY pay close attention, some things will make you question their lifestyle.

  30. Celebitchy says:

    @Ana – thank you I will update it! I think I saw the show a while ago and she had only had 1 c-section at that point.

  31. Guest says:

    they honestly need to just stop.

  32. Ana says:

    No problem CB.

    Let me update my status: Most women are only recommended to have three c-sections.

    Here is the link for verification:

    This story was for her 18th child.

    I do believe they will change the name of the show again….they changed it from “17 Kids and Counting” to “18 Kids and Counting.” So I imagine it will be “19 Kids and Counting.”

    Although, with the complications with this child I think she may be the last. Michelle and Jim Bob always say something on the show about how each kid could be the last one.

  33. Larissa says:

    I hope Michelle will be blessed with menopause , which is just as natural as conceiving, veeery very soon!

  34. girl says:

    I think the number of c/s a woman is recommended to have is largely flexible. As far as I remember, one of the Kennedy’s had all her babies by c/s and I think that was more than 8 (I could be wrong). A lot of it depends on how much scar tissue there is, how well their body heals afterwards, etc.

    My totally uneducated guess would be that a grand multi-parous woman like Michelle Duggar would be told that to have more babies would put her life and health at risk.

  35. Ellen Smith says:

    to Lee #26 – you are correct in the first part – they are not taking money from the state etc. However, the parents are not doing the parenting – they are pawning (after spawning!) the responsibility onto the other children (especially the girls). I agree with some of the other posters – I expect that some of these children, especially the girls, will not want to have children of their own after taking care of their own siblings for so many years.

  36. proud preemie mom says:

    I was 21 and in the middle of a very healthy pregnancy when I gave birth to my son at 29 weeks. Although it is true that becoming pregnant within 6 to 9 months of giving birth can increase your risk of premature labor and delivery, as well as being over 35. But to say having a preemie means she needs to stop having babies is ignorant. She should think hard about becoming pregnant again, and becoming pregnant with longer periods of healthy healing in between pregnancies. And with 19 kids she should consider stopping anyway.
    but having a preemie is NOT a sign that you need to stop having kids.

  37. hibbert says:

    My wife and I had a preemie daughter, born at 30 weeks. Doctors at the NICU scared the beejeezus out of us, outlining all of the problems she’ll probably have. She’s almost 7 now and is perfectly healthy, thankfully. A 25 week preemie – that’s gonna be a tough one. Hope she comes through ok.

  38. Lardy Chops says:

    At 14-15 weeks early a baby will probably NOT be fine CB! Chances of survival are slim, and if she does survive will probably have severe problems.

  39. Celebitchy says:

    I hear you guys and have updated the post and taken out the part where I say the baby should be fine. Sorry about that!

  40. Goddess711 says:

    Hey that’s sad – I hope the baby thrives. This is any mother’s nightmare. Her “gallstones” probably weigh more than the poor little mite.

  41. valerie says:

    bunch of haters on this thread ..damn! leave them alone! they could do whatever they want, just like u can! and why are they “disgusting”? theyre not disgusting in any way shape or form…

  42. Kayleigh says:

    Just because they aren’t mooching of the government doesn’t mean they aren’t doing something wrong. Those poor girls in that family have no idea what they are missing out on. I don’t condone not using birth control when you just keep squeezing babies out and pushing them onto the older kids. THEY ARE KIDS! Not baby sitters. Don’t rush them into a situation they shouldn’t be experiencing for at least another 6-10 years. I do hope the baby is ok and that Mom makes the right choice and stop having so much damn sex. They have like 4 sets of frickin Irish twins already. SLOW YOUR ROLL!

  43. Ana says:

    34-Can’t see the name. I believe you are correct and that it is just a general rule. It does have much to do with the condition a woman is in.
    Michelle was having a difficult time finding a doctor in her previous pregnancy (or maybe the one before.) I imagine it is only going to get more difficult.

  44. Firestarter says:

    Agreed Valerie.

  45. H says:

    My doctor recommended 1-2 years between pregnancies which I did. Unfortunatly I don’t have healthy pregnancies, I had preeclampsia with both and my daughter was born early at 35 weeks. She is healthy and only was hopitalized a week after her birth. I won’t be pregnant again because it would be unhealthy for me and I would not want to put my unborn child at risk. I wonder if Michelle will have problems with her bones as she ages. She’s never had more than a few months go by without being pregnant.IMO it is not God giving you children if you have sex when you are fertile that is biology.

  46. MsTriste says:

    Who is paying for all these kids?

    Who can afford all the expenses related to raising 19 kids? Certainly not one man. Is the state paying them for anything?

    And who is paying for the incredibly expensive NICU care?

    As parents we have many responsibilities, and having the financial resources to care for our children is one of them. If they have to use any kind of handout, they should be ashamed of themselves.

  47. Goddess711 says:

    I’m wondering if Daddy Duggar will give any thought to the fact that either baby or Michelle could/could have died or if that would fall under his “God’s Will for procreating” theory? Does he actually think with the big head?

  48. Minxx says:

    My first child was born in the 25th week and she was 1 lbs, 10 ounces. It was a long time ago so I’m sure even with the best care, she’s facing a tough road ahead. Our daughter miraculously survived without any problems (she’s a student now) but we were REALLY lucky. Kids born this early almost always have issues.. raging from celebral palsy to minor developmental delays. Michelle will hopefully focus on the tiny one now since she’ll need her mother’s milk, touch and care.. instead of making another baby as soon as she’s released home. One thing for sure: it’s going to be VERY tough on the entire family, emotionally and physically. Maybe this will finally stop them from reproducing like rabbits

  49. Minxx says:

    P.S. the baby will have to say at least 3 months in the hospital, at this weight it’s pretty much guaranteed. I imagine she’s on a ventilator etc. I know it’s hard to imagine, but at this point they don’t breath on their own (or rather forget to breath–apnea) and don’t have the sucking reflex yet. Not to mention they don’t control their body temperature. Their lungs are hugely underdeveloped at this stage and their is a constant danger of bleeding inside the brain. I really feel for this kid.

  50. princess pea says:

    @ MsTriste – They are. This is widely available public information, and has been mentioned several times upthread already. They own several properties and have been very careful with their finances for years. They do not take any money from the state, and if they were to hit a shortfall you can bet they would get help from their parish before they would turn to the government.

  51. Shannon says:

    MsTriste, the Duggars do not take any sort of government handouts. They support themselves, they’ve been really successful at it.

    I don’t see how a gallstone causing a premature delivery is supposed to be a sign from god. Then again, I’m an atheist, so I don’t understand how anything is a sign from god. If these people are able to raise their children in a loving home where they have everything they need, it’s not my business to tell them what to do. Yeah, it’s definitely unconventional. But I’ve watched the show, and the kids are really sweet and thoughtful individuals. They don’t live in some kind of draconian atmosphere or anything. There are millions of parents with only a few children who are doing a much worse job. Why aren’t we villainizing them too?

  52. Anastasia says:

    Well, I’ll throw my hat in for one of the people who find them and their lifestyle creepy.

    And I’m allowed to. You see, they put themselves out there for public consumption. They announce every pregnancy on the Today show. They have a show that documents their lives on TLC. They are a staple of gossip blogs and mags, etc.

    If you put yourself, your family and your choices out there for public consumption, you are going to have to expect that not every single person is going to be approving.

    And I’m not. I think the mindset behind their philosophy is very anti-women–she makes no decisions, she just gestates and gives birth. The daughters just clean and cook and take care of younger siblings. The children are all undereducated. (Even the boys.)

    And in three generations, they could have 3000 offspring. That’s not a typo.

  53. Anastasia says:

    This makes me wonder something else–how do they pay their medical bills? Pa Duggar is self-employed, right? I mean, surely they aren’t wealthy enough to be able to pay 100% of the medical costs for all these kids AND now a preemie who will be in the neonatal unit for quite some time.

    What I’m saying is–when it comes to medical costs, I doubt very seriously they are completely independent and do not rely on the government.

  54. MymaJane says:

    @ Proud

    I don’t think anyone is saying that if you have a preemie, you should stop having children.

    In my opinion, she’s had EIGHTEEN CHILDREN already and she’s aging…so maybe this preemie was her body saying “enough already”. I do think they’re being selfish by having so many children. I hope they stop breeding because they won’t be able to pawn this (most likely) special needs child on their other daughters.

  55. Firestarter says:

    They have never taken assiatance from the government. The father has worked and they have always managed their money very well and lived nicely, but frugally.

    Just because people have a large family, does not mean that they are automatically on the governments nipple. Yes, many are, but then there are people like the Duggars, who work hard and live simply, without a bunch of crap like the latest video games, electronics and fancy clothes and cars.

  56. SolitaryAngel says:

    I know my opinion will not be popular, but here goes anyway! 🙂

    This whole family gives me the creeps. It’s not right that they raise the girls to be dependent on men with no careers of their own, and I don’t believe any of them are as “happy” as everyone says. The kids just don’t know any better!

    My aunt raised her kids like this–very religious, home-schooled them, church activities only, and kept them away from the real world. When they got in their teens, around 15 & 16 (there were only 2), they began to rebel and want to go to “real” school. They began to sneak around and lie just to get some freedom and when they saw what life was really like they were so unprepared. I felt sorry for them their whole lives and now that they’ve left home, none of us hear from them!

    If I were those girls I’d get together and put birth control medicine in that woman’s food and saltpeter in his. Enough is e-freaking-nough. They can’t change their hair because DADDY likes it that way? Does no one else see all the warning signs and red flags here besides instantsoup?

    That being said, I really hope little Josie will be ok!

  57. hatsumomo says:

    And while I’ve never seen the damn show, I’m too lazy to download it, I wish them the best. I wish Michelle Duggar heals. I wish the baby will be okay. I wish the younger kids at home wont be scared(they don’t understand whats happened to mom probably) and I wish their church helps them through this hard time. In fact, I dont wish for any thing for Christmas but that.

  58. Peach says:

    I may not support their choice of lifstyle but they probably don’t support mine either. So live and let live. Whateves.

    But poor baby! I have such a soft spot for babies born addicted or preemies. If you guys can, try to volunteer at the hospital holding babies that were born to drug addicted mothers! It’s so rewarding. You can’t really do much for the preemies as they are in such a vunerable state you can’t have just anybody touching them. But it’s the saddest thing you’ll ever see.

    I hope this baby is okay.

  59. crash2GO2 says:

    @Raven, do you have some insider information that the rest of us don’t?

    I think the Duggars live an admirable life, and I support their decisions as they have a right to make them.

    My prayers are with little Josie.

  60. L says:

    Wait, the Duggar boys are going to college?! Really?! Since their Dad didn’t and the oldest boy isn’t (he’s a car salesman), I would be amazed if any of the rest did. Not to mention the fact that they wouldn’t be able to get in anywhere. (you try educating 18 kids in one room from Pre-K-12th grade and see how affective that is) Those kids will all go into dad’s construction business or something else that doesn’t require a college education.

  61. Anastasia says:

    None of the Duggar kids are going to college. Even if they wanted to and even if the dad okayed it (the mom doesn’t get to make that decision), the education they have received has been subpar at best. They don’t even have the first year of algebra. It’s not seen as being needed in their family.

    What college would have them? They’d have to take 2-3 years of remedial courses before they could even enroll in credit-bearing courses, and that’s a best case scenario.

    Colleges and universities are considered too “worldly” and thus evil for the kids to attend. The family is their own “church,” which means they get to write off everything on their taxes. They are their own “school.”

  62. Anastasia says:

    What I’m saying is that NOW they are about to have some massive, and I mean MASSIVE medical costs. That neonatal ICU stay bill will be a hell of a lot of money.

    If Pa Duggar has a self-funded health insurance plan, they will drop him.

    If he does not, the only way to pay this is through government assistance, unless TLC picks up the tab.

    And that’s kind of a hefty tab for even a TV show to pick up.

  63. EMV says:

    Wow I’m really shocked with all of the bad vibes going on

  64. Dingles says:

    That’ll do pig, that’ll do.

  65. Sumodo says:

    @Dingles—Well said. I am not a Duggar fan, having had a preemie with complications die in the hospital. I hope this is their wakeup call. A super preemie is always teetering on the brink for the first year of life and sometimes way beyond. My sister is probably reading this and nodding about what she knows. These people are not normal, and their doctors need to talk to them very seriously.

  66. flourpot says:

    I don’t see bad vibes, I see differences of opinions. Agreed for her body’s sake – and whatever eggs she has in her – she should stop having babies. I don’t agree with their religion but lets open our eyes a bit wider and look at Mennonites or the Amish or Mormons. Same kind of deal when it comes to men being “the man.” As to commenting on their faith, their lifestyle and their nasty tater-tot casseroles, they did open that up to the public with their interviews and TV show so I’d like to throw in a resounding Ewwww!

  67. sela says:

    My son was born at 25 weeks and it was the scariest and most stressful experience of my life. For the first few weeks we did not know if he would make it. He was in the hospital for 86 days and it was heartbreaking to leave my tiny baby every single day. Fortunately, he is completely fine and a beautiful 3 year old. Many of the premature babies in the NICU had severe and/or lifelong complications. I am thankful everyday for the many prayers and positive energy expressed, our medical team’s expertise, and the strength and brilliance of our child. I have not fully recovered from the stress and I am sure Michelle Dugger is, and will be affected by her experience. I hope the best for Josie and I also hope for common sense and future responsibility from the Duggers. Their hospital bills will be enormous (ours reached almost $1 million) but I suppose if they don’t have good insurance TLC will pick it up. Honestly, I don’t know what is genuinely “real” about their way of life and their “reality show.” Maybe they will now “get real”. I send that baby girl tons of strength and positive energy.

  68. ccoop says:

    “19 Kids And We Ain’t Done Yet!”

    There is no way in the world any of those kids, except maybe a few of the oldest ones, could ever have received their fair share of parental attention. The younger ones are all being raised by their siblings, and spend very little, if any, time alone with either of their parents.

  69. Kathie says:

    Wow this is obviously a controversial topic! I think the Duggars have the right to live their own way as long as my tax dollars are not being used and so far they are not. I also think that anyone who believes in reproductive rights should believe not only in the right to use birth control or terminate a pregnancy but also the right not to use birth control or terminate. People may find their way of living odd but I am sure many people have very different lives. I do wish them the best and hope the baby is healthy.

  70. JustV says:

    This is a very controversial topic for so many reasons. Whether or not you agree with their lifestyle, for them it’s not just what they believe and/or how they should live, it’s about defeating their enemies (what they consider the enemies of God, i.e. feminism, family planning, contraception, progressivism, reproductive rights, etc.). Check out this Newsweek article on their religion, Quiverfull: http://www.newsweek.com/id/189763

  71. princess pea says:

    Beautifully put, Kathie. I completely agree.

  72. bondbabe says:

    Don’t be too quick to say it won’t be fine. My niece was 4 months premature and weighed 1 lb. 1 oz. She looked very “strange” at birth, was dressed in doll clothes and remained in the hospital for over 4 months (in the Air Force base hospital in Hawaii), and this was in 1991. She is graduating high school in 2010 and looks and is perfectly normal.

  73. been there says:

    At 25 weeks gestation, the baby’s chance of survival is about 50%. It will be a long, difficult, horrible road for them. The baby will most likely be in the hospital until her original due date and probably a little bit beyond. She is most likely on a ventilator at this point. It will be major struggle for her to breathe on her own. In addition, the child will probably require therapy – OT, PT, ST, etc. after release from the hospital. I spent 111 days in the hospital with my son, who was born at 24 weeks. Regardless of my opinions of the parents, it is an experience that I would wish on absolutely no one.

  74. Catherine says:

    ugh. Babies are just fantastic, but please stop. 19? come on….

  75. K McFarlane says:

    My son was born at 25 weeks and about the same weight as Josie. He was in hospital for 111 days too and came home still on extra oxygen. It’s an EXTREMELY stressful and worrying time and the stress continues for a lot longer than people realize. The potential for complications is enormous. (Having said that, girls usually fare better than boys.) My son is now 9 and he’s very much a normal, healthy kid. We were lucky. But he had a twin brother who only lived 4 weeks. As “been there” says, the odds are about 50%.

  76. Trillion says:

    Prayers won’t help the baby. Excellent medical care and science will. I feel badly for them or any family going through this and wish them all the best.

  77. Megan says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that they are addicted to having children since their religious beliefs dictate that they “be fruitful and multiply.” I’m a Christian with two children and use birth control so while I don’t share their beliefs, I don’t condemn them or turn them into “baby addicts.”

  78. Peanut says:

    @ Shannon – I don’t see how gallstones & a preemie baby are a sign from God either. But what purportedly started them on this whole “accepting as many children as God provides them” track was that Michelle used birth control early in their relationship and then miscarried her first pregnancy – they took that miscarriage as a sign from God not to use birth control.

    Seems crazy to me, but to each their own I guess!

    My daughter was born at 36 weeks, spent 12 days in NICU, and I found even that relatively short stay extremely difficult. My heart goes out to all of you who had earlier preemies and the struggle it must have been. 🙁

  79. Mom to 4 having more says:

    They do participate in a health care program called Samaritan Ministries http://www.samaritanministries.org/.
    I pray that baby Josie will grow and thrive and that Michelle will recover smoothly.
    If you watched the show you would have seen how shocked Michelle was when she found out she was pregnant this time. You would also see that like me she doesn’t have a break from being fertile while nursing. And with using no contraception you always run a risk of being blessed..oh I mean “becoming pregnant”. I fail to see how anyone can say that this complication that ANYONE (no matter how many kids you have) can have can be a sign from the Lord. She has done VERY well at taking care of herself and I had gallbladder problems with my 1st through 3rd (although it was undiagnosed until my 3rd) when I finally got it out. Anyone can have a preemie. It is not reserved for those with large families. I only pray that my children turn out as well as hers have and that I can be as patient and caring of a mother as she is. God bless them!

  80. jamie says:

    AT 43 yrs old and after that many kids ,it is definetly time to get tubes tied. When your children are having babies its time to give it up! I am 43 and can not imagine being pregnant same time as my sons wife ! Shes to old!

  81. Libby says:

    I haven’t seen anyone comment on the environmental impact of having 19 kids. Yes, we all can do as we please, but don’t tell yourself for one minute that even if this family isn’t using your tax dollars that you, your kids, grandkids, etc., etc. don’t pay a price.

  82. Firestarter says:

    Oh please, not the old “environmental impact” crap again.

    We are all impacting the environment, and let me also add that celebrities and their private jets, yachts and cars are harming the environment a lot more than the Duggars.

    I am certain John Travolta alone impacts the environment more in one year with his jets than the Duggars.

  83. Gigohead says:

    I had a preemie in August of this year and he was three times the size of this baby. My pressure went up also, its called Preclampsia. My boy was born 8 weeks early at 3 lbs 4 ozs. He was in NICU for 25 days and it was so HARD on my family. I’m not sure how the Duggars will be able to do it with so many young babies at home. This family is easily looking at at 60 day stay, two months for this baby. My baby was over 4 pounds when he went home.

    This baby faces an uphill battle. Preemies this young have developmental problems. My boy has to undergo evaluations from eye doctors, brain docs, monthly Synergist injections (to prevent respiratory infections) and GI specialist.

    God bless them and wish them all the best. But I think, it’s time to hang up the baby making and focus on getting this little girl home.

  84. Anastasia says:

    Michelle being shocked at being pregnant was the most disingenuous thing I have ever seen. How could she have been shocked??? They don’t use birth control, they’re both plenty fertile, they were obviously still sexually active—-I mean how could you NOT be shocked?

    I would think she would be shocked to NOT be pregnant. And how is being shocked somehow excusing having an army of babies?

    There’s simply no reason to have as many kids as your body can pump out. None. I’m a Christian, too, but I believe God gave us a brain in our head to use it, not to shut it off. He also wants us to be responsible stewards of this world and I cannot see how pumping out as many kids as possible aligns with that at ALL. If anything it is at odds with it.

    Instead of recruiting for their own cult, they are creating it. End of story.

  85. Ria says:

    Hubby is an ob/gyn here in AR who refers to UAMS in LR. Usually, they don’t even consider consider a baby at that age very viable. Their cut off is 24 wks and 500 g (or approx 1-lb 2-oz) before they will even accept transfer – less than that is considered miscarriage.

    UAMS and Children’s Hospital have excellent facilities, though. But still a baby born approximately FOUR MONTHS early has a long way to go. In fact, we celebrated at 26 wks when I was preg because the chances of survival at that point shoot up (one of the being wife of a obgyn things – you mark developmental points like that).

    Hubby says lil Josie had to be under serious destress (drop in heart rate or mom had contractions that wouldn’t stop) for them to procede with the surgery.

  86. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Gluttony is a sin, right?

    At any rate, doesn’t it stand to reason that the body ages with time and use? I would never, ever suggest that they deserve this harrowing experience because no one does. But it’s starting to seem as if people ARE getting hurt now. All bodies are different, obviously, but it strikes me as something more than just a ‘coincidence’ that she has mounting medical difficulties. I pray that everyone comes through healthy and happy, but how much trauma can a body take?

    There has to be some kind of depletion by the time you hit nineteen kids, so what if this resolve to continue procreating has had ramifications. that were visited on that poor baby? I don’t know that they did, but it doesn’t sound out of the question. It was probably no single event during this particular pregnancy that caused this awful thing to happen, but if your brain or vanity won’t tell you to stop, something else will. Being able to make the mortgage payments, or knowing that there are some genuinely bad parents in the world (never seen the show, so I can’t comment on their style), or having a lot of love doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re a parenting guru or immune to negligence.

    I’m just surprised that her uterus hasn’t prolapsed in on itself like a supernova. ‘Onward Christian breeders marching into ward’ wasn’t a lyric I remembering hearing as a kid. Use the Lord’s day to rest, eat some toffee or something.

  87. L says:

    I thought they weren’t members of the Quiverful movement (at least according to Jim Bob) since that movement requires you to have as many children as possible. As in keep trying keep trying keep trying. Whereas Pop Duggar has said that their perspective is they’d like to have lots of kids, but will only have as many as ‘god allows’. As in if they happen they happen. A slight difference, but that’s their perspective.

  88. bella says:


    I was just wondering what the Duggars’ carbon footprint looks like. It must be HUGE! Especially when you take into consideration the potentially 3000 people they will eventually bring forth.

  89. GatsbyGal says:

    She’s going to start having miscarriages the older she gets, and they’re still not going to stop having sex. They’re only going to stop having children if she dies from complications during birth or something. Yikes.

  90. SageAdvice says:

    Personally, I don’t agree with their views. I do not believe that you should have as many children as your body will allow you to squeeze out. I believe that he is using her as a baby factory and she doesn’t care because she’s being taken care of and he doesn’t seem to mind the probable horror-fest that is her belly region.

    I also do not agree with the probable happy ignorance they push on their children. Being ignorant about the world is fine when you’re 5. I’m terrified to think what happens to the Duggar girls should they ever get married in terms of sex. What do they teach them? I mean, it’s clear Michelle has drunk enough of Jim Bob’s koolaid to be alright with being a walking talking uterus but what about their girls?

    I will not though, wish ill-will on a baby. I really hope the child survives and they take a good hard look at themselves and whether or not they should keep going. My older sister was born a preemie but she was born just 4 weeks ahead of schedule. She had to stay in the hospital for two months and they put her on a ventilator and everything. My parents were hesitant to have another one after her but my mom was young so they figured the chances of another preemie weren’t as high.

    Lo and behold, I popped out, 8 1/2 pounds and round as a bowling ball.

    I guess my point is, I hope little Josie survives and that the Duggars quit trying to have more children.

  91. nj says:

    As a Roman Catholic of Irish descent, these parents disgust me and they are full of crap. They are no better than Jon and Kate or Octoomom; they are just bad in different ways. They are cranking out kids for attention and a show, but just like the others, they don’t want to take care of their own kids. Assigning kids to raise the other kids, while you keep f***ing? NO. Not right.

  92. Ana says:

    For some reason, I was reminded of Matt Logelin and his baby girl Madeline. She was born early weighing in at 3 pounds and something ounces….but her mother, Liz, didn’t survive.
    I can’t read his blog without crying. Seriously, he is amazing. His daughter is the spitting image of her mother. They just got back from India!
    Check him out at mattlogelin.com.

  93. Dorrie says:

    You cannot convince me that these people actually love their children. Children are wonderful, unique, enthralling little individuals. You cannot enjoy a child’s individuality when all you are thinking about is popping out the next one.

    And siblings are not appropriate parental substitutes–children need a close, continuing relationship with loving ADULTS in order to develop a healthy sense of self. These children are having their physical needs for shelter, food, and clothing met, but not their need for parental love.

    Ironically (or maybe not), a child that grows up without a strong sense of self is not able to really strike out into the world and be his/her own person.

    Most Americans think that a person who professes to a strong Christian faith must automatically be a good person. Even when we should know better, we are somehow in awe of the believer. But believers run the gamut, from the truly humble trying to do good, all the way to the self-deluded narcissists who think God is talking directly to them.

  94. MMS says:

    My boyfriend was born about the same… at about 6 months I think. And that was back in 1984; from what his parents have told me, his dad (a doctor) had to tell the other doctors delivering him what to do, because in 1984 (Mayo Clinic in Minnesota) they weren’t prepared for that kind of premature baby. He spent many months in the nicu hospital and wasn’t expected to live, but he did.

    His mom loves telling the story about when they took him back for a check up they were in the waiting room around all these sickly babies and hers was this huge “Buddha baby” because he had gotten so much stronger and bigger.

    He suffers from complications from his birth: he limps because his right leg is shorted than his left; his right hand is weaker and slightly under-developed and his right arm is shorter than his left one; he’s had corrective surgery on one of his eyes; and has scars on his sides from the tubes they put in his lungs. But otherwise he is a healthy normal 25 year old who wasn’t supposed to be alive today and I don’t see his physical complications, they are non-existent to me because I love him no matter what.

    I just hope now in 2009 we have enough medical knowledge that they didn’t have in 1984 to help little Josie Duggard to have a normal and healthy life.

  95. Meg says:


    Remember, Jim Jones was a true believer.

  96. Ana says:

    I read from a statement in the hospital that Michelle had preeclampsia and that’s why she had to deleiver early. Sorry, can’t spell this early in the morning.

  97. MSat says:

    As someone who lost a baby one week before his due date due to an umbilical cord accident, these stories are hard for me. But at least this tiny baby is alive and that’s something to be thankful for. Regardless of how I feel about this family, I truly hope their baby is okay.

  98. Firestarter says:

    Sorry to hear that MSat! (((hugs)))

  99. ria says:

    I just read a statement by Dr Wendel – the main high risk doc at UAMS. Michelle had pre-eclampsia. It’s more than just high blood pressure, kind of imagine high blood pressure of th uterus. I’ll ask hubby when he gets up (long night for bebays w him) if that is something that will happen in subsequent pregs.

  100. H says:

    Her preeclampsia must have been bad. I devleoped it at 33 weeks and spent 2 weeks in the hospital on bedrest then at 35 weeks they induced me and I delivered my daughter. We were lucky, the neonatologist told us that getting to 35 weeks would almost be like having a term baby. They had given me medication to help develop her lungs, so we had no breathing probs. She never had to be in NICU and came home after 6 days. I had preeclampsia with my 1st pregnancy also and it was worse and developed earlier the second time. To take a baby that early her blood pressure must have been dangerously high.

  101. crash2GO2 says:

    I could be wrong, but once you have had preeclampsia, you are at an incredibly high risk of having it again. I will be interested to see how the Duggars deal with this issue. The fact that continuing to have more pregnancies may very well put Michelle and her babies’ lives at risk.

    @Kathie – very nicely put.

  102. Mel says:

    These people need to be spade and neutered!

  103. H says:

    @crash, I just did a little research, being over 40, multiple births, and previous preeclampsia are risk for developing it again, she certainly meets that criteria. My docs. had a theory with me that pregnancy brought out a latent tendency for high blood pressure in me. When I’m not pregnant my pressure is normal but we do have a history of high blood pressure in my family so there could be something to that. The truth is they don’t know why some women develop it. I also read over at celebrity baby scoop that she had preeclampsia before.

  104. crash2GO2 says:

    Thanks H. So apparently that in itself wasn’t enough of a concern for them to stop conceiving. Now that they have had preemie we shall see. Fascinating!

  105. Ria says:

    #103 (I think it says you’re H), I told hubby that the news said she had preeclampsia, and he wasn’t suprised. He said her age and # of previous births increased her risk of it.

    How many c-sections has she had?

  106. lucy2 says:

    I agree with the posts that say because they are self sufficient and don’t depend on the state, they are free to do as they wish.
    I also agree with the posts that said that because they’ve put their lives out there on TV, it’s open to public discussion and opinions.
    And I finally I agree that God also made humans intelligent creatures capable of rational thought and making tough decisions. At this point, I hope they use that intelligence to consider what could have happened, be thankful Michelle is OK, hope and pray that the baby is OK, and then not put their family at risk again by having more children.

  107. Firestarter says:

    Nice post Lucy2!

  108. Aspie says:

    I think the Duggars are a wonderful and loving family who are doing a great job raising their large family.

    I pray for little Josie’s safety as well as the safety of Michelle. May God continue to bless them.

  109. crash2GO2 says:

    I add my agreement – nicely put Lucy2!

  110. Anastasia says:

    Everyone seems to assume that Pa Duggar has sufficient health insurance (he’s self-employed, I think?) to cover a family of that size and now the massive medical bills they will have from this emergency c-section and micropreemie.

    I just don’t see where people are getting that information. Most people who have their own health insurance from being self-employed have a very high deductible and they will drop you like a hot potato with something like this.

    In other words, I have the feeling Medicaid is going to be involved. They’ve always been let off the hook by people because they don’t take any government money, but everyone uses the infrastructure our taxes support and by having a small town worth of children and grandchildren (eventually) they certainly use more of the taxpayer-paid resources than anyone else in their part of the state. Not only that, but their income is all tax-exempt, since they call themselves a church.

    It’s all very shady.

  111. bored says:

    Poor little innocent. What is wrong with these people. Hopefully they will stop now.

  112. H says:

    I agree Lucy2, well put.

  113. gg says:

    Why are they getting married again? Isn’t that kind of overstating?

  114. glorita says:

    i see nothing wrong with what these people are doing, they all seem to be so happy and well adjusted, you never ever see these girls or any of the children in a bad mood, the parents r always super happy and very affectionate towards each other, quite honestly i do envy them,the way they interact with one another never ever any harsh words. i think that little johanna is the one the likes to punch and hit quite a bit, so here come the good part… these poor people thought they were getting rid of josh… but no not only did they not get rid of josh but gained ugly little anna that always seems to want to be in the picture. and mrs. duggar sr. why cant these poor people go anywhere without these xtra 3 people? josh ugly anna and mama duggar leave them alone!

  115. What is all this stuff about government assistance, and how will JimBob pay the medical bills. Is everyone forgetting that they are rolling in dough, the tv shows, dvd’s and a book. Believe me, that are not poor by a long stretch, and more babies means more money to JimBob. There were only 14 when the show started. All JB sees is dollars. I hope little Josie will do well.

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