19th Duggar baby, premature Josie, is stable and taking breastmilk

The youngest child in the huge Duggar family, Josie Brooklyn Duggar, was born by emergency C-section last week after mom Michelle, 43, suffered an attack of gallstonescoupled with pre-eclampsia, or high blood pressure during pregnancy. Little Josie was just 1 lb., 6 oz. at birth and faced an uphill battle. There’s news from the family that their youngest is stable in the hospital and that she’s able to take breastmilk, which should improve her chances.

The Duggar family’s 19th child, Josie Brooklyn, who was born nearly three months premature weighing less than 2 pounds, is giving her famous family something to smile about these days: She’s taking breast milk.

Reality TV mom Michelle Duggar has given birth to a premature girl.

Freda Ruark, sister of mom Michelle Duggar, said that after three breast milk feedings, Josie Brooklyn was able to keep down two.

“The baby is doing great,” said Ruark, who has spoken to her sister and her sister’s husband, Jim Bob, every day since her niece was born.

“Josie is holding her own. As long as she can get some of that breast milk, that will help build up her immune system.”

Jim Bob Duggar sent an e-mail to ABCNews.com earlier today about his wife’s and daughter’s condition. “Hello from the Duggar Family,” he wrote. “We are so grateful for all of the prayers and emails of support for our family since Josie Brooklyn Duggar was born 12-10-09. Michelle is [recovering] from the emergency c-section and is doing [a lot] better. Josie is beautiful and in stable condition.”

Ruark said she expects Michelle to stay in the hospital “for a while.”

Back home, her other 18 children are “doing quite well” with the help of their grandmother, Jim Bob’s mother, Mary, who lives with them. “They have lots of help,” Ruark said, “and a big circle of friends. I’m sure they want mom home but the family just takes care of things.”

Ruark said some of the older children were on a mission in El Salvador — a trip family members have taken for about four years in a row — when Josie Brooklyn was born. Their family insisted they finish the mission but they kept in touch by calling every day.

Now they all await the day their new sister can come home. Until then, however, they can keep a watch on Josie Brooklyn through the hospital’s high-tech monitoring system.

Each bassinet in the neonatal intensive care unit of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital is equipped with “angel-eye cameras,” according to the hospital spokeswoman, which allows family, via a password, to view the baby from their home computers.

[From ABC News via ET Online]

The little baby’s middle name is Brooklyn. That’s a strange choice. All their other children have common and/or biblical middle names like “Samuel,” “Levi,” “Andrew” and “Robert.” Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Josie Brooklyn continues to thrive and grow and will be able to go home to her family soon.

ABC News has some blunt advice for the Duggars from several obstetricians, who warn about the risks associated with multiple pregnancies and advanced maternal age. They mention conditions that can develop both before and after pregnancy like uterine atony, or failure of the uterine to contract after labor causing extensive bleeding, placenta previa, or attachment of the placenta over the cervix, also causing bleeding and affecting the baby, uterine prolapse and incontinence. It all sounds kind of scary but given have many kids the Duggars have, along with their stance against opting for genetic testing, they probably won’t pay it much mind. Maybe Michelle’s fertility will finally taper off as she hits her mid 40s. It seems kind of amazing that this is the first medical issue she’s had in all of her pregnancies.

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51 Responses to “19th Duggar baby, premature Josie, is stable and taking breastmilk”

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  1. Firestarter says:

    Well that is good news that teh baby is doing well given the situation.

    Continued wishes for the child to improve.

  2. Ana says:

    I am glad to hear that Josie is doing better!

  3. Celebitchy says:

    Ana I think you’re one of the people who can’t see names on comments. What browser and operating system are you on? I would like to fix it, thanks!

  4. Ted Slater says:

    You wrote, “It seems kind of amazing that this is the first medical issue she’s had in all of her pregnancies.”

    I believe Michelle Duggar has a miscarriage early in her marriage. Besides that tragedy, though, I believe you’re correct — her pregnancies have tended to go very well.

  5. mrbaskums says:

    Oh my, that’s a fascinating wad of hair she has

  6. lucy2 says:

    Glad the baby is doing well.

  7. Anastasia says:

    Well it’s the only medical problem the public knows of because it’s been the biggest. I’m sure, in 19 pregnancies, she’s had other issues, they just haven’t been made public.

    I certainly hope, for the sake of any future children and for the sake of that mom’s health, that they re-think this whole having as many babies as is physically possible thing. With 19 children and all but one healthy, they can certainly agree that God has blessed them far more than most couples.

    (Sometimes I wonder what it must be like for couples struggling with infertility to see the Duggars and their buttload of kids splashed all over the place.)

  8. Me, Myself and I says:

    Pre-eclampsia is most common in first pregnancies… Just so nobody jumps on the 17 dozen kids cause problems band wagon…

  9. Annabelle says:

    I’m happy that the baby is improving. But I strongly disapprove of having so many children. I think it’s irresponsible financially and socially, and frankly it’s unfair to their children.

  10. Cath says:

    She said in one of the shows that she has debilitating nausea with every pregnancy. To go through that 19 times….!

  11. WTF?!? says:

    These people are mentally ill.

  12. Goddess711 says:

    At least he hasn’t been dogging around on her like the Tigers and the Jons and the Brads and the …..

  13. Popcorny says:

    Good deal. Nice family.
    A lil touched on the soft side, but whatever the gentle wackiness, it’s working positively.
    But I’m a lil freaked out about the hair-do (don’ts) here.
    No, not so much the guy’s Mattel Ken the newsman hair … but hers. Yikes.
    She’s on a show. Someone ought to gently nudge her to tame that hair back down to pre-mullet explosion.

  14. Ana says:

    CB- I can’t see some of the names
    because they run into the numbers of the comments. Sometimes it doesn’t seem too bad but other times it’s horrible.
    Anyway, I think I am the wrong person to ask.

    I use Internet Explorer.
    The operating system is Windows. Not the new one, probably the one just before.

    At least, that’s what I think you’re asking for. I don’t know too much about computers except how to get online and read Celeb!tchy!

  15. Sakota says:

    A life is a life and I’m happy for them.

  16. Celebitchy says:

    @Ana thank you! I use Google Chrome and will make sure to see if I can fix this in IE. I do see this issue in IE. I’m glad it’s not just a mac problem because those are hard to troubleshoot!

  17. Cinderella says:

    I think that second picture is old and she has improved her hair situation.

    Glad the little baby is hanging in there.

  18. filthycute says:

    Nice f*ckin mullet! LOL!!!

  19. Ana says:

    Maybe I just need to upgrade to Google Chrome!

  20. Jammy says:

    I had twins born at 25wks too and must say I am worried about Lil Josie’s health after she comes home and also will her mom be able to give her extra attention she needs if she continues the trend of getting pregnant every year. Babies this premature do have a lot of issues which can be resolved but need a lot of care.

    I just had one older kid and felt that while I took care of my preemies I neglected her a lot (my hubby and other family members were taking care of him but its not like having mom around) and we did decide not to have any more because we didn’t want to tempt the fate (I had stones too and was told that once you have that as pregnancy complication – gallstomes/kidney stones can happen in subsequent pregnancies). Also at this level of prematurity even a slight illness can be fatal. We were told that even the common cold, whihc turns to RSV for a regular newborn and can land then in ER could be fatal for preemies. We literally had to keep our 3yo home and away from other kids (can’t keep germs and kids apart) how is Michelle duggar going to manage that.

    It is going to tough for lil baby I hope that mom thinks about her health more than just procreating more babies.

  21. hatsumomo says:

    Ana: get mozilla.

    I’m glad the baby is thriving. And if she is taking breast milk, its the best thing for her! Hopefully, she’ll gain wieght and grow quickly.

  22. Tazina says:

    She needs to hang up the baby making shoes already! She’s getting too old and this pregnancy wasn’t exactly a roaring success. If they believe in having as many children as possible, she’ll just keep having them until menopause. So maybe about four or five more.

  23. Nebraska says:

    Michelle Duggar should get the Kate Gosselin hairstyle…naw, it would look better on JimBob.

  24. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Glad to hear the baby’s improving.

  25. JB says:

    Pre-eclampsia is more prevalent in advanced maternal aged pregnancies….this is just playing with fire for her to continue breeding this way 🙁

  26. Wresa says:

    Glad to hear the baby is better.

    I think she should stop, however, just because I think any future children could be harmed because she is a older and has had so many pregnancies. It must be hard on her body, and obviously it can be hard on the kid, too.

    I think they are a nice family, and it is her body/choice, but just saying.

  27. Andrea says:

    I find it interesting that, according to this article, Jim Bob’s mom lives with them and all the other help that is talked about. His mom has never been shown on the show, nor has it been said on the show that she lives there. The Duggars are very big on the self-sufficiency angle, and now that just seems to be a bit hypocritical.

    Nevertheless, I hope baby Josie continues to do well and is able to go home soon.

  28. Anastasia says:

    Andrea: this is also the first time I ever knew Jim Bob’s mom lived there. Makes sense–they have enough room in that huge barn of a house TLC built for them. I always wondered why a grandparent or two didn’t live there.

    That’s some extra help right there, live-in and full-time. I think one of the most unrealistic things this family promotes is that anyone can have and raise so many kids. There are plenty of downsides and difficulties that aren’t shown and plenty of not-so-great shortcuts they HAVE to take for everyone to even survive.

  29. ButteryBuddha says:

    @Andrea: The mom has been featured in some episodes. She is looks pretty young.. in her 60’s. You may catch glimpses of her in past episodes when his dying father was staying with them.
    P.S I felt like I was talking to myself! LOL! <3 the name!

  30. elusive says:

    Seems a little early for feeding. If she’s taking anything it’s probably 1 -2 cc’s at a go. Their underdeveloped guts can develop NEC. It’s a very serious complication of over feeding prems. She is likely not sucking at all yet and is probably being fed by a nasogastgric tube. I imagine she is still on a respirator as well, and spending almost all of her time in an incubator.

    I’m glad she is doing ok, but all these stories seem a little up in the clouds. Babies born that early are fragile and are fighting every moment.

  31. Lia says:

    Shame on these people. The world is over-populated as it is, and they keep reproducing like mice. Maybe they can support their litter now, but one day, society is more likely than not going to have to support some of those kids. The odds of all of them getting good jobs, the way things are going in this country, are slim. They will all be reproducing as well and probably with the same mindset as their parents, which means this ridiculous pattern is going to continue ad nauseum until they finally need to get an island of their own just to guarantee space for all of them. Social responsibility is nothing compared to the need to breed, apparently…….

  32. Ana says:

    I was wondering if they were tube feeding her.

    But she might be sucking…at my ultrasound for 24 weeks my daughter was sucking her thumb.

    I dunno….

  33. K says:

    This is a mentally ill couple. Seems she has no identify if she is not producing a life. And is afraid if she doesn’t prove his manhood, he will seek that gratification/valediction elsewhere. He has to prove he’s a man by impregnating a female and has control over females in his harem. She’s afraid to not produce, as she will be tossed aside, and he only has use of her as along as she meets his needs.

  34. Minxx says:

    No, she’s not sucking efficiently enough to feed, besides, she’s surely on a respirator. My daughter who was born at 25 weks (1 lbs, 10 onz) was fed through a tube for a while and was on a respirator for a month. Even after that she’d forget to breath and experience scary episodes of apnea and slower heart beat. This baby has a very tough road ahead since she’s even smaller, I think she won’t be out of the woods for at least couple of months. I hope she won’t get brain bleeds and doesn’t catch an infection (my daughter had pneumonia at 2 lbs). It’s very good she’s getting her mother’s milk, it’s the best thing for a preemie.. our neonatologist always said that my milk was the reason our daughter didn’t have any intestinal issues and was able to fight that pneumonia like a champ.
    Michelle should focus on her health now, not on reproducing again. But then it’s JimBob’s decision, right? He’s going for a world record, I’m sure.

  35. Lita says:

    Hi CB! Sometimes (only sometimes) I get the date/time overwriting the name – I read on a blackberry bold with the BB mobile browser (the standard one). Always got it on Opera for BB with my old Curve (stopped using Opera). Also I get this thing where this browser ‘cannot render the page’ – totally random. Just on some posts and it means I cannot turn it to ‘column view’ rather than ‘page view’ and cannot read it. Happens all the time on Dlisted too. Definitely a BB thing but for the life of me, don’t know what.

  36. Lita says:

    PS: CB, love your site!

    Enough to make me stop using BB Opera even :o)

  37. Moore says:

    I think people need to realize that this couple is not actively getting themselves pregnant. They don’t plan it. She mentioned that she thought her time for children was over with her last child and this one was a surprise. For them to prevent it would be against their religion so obviously thats not going to happen. It looks like this little one could be their last child and you can all calm down now.

  38. Lezlie says:

    Actually Michelle had baby #18 by C-section…. I hope all goes well for them all!

  39. lastwordlinda says:

    She might claim that her pregnancies are a surprise, but I knew a woman that thought her childbearing days were over. She got pregnant at 47 (with a boyfriend, no condom). It was her first pregnancy too. Sadly, she lost the baby, but still. If you have sex, you make babies. The Duggars must know that by now. Does anyone besides me think that Michelle’s hair looks like Shambo’s on Survivor Samoa?

  40. Linda says:

    I have seen Jim Bob’s mother on numerous episodes, and his dad was on several before he became ill and passed away (while living with them).

    I am fascinated by this family, and even though they are very soft-spoken, they all seem to love and care about each other. Let’s face it, in big families, some of the older children help with the younger ones. I have 4 siblings, and the oldest ones helped with the youngest. Nothing wrong with that.

    Prayers go out to the whole family, and especially baby Josie because she has a long road ahead of her.

  41. Tazina says:

    There’s no reason to think this will be Michelle’s pregnancy and you are the one who needs to calm down. People are just stating their opinions and they are entitled to them. Michelle has not gone through menopause yet and is still capable of becoming pregnant for about 5 or 6 more years. I am not sure what the outcome would be if the doctor were to say future pregnancies are not advisable.

  42. been there says:

    As stated above, she’s absolutely not sucking yet and is being tube fed. It’s probably another month and a half to two months before she’ll be able to even attempt a bottle feed. And, of course, she can’t bottle feed until she’s off the ventilator.

    It makes me crazy that they’re only stating a rather rosy picture of what’s going on. Birth at 25 weeks is hell on a child (as well as the family) and she is most certainly fighting for her life. If you’ve lived the prematurity nightmare, it’s a slap in the face to constantly read how great and wonderful things are. No matter what they say, I can assure you that they are not.

  43. Lita says:

    The power of positivity is a great thing, especially for keeping morale up. I read it that they are focusing on the wins. I think it’s nice that they are looking at the good and going forward with optimism.

  44. QB says:

    Thats great news that Josie is doing better.

    I like the Duggars because they have built their own home and have used their and got some extra income, but I hate the fact that the daughters have to take care of the kids.

  45. Jibs says:

    I am glad to hear that Josie is doing better. I am sure that the Duggars are handing all over to God. Only God can determine what will happen with Josie. They are a deeply religious family and their faith is what will carry them through this rough time. I admire the Duggars, they are completely self sufficient…they owe nothing.

    Jim Bob’s mother moved into their home when his father was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The Duggars took care of him until his death. This is what families should do.

  46. Jax says:

    To Anastasia–

    Excuse me, but TLC did NOT build their house for them or pay one dime on it. They built that house themselves–the father and sons did much of the work themselves and they paid for it every step of the way so that the house is free and clear of debt.

  47. ccoop says:

    You just KNOW Michelle is gonna go for the 20-Baby Merit Badge. Just sayin.

  48. Pam Bitner says:

    Prayers are out for baby Josie, hope she gets stronger everyday so she can come home soon. MERRY CHRISTMAS to your family.

  49. Jane says:

    All good wishes to the Duggars and lets not have such negative thoughts regarding this caring family and their new little one. She does have chalenges ahead of her and they as family do as well but lets not forget that all is possible in God. All life is preciuos.

  50. lachelle says:

    thats exactly what this family looks like a cult. How many young girls do you know wear these types of clothing down to there feet. None of the girls have had hair cuts there farther is a control freak and a s*@ addict.

  51. Francie Masucci says:

    Hi, Laurence! It turns out your geometry teacher was right (you do need geometry in real life!). The hood piece is a right triangle w/2 equal sides, so the depth of the hood (corner to center of CO edge) will be half the length of the CO side. So if you add an extra 16 st/4 when you cast on, then you should get an extra 2 of depth.