‘Counting On’ Episode Recap: Season 9, Episode 1

Counting On returned February 11, 2019, for Season 9, and significant changes are coming to the Duggar family. Season 8 ended with the marriage of Josiah Duggar to Lauren Swanson. Now that the pair is settling into married life it’s time for another sibling to take the next step. With so many Duggar children heading into the next stage of their lives, there is always more than one surprise around the corner.

The opening scene

The Counting On season 9 opener takes viewers to Jinger and Jeremy’s house in Laredo, Texas. Jinger, now in her 38th week of pregnancy is hastily preparing for the arrival of her first daughter, and Jeremy is going to help her along.

Jeremy decides to cook dinner; figuring a spicy meal might kickstart the mother-to-be’s body into action. One too many peppers, however, leave the couple and the crew crying and coughing. All ends well when Jeremy’s take on chicken Masala is tasty.

While dinner is delightful, the spicy meal does nothing to send Jinger into labor. Back in Arkansas, the kids left at home join in on the spicy fun and take part in a spice challenge. Joyanna and Austin tap out after the third taste test, as do Ben and Jessa Seewald. Lauren refused to taste any of the spicy concoctions, but she’s willing to smell them. Josiah gives everything a taste, but the winner of the challenge is younger brother Jason.

John-David plans an engagement    

Back in Arkansas John-David is preparing to ask his girlfriend Abbie to marry him. The 28-year-old bachelor has been seeing Abbie for a couple of months and is ready to take the plunge. He calls a photographer in a small town in Texas to help. Lori, the photographer, agrees to set up the perfect proposal for the couple in The Hangar Hotel, a local landmark that utilizes vintage planes in their décor.

John-David is hyped for the proposal. He says the airplane hangar makes perfect sense since he and Abbie took a flight together for their very first date, but he has to figure out how to get her to Texas without making her suspicious. He enlists twin sister Jana for help.

Jeremy loses his beloved jersey collection

Back in Lorado, Jinger has enlisted the help of sisters Jessa and Jana, and family friend Laura, to craft the perfect nursery for the impending baby. Jinger and Jeremy know they’ll be welcoming a little girl, but haven’t picked a theme for the nursery just yet. Jana and Jessa take the pressure off and decide on a southwestern theme, considering that the couple enjoys living in Texas.

Jeremy has a moment of panic when his framed soccer jerseys are taken off the wall. Apparently, Jeremy didn’t realize that his prized possession would be heading for the garage. In the end, it doesn’t matter, because the jerseys go into storage and Jeremy heads off to church.

By the time Jeremy arrives home the room is all set up, and the couple is officially ready for the debut of their first child together. Jinger mentions to her sisters that she is nervous about the impending birth, but Jessa assures her all will be fine.

In an interview segment Jessa, Joyanna and Kendra all discuss their recent births. Jessa notes how difficult her labor was at home, while Joyanna mentions the pain wasn’t nearly as severe as she thought it would be. Kendra falls somewhere in the middle, claiming the labor was difficult, but she knew it was for a greater good.

Joyanna’s homebirth ended in an emergency c-section. Her first child, Gideon, arrived healthy and happy. Jessa had a natural birth with first son Spurgeon but was rushed to the hospital immediately following his arrival. Kendra opted for a hospital birth with her first child with husband Joe.

Jinger explains that she changed her birth plan from a birth center to a hospital birth after her sisters had such a difficult time. Jinger and Jeremy explain they felt it was best to labor at the hospital considering several members of the family have had emergency c-sections.

John-David pops the big question

John and Jana arrive in Oklahoma to whisk Abbie and her sister Maggie away on an adventure. They head out on a plane John is piloting and land in a small town in Texas. Fredricksburg, Texas is a town of 11,000. Abbie must really trust John because she doesn’t once question where they are going or why they are in middle-of-nowhere, Texas.

The foursome enjoys a leisurely supper together before they head over to an airplane hangar. John covers the proposal by telling Abbie he wants to show her a vintage plane. Abbie is completely fine with this request, leaving viewers to wonder how many vintage planes she’s looked at during their short courtship. The pair enters the hangar that has a rose petal heart on the floor. From there John takes over and asks Abbie if she wanted to keep flying with him.

When they get to the middle of the heart, John pulls out a printed speech, although he has a hard time getting through it without giggling. In the end, he says “I was wondering if you have anything going on for the rest of your life.” When she replies that nothing is set in stone, he asks her if she’d like to spend the rest of her life with him. Abbie says yes, insisting she would be honored to marry him. They engage in a hug to seal the deal.

Jinger heads to the hospital

The final scene in the first episode of Season 9 takes viewers to the hospital, where Jinger is ready to be induced. After meeting with her midwife, it appears as though the baby is ready to make her grand entrance. Michelle Duggar, as well as Jeremy’s parents, are in town for the birth, and Jana is planning on hightailing it to San Antonio to be there, as well. Jessa and Ben show up in Texas with their two sons to surprise the couple.

Jinger’s birth, however, will have to wait until next week, because TLC ran out of time. Stay tuned for Season 9 episode 2’s recap next week!

Read more: ‘Counting On’: Will Derick Dillard and Jill Duggar Be Back For Season 9?

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