‘Counting On’: Jessa Duggar Once Told Her Husband She Was Done Having Kids
Jessa Duggar is getting real about what it’s like to give birth. In a candid Instagram post and YouTube video, the Counting On star talked about her labor and delivery experience with her three children.
“I thought it would be fun to share my birth stories with other mamas— including raw footage from all three births!” she wrote on Instagram. In the video and post, she talked about everything from her efforts to kickstart labor with her first baby Spurgeon, her quick labor and home birth with son Henry, and her decision to try to have a hospital birth with daughter Ivy Jane — and what it was like when those plans suddenly changed.
Jessa Duggar says her first experience with labor was ‘awful’
Jessa didn’t sugarcoat her birth experiences, saying that even though she’d seen her mom give birth and done a lot of research when she was pregnant with her first child, nothing really prepared her for what it would be like.
“I think I probably had an unrealistic expectation,” she said of what she anticipated before giving birth to Spurgeon.
She said the pain during her first labor in 2015 made her feel like she was “dying.”
“It was awful,” she said, saying she tried multiple laboring positions and laboring in a birth pool, but nothing helped. Jessa had planned for a home birth, but at one point, she begged to be taken to the hospital to get an epidural or a C-section.
Jessa told her husband she was done having kids
Jessa labored for more than 24 hours with Spurgeon. At one point, the grueling process had her convinced that she was never going to have any more children.
“When I was in labor with Spurgeon, I told Ben we weren’t having any more kids. And I meant it,” she wrote.
But it didn’t take long for Jessa to change her mind.
“As the months went by, the memory of the intensity and pain faded,” she wrote. “Our baby boy was just so cute and sweet, and pretty soon I started envisioning him as a big brother interacting with a little sibling. Before I knew it, that previous resolution was thrown out the window, and God graciously gave us another gift— Henry!”
Henry was born in 2017 and Ivy Jane was born in 2019.
Jessa says she’d be open to giving birth in a hospital
Jessa has already hinted that she and Ben would be interested in adding a fourth child to their family. But she says if she does get pregnant again, she’d consider heading to a hospital rather than delivering at home.
“I’ve given birth naturally three times now,” she wrote. “Natural birth doesn’t make me any more of a woman, nor do I think it’s the only way birth should be done. I have nothing against hospitals or epidurals— and in fact, I may give both a try if God were to bless us with another baby in the future.”
All three of Jessa’s kids have been born at home, though she’s had to head to the hospital after two of their births because of bleeding. For her most recent pregnancy, Jessa actually intended to give birth to Ivy in a hospital with a certified nurse midwife attending. But when she went into labor early, she switched to plan B, which was a home birth.
In her YouTube video, Jessa emphasized that even though her labor with Ivy Jane was short, it wasn’t a surprise that she was born on their couch.
“I decided to birth in the same position that I had with Henry, so we covered the couch and gave birth right there,” she said. “It wasn’t like ‘oh my goodness, the baby fell out on the couch.’”