Why was Josie Duggar Born 3 Months Prematurely?
Before all 19 of the Duggar kids were born, we remember when religious and conservative couple Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar began their TLC show, 17 Kids and Counting. Now, years later, we know the show became 19 Kids and Counting, and more recently, Counting On — and fans have excitedly watched the Duggar clan grow over the years. While the focus has shifted away from Michelle and Jim Bob and now to the older Duggar kids and their own families, we’re all still wondering what the littlest members of the family are up to. And we can’t forget about Josie, the youngest Duggar who almost didn’t make it through birth alive.
Here’s the traumatic story of why Josie was born months before her due date.
Josie weighed just over 1 pound when she was born
View this post on Instagram
Josie was born on December 10, 2009 at 25 1/2 weeks gestation and weighed 1 pound 6 ounces. Today is a huge milestone for her, she is a healthy, happy 9 year old that is full of energy. We are so thankful for everyone's prayers and all of the doctors and nurses at Arkansas Children's Hospital that saved her life. That was the most difficult time in our family's life, but by God's grace Josie and our whole family made it through!
Michelle Duggar was 43 years old when she had Josie back in 2009, and this put her in the age range for having a geriatric birth. Complications are more likely to arise for pregnant older women, and that’s precisely what happened with Josie. When the youngest Duggar was born prematurely, she weighed just 1 pound 6 ounces, OK! Magazine notes. And her survival through the entire ordeal was truly miraculous. On a recent Instagram post for Josie’s 9th birthday, the family wrote, “That was the most difficult time in our family’s life, but by God’s grace Josie and our whole family made it through.”
Josie had a wealth of complications after she was born, too. People explains the micro preemie experienced a “spontaneous bowel perforation,” though thankfully doctors were able to resolve the condition. Today, the Duggars have noted Josie is a happy and healthy little girl, but she also has a history of seizures when she gets sick that are likely related to her premature birth.
Michelle’s preeclampsia required an emergency C-section
View this post on Instagram
On Valentine’s Day everyone is thinking about LOVE and finding ways to express their love. I am so thankful for Michelle. Not only is she a wonderful wife; caring, selfless, kind and compassionate but her beauty continues to radiate from the inside out and I genuinely love her more today than ever. One of the things we’ve learned as a couple is that no matter how many children you have, or how busy you get, you have to continue to place a high priority on your marriage. Don’t neglect it. Don’t take it for granted. I always tell husbands, “Continue to date and romance your wife. Make sure she knows how special she is. Love you Michelle! •Click the link in our bio to see our list of Romance Advice!•
So, why was Josie born at just 25 weeks? Michelle had to undergo an emergency C-section for the baby due to preeclampsia, a condition that causes dangerously high blood pressure, People notes. The condition affects just 5-8% of pregnancies, so it’s quite rare. As for how Michelle discovered it, she went to see a doctor when she was having pain related to her gallbladder. From there, the condition was found, and doctors had to make an emergency call. As Dr. Paul Wendel said, “The obstetrical and neonatal teams reached the collaborative decision [Thursday] that Mrs. Duggar needed an emergency C-section to ensure the blood pressure problem would not be detrimental to her or the baby.”
This wasn’t Michelle’s first go-round with preeclampsia, either. In an interview with CBS News, she said, “I had preeclampsia 20 years ago with my first set of twins. They were born two weeks early. It’s one of those things. They still have not determined completely why it happens.” As for if she would have children after Josie, she also mentioned, “We would love more but we’ll wait and see. I couldn’t imagine my life without any one of them.”
Michelle was pregnant after Josie, but the baby didn’t live
Josie may be the youngest of the Duggars, but Michelle did, in fact, get pregnant after her. In 2011, Romper notes Michelle was pregnant with baby No. 20, and they named the little girl Jubilee. Sadly, Michelle gave birth to a stillborn — but the family still remembers the baby to this day. In a Facebook post on Dec. 11, 2017, the Duggars posted a heartfelt message regarding Jubilee for their fans. “It’s hard to believe Jubilee would have been 6 years old today. Jubilee is our 20th child who was stillborn,” the post states. “We so look forward to seeing Jubilee in heaven. In the Bible, King David’s baby died and he stated, ‘I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.’ This is our hope of eternal life, if each one of us repents of our sins and put our faith and trust in Jesus.”
Now, Michelle is in her 50s, so we’re sure there are no longer any babies on the way for her. But many of her children are having babies of their own now, so there’s no shortage of little Duggar grandchildren for her to hold.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!