Things looked ominous when Jim Bob Duggar and his wife Michelle welcomed their nineteenth child on December 10, 2009. Baby Josie Brooklyn Duggar was born at 25 weeks gestation due to Michelle developing preeclampsia, a condition Jim Bob said affects 5 – 8% of expectant moms.
Josie Duggar is Born
Josie Duggar was born weighing just 1 lb., 6 oz. Her fragile state became even more obvious when she suffered a bowel perforation just weeks later.
The Duggar family, stars of TLC’s popular 19 Kids and Counting reality show, has moved to Little Rock to be near Josie, who is in Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
The latest 19 Kids and Counting episodes have shed new light on Josie’s progress. Her doctor, Dr. Robert Arrington, tells us that Josie is making excellent progress for a 25-week gestation baby. She is off of the ventilator, using very little oxygen, and is doing well taking nourishment through a feeding tube. She is reported to be on “full feed” of a teaspoon per hour. She drinks breast milk provided by Michelle, although Dr. Arrington suggested supplementing this in order to fatten her up more quickly.
The March 23 19 Kids and Counting episode was filmed when Josie was 54 days old, which would be around the first week of February. At that time, she weighed 2 pounds, 5 ounces.
Josie the Pussycat?
Michelle is frequently shown visiting Josie – holding her, talking to her gently, and even purchasing the trademark Duggar hairbow for her to wear (“since she can’t wear clothes”). Michelle tells us she has a nickname for Josie: pussycat. She reports that her little pussycat is so tiny, and that her cry reminds Michelle of a kitten. Close-ups of her face showed her making cute expressions and showing some personality. While lying in her isolette, she even appeared to be trying to crawl, moving her tiny legs and wiggling.
Josie Going Home Soon?
Josie was due March 10. Preemies often remain hospitalized until near their original due date, which has now passed. The most recent 19 Kids and Counting episode teaser for next week seems to indicate that Josie is doing well enough to be released soon. In fact, since show episodes are shown well after filming, who knows? Josie Duggar may even now be home with her parents and many siblings.
The Duggars are Grateful
Jim Bob, Michelle, and their children never miss an opportunity to thank viewers for their prayers and good wishes. Hopefully, those prayers will continue being answered as Josie gains weight and strength.
19 Kids and Counting, TLC