Michelle Duggar was ecstatic to announce the news that the family is expecting its 20th child. She was surprised at the backlash the news brought, though. Now she is defending their decision to have a 20th child.
The Duggar family appeared on the Today Show early in the week to make the big announcement. If you missed the show, you can catch a video of their interview with Ann Curry here. Jim Bob and Michelle were giddy with excitement about their big news. Michelle even spoke about how she spends five hours per week on an elliptical and discussed her healthy eating habits. She said she was in the best shape of her life.
Critics of the large family think that Michelle is putting her unborn baby’s life in jeopardy with this pregnancy. Her last baby, Josie was born prematurely and spent months in a NICU because Michelle suffered from preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a disorder that occurs in 5-8% of all pregnancies and is life-threatening for both mother and unborn child according to the Preeclampsia Foundation. It is characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the urine. The only cure for this disorder is to deliver the baby.
People Magazine spoke with Michelle and the criticism hasn’t spoiled the family’s joy. She said, “Every child deserves to be excited they are a part of life. Even when we were having our 5th and 6th [kid] … we would celebrate each pregnancy.” She doesn’t think her past pregnancy with Josie should have any bearing on this one. She said, “If we felt that way, we would have stopped back with our second birth. There are many women who have experienced preeclampsia and have gone on to have more children.” Michelle is referring to the fact that she was diagnosed with preeclampsia in her second pregnancy with now 21-year-old twins John David and Jana.
Michelle and Jim Bob also spoke about the claim that they don’t spend enough time with each child. Jim Bob refutes that claim saying, “We homeschool, so we are around our children day in and day out. Because I am in real estate, I am home and can be with the children a lot. When we go to the store or run errands, we take the kids one on one and we get to spend more time individually than a lot of parents do.”
You can read the entire interview with Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar at People.com. You can catch the entire Duggar family on their TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting Tuesdays on West Palm Beach Cocmast channel 50.
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