SPRINGDALE, Arkansas — Earlier this week Michelle Duggar and her husband Jim Bob announced they are expecting their 20th child.
Michelle announced the news before the broadcast of TODAY Moms saying, “We are so excited.”
Michelle says she’s three and a half months pregnant and was surprised to discover she was pregnant again at 45. “I was not thinking that God would give us another one, and we are just so grateful.”
The family stars in its reality TV show, “19 Kids and Counting,” on TLC.
Last summer Michelle told TODAY she thought her baby days were over. She was fine with that and said she and Jim Bob leave their family planning up to God.
Michelle said that even with all of the challenges they went through with their last baby, Josie, they would do it again.
Doctors were forced to deliver Josie three and a half months prematurely because Michelle suffered from gall-bladder problems and preeclampsia during her pregnancy.
Josie weighed only one pound, six ounces at birth. The baby endured a series of health emergencies, including a perforated bowel, and eventually went home.
The family had to move from their home in Springdale, Ark. closer to the hospital in Little Rock. Josie is now a healthy toddler who will celebrate her second birthday in December.
Last summer Michelle told TODAY, “The precious life that we see here is not a coincidence. I just know that it is a miracle. I don’t take that for granted. I know that God is the one who gives life, and I’m just so grateful and thankful. We would welcome another if He saw fit, but we’ll wait and see.”
Michelle said that for the past year she’s been working out five or six days a week and said, “I’m really in better shape than I’ve been in 20 years.” She said she’s over morning sickness and is craving dill pickles. She feels great, she says, and her doctors have given her the green light for this pregnancy.
The children range in age from 23 years old to 23 months old: Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace, and Josie. Joshua is now married to Anna and they have two young children, Mackynzie and Michael.
Michelle said the kids all thought Jim Bob was joking when he announced they were going to have another baby. She said they were all lining up along the stairway for a family photo when he made the announcement, “Smile – Mom’s going to have another baby!”
“Their mouths dropped,” Michelle said. “They all looked at me as if he was joking.”
Jim Bob told TODAY Moms that he’s thrilled for their 20th child. “Michelle and I both feel like some of the most blessed parents in the world. Our children are so sweet… we are so grateful to God. We didn’t want to stop on an odd number.”
19 Kids & Counting website