Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Duggars

Please keep baby Josie in your prayers and thoughts. She was born prematurely, and only weighs 1 pound, 6 ounces.

Baby Duggar Taking Breast Milk; Michelle May Face Risks

Jim Bob Says Michelle Recovering But Doctors Say Women With Many Children Have Increased Incontinence, Pregnancy Risks

Dec. 16, 2009

The Duggar family's 19th child, Josie Brooklyn, who was born nearly three months premature weighing less than 2 pounds, is giving her famous family something to smile about these days: She's taking breast milk.

Reality TV mom Michelle Duggar has given birth to a premature girl.Freda Ruark, sister of mom Michelle Duggar, said that after three breast milk feedings, Josie Brooklyn was able to keep down two.

"The baby is doing great," said Ruark, who has spoken to her sister and her sister's husband, Jim Bob, every day since her niece was born.

"Josie is holding her own. As long as she can get some of that breast milk, that will help build up her immune system."

Jim Bob Duggar sent an e-mail to earlier today about his wife's and daughter's condition. "Hello from the Duggar Family," he wrote. "We are so grateful for all of the prayers and emails of support for our family since Josie Brooklyn Duggar was born 12-10-09. Michelle is [recovering] from the emergency c-section and is doing [a lot] better. Josie is beautiful and in stable condition."

Ruark said she expects Michelle to stay in the hospital "for a while."

Back home, her other 18 children are "doing quite well" with the help of their grandmother, Jim Bob's mother, Mary, who lives with them. "They have lots of help," Ruark said, "and a big circle of friends. I'm sure they want mom home but the family just takes care of things."

Ruark said some of the older children were on a mission in El Salvador -- a trip family members have taken for about four years in a row -- when Josie Brooklyn was born. Their family insisted they finish the mission but they kept in touch by calling every day.

Now they all await the day their new sister can come home. Until then, however, they can keep a watch on Josie Brooklyn through the hospital's high-tech monitoring system.

Each bassinet in the neonatal intensive care unit of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital is equipped with "angel-eye cameras," according to the hospital spokeswoman, which allows family, via a password, to view the baby from their home computers.

Each room is also private and equipped with a pull-out sofa to encourage parents to visit and stay with their babies.

Ruark said there have been round-the-clock prayers worldwide and the family is focused on Josie Brooklyn getting stronger and not on why and how this happened. "Really, it is God's will," Ruark said. "There is no second-guessing."

For now all eyes are on "micro-preemie" Josie Brooklyn but doctors point out that the Duggar family tradition of back-to-back pregnancies may be slowly adding to the health risks for Michelle and future Duggars.

"I am not aware of this couple's reasoning on the matter of contraception," said Dr. John B. Coppes of the Austin Medical Center-Mayo Health System in Austin, Minn. "However, I hope they are aware of the risks for Down syndrome, uterine rupture, future C-sections, pre-eclampsia."

TLC continues to report that mother and baby are doing fine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.

All pregnancy carries risk, but some doctors say any woman, even with Duggar's stamina, increases her chances for health problems with numerous pregnancies.

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