19 Kids and Counting stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar recently announced the news that they are expecting baby no. 20. And with that announcement, comes a firestorm of controversy over the couple’s decision to have so many children.
“Every child deserves to be excited they are a part of life,” Michelle tells People. “Even when we were having our 5th and 6th [kid] … we would celebrate each pregnancy.”
The reason for such scrutiny comes after Michelle experienced a premature birth of Josie back in December 2009. But Josie’s frightening premature birth and Michelle’s life-threatening preeclampsia aren’t enough to stop the couple from reproducing any further.
“If we felt that way, we would have stopped back with our second birth,” insists Michelle, 45. “There are many women who have experienced preeclampsia and have gone on to have more children.”
“That whole mind set that you stop after a problem pregnancy isn’t realistic,” she continues. “You may encounter struggles along the way. You may not have a perfect pregnancy, but each child is a precious gift.”
And what about those comments that the Duggars must not have enough time to divide among their 19 kids? “We homeschool, so we are around our children day in and day out,” says Jim Bob, 46. “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.”
“There are a lot of good things we can learn from our critics,” Michelle says. “We really believe we are following our faith and there are sometimes going to be people who don’t agree and we aren’t going to worry about the negative things stated.”
“We are thankful for those out there who are happy,” says Michelle, “and we are grateful for each and every gift of a child.”
How do you feel about the Duggars having a 20th baby?