Michelle Duggar is the mother of a famous family, thanks to their reality TV show that chronicles her life with her husband and their 19 children — all grown inside her uterus and delivered by her. Her 19th child was born premature, and, sadly, her 20th child lost her life at five months’ gestation last year.
During a recent interview, Michelle discussed that she and her husband are actively trying to get pregnant again, and, of course, crap hit the fan with hundreds of people voicing their thoughts on that decision. Out came people’s ridiculous comments and judgement, and I just can’t help but shake my head at the whole thing.
Let me tell you one thing first: it’s really none of your business. No. really.
Someone may say that because the Duggars are in the public eye, they’ve made their family’s whereabouts everyone’s business, but that’s not true either. I’ve been writing on the Pregnancy channel for Babble for more than two years. I’ve talked about my baby fever and wanting to add a fourth child to our family. I documented our 18-month struggle with infertility, and now I chronicle my life pregnant with my fourth child — my 16th pregnancy.
Yes, 16. Did that number sound like a lot to you? That’s OK. I am not surprised if that number shocks you. I am met with that shock often. When the ultrasound technician asks if this is my first pregnancy for her records, I have to sit there, looking at her shocked face as she hears my answer. 16. When I meet with specialists to check on Baby’s health, I have to share that number again and it’s met with the same face.
I know that Michelle Duggar and I are not in the same position — that our situations are different. She has 19 healthy children, and I have lost 12 of mine, but this all comes down to judging someone else’s family decisions. Public opinions given based on the current size of the family and the past struggles with pregnancy and child loss — situations that we do share.
I have only three living children, and I have been on the receiving end of many comments I am seeing being spewed towards the Duggars. All because we have what some people may consider a “larger family” and because we have had multiple miscarriages and share our stories in a public space.
I have been told that I should take my 12 miscarriages as a “sign” that my uterus is too tired and I should stop. I have been angrily told I should adopt so I don’t “kill another baby.” I have been questioned on why I am actively trying to get pregnant (accused of being obsessed), and I have been approached with the veil that if someone else can’t handle two kids, what makes me think I can handle more. These are also comments I have already seen rolling in when it comes to Michelle’s latest interview.
No one has the right to question someone else’s family size. No one has the right to assume that because one person struggles with managing their kids that another family can’t handle more on their plate.
No one has the right to tell a woman that her uterus is tired and she should quit trying. No one has the right to say because someone’s child was born prematurely, with health issues, or died in utero, that they should take that as a sign they should not have more.
No one. And not even to a family like the Duggars. Yes, even though they have 19 living children and 3 healthy grandchildren. They’ve decided as a loving couple that they’re not done yet. From what I have seen of their children on the show, this family has their stuff together. It appears they can handle their children with ease and gentle discipline, they don’t rely on anyone else for their needs, and they are great, loving parents.
You may not understand their decision or choices when it comes to their family size. You may not understand why they answered the interviewer’s question honestly saying they were trying for another baby. And guess what — you don’t have to. Because it’s none of your business.
Photo credit: iStockPhoto
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Devan is a freelance writer living in Toronto, Ontario with her husband, three kids and expecting baby #4 at the end of this year. Read more from Devan on Babble and “like” Accustomed Chaos on Facebook!