Michelle Duggar Miscarriage Puts Other Kids in Jeopardy


Michelle Duggar Jim Bob DuggarBy now, the whole word knows that Michelle Duggar -- mama to 19 kids -- has had a miscarriage of what would have been baby 20. And now you have a choice, folks. You can decide whether you're going to join the group of people bashing the Duggar family, or you're going to care about those 19 kids. Because the reactions to this devastating new have certainly shined a light on a rarely talked about victim in pregnancy loss.

Fact is, I don't agree with the Duggar family's quiverfull plans for procreation -- the thing that earned them a show on TLC. I hear 20 kids, and I grab my stomach. But I can't read Michelle Duggar's comments about the night before she realized she'd miscarried -- when she was hanging out with her other children -- or the planned funeral services and not feel bad for those other kiddos in her household.

Mama Duggar was in her second trimester. Her older kids had a very clear picture of what was supposed to happen in their home come April. They'd even started talking names of baby J.

And then it happened. There was no heartbeat. And the Duggar family encountered what so many moms and dads in America have dealt with over the years: devastation.

The fact that Michelle Duggar has got controversial concepts for parenting don't change that. Jim Bob and Michelle are grieving. And beyond that, so are 19 kids. Because whether we want to remember it or not as we rush to judge this family, siblings are a big part of a pregnancy. To ignore them as we carry on is to fail a whole lot of children.

I clearly remember being 4 years old and knowing my mommy's tummy was bulging with my brother (although I swore it was a sister) inside. I remember in vivid detail the day we went to see a re-release of Snow White in the local theater, when fear sent me scrambling for my mommy's lap, only her tummy was so big there was no room for me. I recall being allowed the great privilege of marking down my favorite names (ultimately discarded) on a list of first and middles. This little baby wasn't just my parents' son. He was my baby brother.

He still is my baby brother. And for all the struggles we've had, I love him like few others in my life. He's part of who I am. Imagining my life without him is . . . well, it's devastating.

And so much as I feel for the Duggar parents today, somehow my pain is doubled for their kids. Because they don't go into pregnancy the way adults do, with full knowledge that "anything" can happen. They don't even get to choose whether or not they want a sibling. But they get invested in the process the minute Mom or Dad say "hey! guess what!" And now they're mourning the loss of . . . well, they don't even know. A new best friend? A potential playmate?

If anything, the fact that the Duggars have so many kids living forces us to face the fact that miscarriage isn't just a quiet matter to be dealt with by two parents. Very often it's something that siblings are faced with . . . but have no real support for. There are miscarriage support groups for parents, but I have yet to find one for siblings. Kids are, in this case at least, very much seen and not heard. And sometimes it's because --right or wrong -- their parents are in enough pain, they can't fathom this other layer, they prefer to gloss over their kids' issues.

But siblings have grief too. Their plans are altered, their dreams are shattered. And having 18 brothers and sisters to soften the blow doesn't change that. They are in pain, and they're probably going to need some help dealing with their own grief. Here's hoping their parents aren't so wrapped up in their own problems and planning that funeral that they forget that.

So go ahead and judge the Duggar parents. Say what you must. But isn't it possible to give these kids a break? They're just kids, after all, and they just suffered a major loss in their life.

Have you suffered through a miscarriage? Were your older kids aware of what was going on?


Image via TLC

miscarriage & loss, sibling rilvary


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Brett Martin

i ache for the duggars. i don't care if its your first or thirtieth child, that loss is devastating. especially given that she was into the second trimester. my heart aches so much for the kids. i agree 100% with you. say what you want, but grief is grief and its real, its there, and all 19 siblings are going to be going through it. my miscarriages were before my oldest was born and before she was 2 so she doesn't remember. 2 of my sisters had late term losses during pregnancy and my brothers wife had 5 losses. its never easier. i think the good that will come from the duggars and their show and sharing their loss is that people will be more aware and not be so darned hush hush about pregnancy loss.

nonmember avatar kari

a funeral? really? she did not give birth to a stillborn, she lost her UNBORN baby! what do they plan on burying? a box with cards and presents? not to sound unsympathetic, but didn't we all know in the back of our mind she would miscarry? especially after the problems with her last pregnancy. i think her uterus is about to go on strike (thank god!), and she needs to listen to her body. i don't think i'm the only one who can hear it screaming, "enough! i can't do this anymore! it's time we stopped popping them out!" a miscarriage is always sad, yes, but looking at their history, i doubt it will be 6 months before she winds up pregnant again. she's 45, menopause should be right around the corner, anyways.

nonmember avatar ohyesidid

The parents, out of their own selfishness, brought pain and heartache to their household. Sure, losing an unborn child is heartbreaking, but they knew it was high risk. They risked a new baby, and the baby paid the price, now their other kids pay the price as well. Niiiice. They brought it on themselves.

ldbc ldbc

Wow Kari. Your post is very insensitive. Who are we to judge what is the best way to grieve. She was six months along. Definitely a baby to mourn. Her last baby was barely older than that when she was born. Let this family mourn their loss anyway they want to.

ann19... ann197832

Wow I can't believe that post the baby is still in her if u went to people.com and read the full article u would see that the Dr decided against chemically inducing the labor for fear of rupruring her uterus bc of the last c section she still gas to go through the whole labor process and give birth to this now stillborn child so yes she has the right to plan this funeral and pick a name for this child they have their own views on contraception and that's ok let them and the rest of their children morn the loss in peace.

nonmember avatar Kyla

I absolutely agree that grief is grief, regardless of my personal opinion of the Duggars. When my friend's brother died a completely insensitive person commented "At least you have 4 other children" to her Mother, as if that should make the loss less painful.It seems very cruel to say that Michelle "deserved" to miscarry as some seem to imply. My issue with Michelle is the fact that she is taking such a risk both to her own health and that of her unborn child if she purposefully gets pregnant again. She seems hell bent on having more children and says she is willing to lay down her life for a pregnancy like she is some kind of pregnancy martyr. This is really unfair to her children as she has several toddlers st home and as she claims to be pro-life, you would think she would value her own life as well. That being said, I don't think this is the time t bash her or her family and that is not my intent.

butte... butterflymkm

I agree. I do not, at all, agree with the duggars lifestyle (for a whole bunch of reasons) but the some of the comment. That have been made have been very cruel. It is one thing to believe that perhaps her body can simply take no more, it's quite another to say 'i told ya so!' when one is grieving a loss. Further, her other kids may be (probably will

be) exposed to these comments as well and no matter what you or I think of their lifestyle choices, their kids didn't choose it, they were born into it. They deserve te right to grieve for their lost sibling and experience any other emotion that comes. Seriously, you can disagree without being heartless. And rude comments to a woman and family suffering such a loss is heartless.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Wow Kari, your ignorance really is staggering. Are you under the impression that babies just pop in to bring a moment before delivery? She found out that the baby had died at their twenty week ultrasound so the baby will be about 1-1.5lbs with fingers and toes and eyes that open and they can tell if it's a boy or a girl. That is a baby that you can hold and kiss and say goodbye to. When that baby is born they will come home from the hospitals with mementos like the knit cap and blanket and a photo and footprints like any other set of parents but no baby. Unless you have gone through that, and you clearly have not, then you can not possibly comprehend.

Littl... LittleManMama

I think it is disgusting that people are so cruel. Regardless of what you believe about the Duggars lifestyle, there is no doubt that they, and their children are greiving right now.

MrsSi... MrsSimonsen

Hope things get better for them. What a loss :(

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