Talk about the mother lode! It’s mixed emotions this Mother’s Day for mother of 19 children, Michelle Duggar.
“This Mother’s Day is definitely going to be different because we’ll be at the hospital,” Michelle tells People. “This is the first time I’ve been in the hospital on Mother’s Day.”
It’s been a stressful time for the Duggar family of TLC’s reality show, ‘19 Kids and Counting,’ ever since Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s 19th child, Josie Brooklyn, was born at 25 weeks and now faces an array of medical issues.
The Duggars cover the latest scare and give an update on how Little Josie, who remains hospitalized in the neonatal intensive care unit of Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, is doing in a special Mother’s Day episode airing tonight.
“Josie is doing really good now,” Michelle says. “We’re waiting to hear when the doctors think she can go home.”
“We placed her in God’s hands and thanked him for every day she was with us,” dad Jim Bob adds.
The episode also features a special introduction: Baby Josie meets two of her older siblings for the first time, when Josiah and Joy Anna travel to visit newest sister at the hospital. They missed the first trip with the other Duggar siblings because they were sick and would not have been allowed to be near the baby for health reasons.
The Duggar kids were surprised by how tiny their littlest sister is. “She looked a lot bigger in the movies Mom and Dad have been bringing home,” Josiah said.
“She’s so small, it feels like you’re just holding a blanket,” remarked Joy Anna.
Born premature on Dec. 10, Josie Duggar finally came home from the hospital in April, but her concerned parents took their preemie back to the hospital just days later when her vital signs became weak.
“She loves to eat,” says Michelle. “When she feels good, she looks at you and smiles and talks. She’s definitely a talker and has the sweetest personality.”
Josie is gaining weight and just hit the 6 lb. mark, but she has some digestive issues which require enemas at 6-hour intervals.
“We are identifying what needs to be done to find a more permanent solution,” says Josie’s physician, Dr. Robert Arrington.
“This has been such a difficult time for our family,” says Jim Bob. “But good things have come out of this experience for us. We’ve drawn close together and we thank God for every day Josie is here.”
Josie’s homecoming will air as part of a TLC Mother’s Day special, ’19 Kids and Counting: Josie Comes Home,’ on Sunday, May 9 at 8 p.m. Baby Josie’s return to the hospital will be covered on the show’s following episode, airing at its regular time, Tuesday, May 11 at 9 p.m.