Duggars expecting baby No. 20; congrats, horror, finale ensue
Michelle Duggar is pregnant with her 20th child, an announcement she and the whole "19 Kids and Counting" family made Tuesday morning on "Today" in an appearance during which she noted that her offspring would eventually number "however many the Lord sees fit to give us."
TLC, in promoting Tuesday night's finale of its "19 Kids and Counting," released this from the proud mother:
"Jim Bob and I are excited to announce that we're pregnant with baby number 20. We're due in April and I'm feeling great. All of the children are thrilled and we're looking forward to welcoming this precious new addition to our family."
The birth of a 20th baby from one set of parents is bound to raise some eyebrows -- or drop some jaws and spur some expressions of horror. Add to the total number of children these tidbits: Mom is 45; the last Duggar addition -- born in December 2009, three months early and at 1 pound, 6 ounces -- began life in a neonatal intensive care unit; and the size of the family and its continued growth are the basis for a reality show.
On Tuesday, tweets included the unkind variety -- "sick," "stupid" and "out of control" -- as well as the what-did-they-ever-do-to-you variety -- "You are not impacted by them procreating." And then there was the innocuous: "Have they not run out of names starting with J?" (The kids are: Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace and Josie.)
There were wonders about what's best for Mom -- "Is she putting her health at risk?' -- and the new baby -- "Your last baby hardly made it, why take the risk again?"
There was this from Men's Health fashion and grooming director Brian Boye: "Interesting side note: my cousin who's my age went to school w/the mom. That's lots of kids for 45."
Brian, that's a lot of kids for any age.
But let's put this in perspective. Although 20 may seem impressive, Mrs. Jim Bob Duggar is certainly no Mrs. Feodor Vassilyev.
The wife of Feodor Vassilyev, as she's known in the Guinness Book of Records, had 27 pregnancies that, thanks to multiples, resulted in 69 children. Then there's Chilean woman Leontina Albina, who is said to have given birth to baby No. 55 in 1981.
-- Amy Hubbard
Photo: The clan back when there were only 18 Duggars -- the day Michelle announced she was pregnant with No. 19. Credit: Scott Enlow / TLC