Duggar family posts image of their miscarried child, audio message
The Duggar family, the stars of the TLC's reality TV show "19 Kids and Counting," have chosen to deal with the loss of their 21st child in a most unusual way. They posted an online image of Michelle Duggar holding Jubilee Shalom's tiny hand along with an audio message to let the miscarried child know how much she was wanted and how she is still loved.
Michelle Duggar, 44, and her husband, Jim Bob, announced earlier this month that they miscarried. The discovery occurred during what was supposed to be a happy occasion -- a routine, 19-week ultrasound appointment. The Duggars said that as soon as they found out whether the infant was a boy or girl, they would move forward with a funeral. They named the child Jubilee Shalom and held a memorial service for her last week. Michelle Duggar then posted an audio letter online.
The message begins with Michelle Duggar explaining to Jubilee Shalom that her name means "joyful celebration of peace" and tells her how thankful her parents were to be graced with her tiny presence.
"You were only here with us such a short time," Duggar says in a posting on the family's blog. "It’s an awesome thought to me that you fulfilled your life’s purpose in such a short time. What a blessing to know that you are in the arms of Jesus and that it was his face that you saw first."
Michelle Duggar's voice is strong and upbeat during the message, but there are moments when it wavers a bit with emotion, such as when she talks about how much she will miss the little girl.
"I will miss listening to your heartbeat … I will miss feeling you kick in my tummy," she says. She even talks about missing the opportunity to take her to the zoo someday.
The Duggars, a devout Christian family, have faced criticism in some corners for refusing to use birth control and putting God in charge of the size of their family. They have nine girls and 10 boys, all of whom have names beginning with the letter J.
Michelle Duggar miscarried previously early in her marriage. In her audio message to Jubilee, she says that from now on when people ask her how many children she has, she will respond by saying 21 and then explaining:"19 here, and two in heaven."
The Duggars did not offer details about the photo in their message.
A representative from TLC declined to comment about how or even if the miscarriage, as well as the family's response, would be become part of the TV show.
-- Rene Lynch