Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar, the parents at the helm of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, have announced that baby number 20 is on the way. “I was not thinking that God would give us another one, and we are just so grateful,” Michelle told the Today show. At 45 years old, she is in her fourth month of pregnancy and is due in April.
The couple, from Tontitown, Arkansas, has 19 other children, ranging in age from 23 years to 23 months. Their oldest child, Joshua, is married and has two children himself.
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The family’s youngest child, Josie, was born in harrowing circumstances in December 2009. Michelle developed preeclampsia, as well as gallbladder problems, and Josie was delivered three and a half months premature. Thankfully, she has since developed into a healthy toddler.
Despite the life-threatening conditions of Josie’s birth, the Duggars did not rule out adding to their family. They are taking normal precautions to ensure a healthy pregnancy, though Michelle will have to have her first C-section due to complications from her previous pregnancy. Jim Bob told People, “Michelle is probably in better health now than she was 10 years ago. She has been getting on an elliptical for about an hour a day and is very careful of what she eats.”
The parents-to-be have told the rest of their family the good news, and the children are now debating the baby’s name and whether it will be a boy or a girl (smart money is on J-name number 20).
Though it seems fairly evident, the Duggars have stated that they don’t currently use birth control, and leave everything in the hands of God.
According to TLC’s website, Michelle has spent a mind-boggling 12 years of her life being pregnant (closer to 13 after this latest baby is born). At least the couple seem to take it all in stride; Jim Bob joked to Today, “We didn’t want to stop on an odd number.” Perhaps after this they can hit blackjack with number 21?