When one child has chickenpox, chances are his siblings will get them, too! The illness can spread easily when the infected kiddo does everyday things like cough, sneeze, or share a sip of a drink or a bite of a sandwich. Imagine what it's like when chickenpox enters the Duggar home! In tonight's episode of 19 Kids and Counting, Jim Bob and Michelle find their family covered in spots and have to keep the youngsters away from baby Josie. Have your tots had chickenpox?
Michelle Duggar has given birth 17 times, but mothering a preemie has been a new experience for her. I recently had the chance to chat with the mom of 19 and her husband Jim Bob about Josie and how their family dynamic has changed since the baby's December arrival.
LilSugar: You mentioned taking health precautions, but what are some of the other adjustments parents have to make in tending to a preemie?
Michelle Duggar: Initially, her (Josie's) feeds were so different than those of a full-term baby. At first, it was just a few drops and then it was a continuous feed because they had her on a feeding tube. We had to start feeding from a bottle so I would pump my breast milk and put it in the bottle and she had to learn how to suck, swallow, and breathe and that was a whole new experience because I had to learn how to hold the bottle and help her as she started to choke and until she was able to learn that process. Of course, she's learned it really well!
We're probably doing the same things we did with all of our other children — playing with her, talking to her, and giving her a lot of stimulation when she is awake and having her playtime, but I'm more focused about it now than ever. I think — did we move her legs enough? Is she standing, jumping up and down, and moving enough? — I want to make sure she's getting all of that activity. I have a checklist in my mind and I have a chart of all of her feeds, poops, and when she goes tinkle — I write it all down. I did not ever do that with my others — it wasn't that big of a deal. With her, it's this idea of watching her grow and develop and we want to make sure she gets to each one of these landmarks so we can check it off. That's more of a difference. My family probably doesn't even notice.
To see the Duggar's tips for staying connected while a child in the hospital and find out how long they will tape, read more
Michelle Duggar may awe fellow moms by raising 19 children, but this Sunday will be a bittersweet holiday for the mother because her baby is back in the hospital. Dealing with the ups and downs of having a preemie (little Josie was born at 25 weeks gestation) has not rattled the Duggars' faith or family plans. In a recent interview with Radar Online, the large family's matriarch said she and her husband are open to growing their brood biologically or, possibly, by adoption. Here are the highlights:
- On Josie's progress: "She is up to 5 pounds 15 ounces. She’s just taken off with her weight gain these last couple weeks now that she’s back at the hospital and so we’re really thankful for that."
- On her faith being strengthened by Josie's arrival: "We had no where else to turn. There was nothing else I could do to help Josie other than prayer. I could cry out to God and cry out for mercy. Nothing is by accident and he allowed Josie to be born that day and we know that God has a special purpose for Josie."
To see what Michelle had to say about having another baby and adoption, read more
Miracle baby Josie Duggar was released from the hospital today! The preemie, who was born at just 25 weeks gestation back in December, is now almost four months old and weighs 4 lbs. 9 oz. Her proud parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, are excited to have the wee one bond with her 18 older siblings. Jim Bob said:
Michelle and I are very happy to report that little Josie is being released from the hospital today. And while we have plenty of practice bringing babies home, this time is very different. To be on the safe side, we’ll stay nearby in Little Rock for the short term, with the entire family returning home to Springdale in the near future. We are deeply grateful to the staff at Arkansas Children’s Hospital. And as always, thank you for the continued prayers and support.