The newest Duggar baby, Josie Brooklyn, remained in the hospital as the third episode of 19 Kids and Counting aired Tuesday night. Josie was born almost four months early on December 8, 2009 and is in the hospital in Little Rock, Arkansas; about three hours from the family home in Springdale, so mom Michelle and dad Jim Bob decide to move the whole family closer to the hospital.
“This is the hardest thing we’ll ever do as a family,” Jim Bob said as the show began. He said little Josie has had “ups and downs,” but “she’s done very well here.”
The Duggar family packed up 15 of their children and moved into a new home – the historic Cornish House in Little Rock, which was the home of a Ed and Hilda Cornish, who was a leading advocate for birth control, even though she had six children. “She’d probably roll over in her grave if she knew we were here,” Jim Bob joked to the children. He said that the house was “really neat for the children,” since it is 100 years old, and only a mile and a half from the hospital where Josie is staying.
Daughter Jill described moving mattresses and school computers into the new home. She then gave a tour of the new home, showing off the “Dining Hall,” and Jana described the new rooms as “smaller,” but showed the music room for all the children’s instruments.
Jim Bob explained that the house isn’t quite what they’re used to in Springdale. This house has four bathrooms and one working shower and one working tub. A pop up read “At their house in Springdale, the Duggars have 6 showers and 8 bathrooms.” They are definitely roughing it!
The entire top floor of the new house is an old ballroom, and the kids were having a great time playing up there. Jackson described that “Our house was bigger,” and while making arm motions accidentally poked his cute little sister Johannah in the face with his elbow. The kids are split into two rooms – boys and girls, with some even doubling up in the beds.
Josiah said “It is very important for our family to focus on school work,” and the study room with all of the computers was shown. Michelle said it was fun for the kids to change houses and to have to rough it a little bit. “The children feel like they’re camping out.” Grandma joined the family, and she is taking care of the laundry, which is “going pretty much constantly.”
Michelle is focusing on taking care of her littlest daughter. “I am the dairy queen. I am making milk for Josie.” Jim Bob was full of compliments for his wife. “You look great; you don’t look like you just had your 19th baby.” Michelle agreed. “I’m feeling much better than I did a few weeks ago.”
Seven days after she was born Josie was transferred to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital and with tubes in her tummy Michelle said “She has good days and bad days.”
At 27-days-old Josie is still fragile and Michelle hadn’t even hold her fully yet. “I really have a hard time seeing her struggling,” she said. Josie will soon be 30 weeks into gestation and the Duggars said she would be released around her real due date and when she is eating on her own without any tubes.
“It is a daily process for her, each day we thank the lord that we have her here with us. We’re just grateful.” In the hospital Michelle and Jim Bob saw Josie with her little fingers in her mouth for the first time, which was a touching moment for the couple.
As the doctors turn Josie over and check her vital signs Michelle emotionally recounted what her experience was like watching when she struggles. “I can’t stand to see her like that. I want to be right beside the bed when she’s doing good and when she’s not I’ll go to the nursing station and cry and then come back. It’s a roller coaster ride.”
Dr. Robert Arrington told them that Josie has two hurdles, feeding and avoiding infection but gave her parents hope. “In the next few weeks things will stabilize,” he said.
Apparently dad Jim Bob has been losing weight, but the 15 to 20 pounds he lost he seemed to have found again!
Little Jordyn hit a milestone in the new house – she started walking.
The episode ended with family friends bringing over dinner for the Duggars and the voiceover said “I think everybody’s prayers have really helped with this time and it’s a journey for all of us.”
The preview for the next episode of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting showed the Duggars donating blood at the hospital in Little Rock where the whole family has moved to be near Josie as she continues to grow.