Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s 19th child, Josie Brooklyn, was born almost four months early on December 8, 2009 and remains in the hospital in the second episode of 19 Kids and Counting that aired Tuesday night.
The entire family paid an emotional visit to the hospital in Little Rock that is three hours away from their home.
Dad Jim Bob explained to the gathered family that Mom Michelle had high blood pressure so the doctors had to deliver the baby 15 weeks early. “Little Josie won’t be able to go home for about three months from now,” he told them. Each child under 14 had to have their temperature taken to make sure they were healthy enough and then all of them were allowed into a room to visit their newest sister.
Jill said she had being “trying to imagine she’s one pound six ounces,” and was guessing how small she was. All of the Duggar’s were surprised by how tiny Josie actually was, and were wiping away tears as they celebrated her life.
“Look how small she is!” they said. “It was overwhelming,” they admitted when they saw her tiny little body in the hospital. “I didn’t think she’d be that small,” said James. Jesse said “we were worried,” but the visit seemed to relieve the family.
“I’m not fearful,” Jill said about her little sister.
The episode takes place leading up to Christmas, with old home videos of the children from past Christmas holidays. “I can’t believe they’ve grown up so fast,” said Michelle about her children. She is wrestling with her emotions as she realizes that she has to spend so much time in the hospital with little Josie away from her other children. “As a mom your heart is pulled in many different directions,” she admits.
Each Duggar child picks another sibling in a drawing to exchange Christmas presents with and they take a trip to the local Goodwill Store. The drawings are split between the older boys, older girls and the younger children. They all have a good time shopping for clothes and toys for each other.
The children at home continue the family tradition of taking baked goods to the police and fire departments in their hometown and prepare apple crisps, brownies, cookies and even yummy cookie-dough balls for treats. As they visit the police and fire stations to thank them for their service all year they are treated to sirens and are able to sit inside the trucks at the fire house
Little Jackson said “We gave them cookies and Play-Doh,” and his sister Johannah corrected him with a cute “No Play-Doh!”
The show then returns to Michelle at the hospital where she is told a few days after Josie is born that she can touch her for the first time. “I was surprised and shocked and in wonder,” she said but revealed that “to feel the warmth of her little body is amazing, just amazing.”
The children hosted a Christmas party for “like 100,000 people coming” joked one child. After the party they all packed up and went to spend Christmas in Little Rock with their parents at a generous friend’s house.
On Christmas Eve the kids presented their parents with a special gift they had made for them – a beautifully bound book with all of their pictures inside. “It’s so perfect,” Dad Jim Bob said of the gift.
Little Jackson and Johannah were asked what the best part of Christmas was and as Jackson replied “Opening up our gifts,” little Johannah fell off her chair with excitement!
The preview for the next episode of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting showed the Duggars temporarily moving to Little Rock to be near the hospital as Josie continues to grow.