TV’s most fertile family – the Duggars of TLC – are once again responding to critics who find fault with the family’s double-digit child-bearing.
The new comments from dad Jim Bob and mom Michelle come in the wake of their announcement that Michelle is pregnant with the couple’s 20th child – which will necessitate a title change for their TLC series – from “19 Kids and Counting” to “20.”
Every time the Duggars announce that a new one’s on the way, critics weigh in. Among other things, they’re questioning whether this new pregnancy is too risky for 45-year-old Michelle, whose last baby – Josie, No. 19 – was born prematurely. In addition, Michelle developed the condition known as pre-eclampsia during the pregnancy – a dangerous high blood-pressure condition.
But in an interview with People magazine here, Michelle shrugged off the risks. Said she, “If we felt that way, we would have stopped back with our second birth [when Michelle developed pre-eclampsia while pregnant with twins John David and Jana, who are now 21]. “There are many women who have experienced pre-eclampsia and have gone on to have more children.”
Though it doesn’t seem to be any of their business, busybodies, er, critics have also complained that the Duggar parents cannot give needed attention to each child in their family because of their great number.
Jim Bob insisted to People that that’s not the case. “We homeschool,” Jim Bob said, “so we are around our children day in and day out. Because I am in real estate, I am home and can be with the children a lot. When we go to the store or run errands, we take the kids one on one and we get to spend more time individually than a lot of parents do.”
“We know having this many kids isn’t for everyone,” Michelle says in an interview posted separately on the People Web site (here). “But we are open to receive whatever gifts God wants us to have. And we are so excited and thrilled about this pregnancy.”
The Duggars have a special this Sunday night (Nov. 13) at 8/7c on TLC – a trip to Scotland and Ireland with every member of their family.