By now, most fans know that Counting On star Joy-Anna Duggar was rushed to the hospital for an emergency C-section after discovering her son, Gideon, was breech. Now, we’ve learned that her older sister, Jill — who is a midwife — was with Joy during her 20 hours of labor.
On a special webisode that aired on Monday, March 19, fans watched as Joy-Anna’s home birth quickly took a turn for the worse. The 20-year-old was joined by a handful of family members, including her mom Michelle and mother-in-law Roxanne. Although Jill, along with her disgraced husband, Derick Dillard, were fired from the TLC show in November, we got to see glimpses of former reality star on the episode.
While it’s not clear just how much the 26-year-old assisted her little sis, we do know she’s got a lot of experience under her belt. A 2013 clip from 19 Kids and Counting reported that Jill spent two years training as a midwife, racking up more than 3,000 hours. “This is hands-on apprenticeship style,” she said. “So we are really getting in there and getting to experience what the midwifery and doula roles look like, hands-on.”
In the clip, the midwife Jill was training under raved about the TLC star, and even called her “amazing.” She said, “From the very first time that I had [Jill] in a birth room, she just soaked everything up. I told her at that point that I wasn’t going to let her go — she had to be a midwife!”
In a 2013 blog post for TLC, Jill opened up about how she first got involved in the profession, adding that it started after she attended childbirth classes with her 14-year-old friend, who was a single mom. “Through these classes, I learned how to coach her during the birth of her child,” she wrote. “Although I had attended two of my siblings’ births, being able to work as an active part of my friend’s birth made me interested in learning more. I became friends with a doula/labor coach who worked in the area, and started going to home and hospital births with her. Soon, I became her assistant, and through that, I came into contact with other local midwives. Over the course of the next several years, these midwives would call on me periodically for help at home births.”
Amazing! We’re sure Joy was thrilled to have her older sis guide her through the birthing process.
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