We thought she was off the show? Jill Duggar coached her sister-in-law Lauren Duggar (née Swanson) through the birth of her first child with Josiah Duggar on the special TLC shared to its website on December 9. She doesn’t really appear on camera during the mini-episode of Counting On, but Jill, 28, was definitely there and even comforted Lauren, 20, through her difficult labor.
As Lauren struggled to deliver her daughter, Bella Milagro Duggar, Jill can be heard off-camera at one point reassuring her, “There you go, Lauren. Relax right here on your shoulder. Relax. Beautiful. Down and out. Think, down and out.” It also appeared that Jill was physically comforting her sister-in-law with an arm on her shoulder, which quickly moved to her head. “Good job, that’s it. Relax right here,” Jill said as she touched Lauren’s forehead. “Right there.”
Jill’s presence in the birth special is notable for a few reasons. First of all, she’s told Counting On fans that she and her husband, Derick Dillard, are no longer on the series. After she posted photos revealing that the family used to get “rough cuts” of the show to watch before it aired on TV, one Instagram user asked, “Are you guys going to do Counting On anymore?”
“We get asked that a lot … No plans to [return] currently,” Jill replied. “It just all got to be too much for our little family, so we decided to step away from it all a couple years ago before the birth of our second child. Love our film crew, though … Great people.”
Secondly, while Jill has been present for a few of her sisters’ deliveries thanks to her training as a midwife, as far as fans know she was not present when another sister-in-law, Kendra Caldwell, gave birth. She’s had two kids, and Jill did not seem to be there for either delivery. Will she be a part of the experience when John David Duggar and Abbie Burnett welcome their first child?
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A few months before Josiah, 23, and Lauren had their daughter, Jill was also there when her sister Jessa Duggar gave birth to her daughter, Ivy Jane Seewald. There’s always a chance that Derick, 30, and Jill aren’t in the regular Counting On episodes, and Jill will only make appearances in these mini-episodes in the near future, but that seems like kind of an odd distinction to make.
Ultimately, if Jill’s sisters or sisters-in-law want her there for their deliveries, following their wishes is all that really matters.
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