So far, three for three Duggar sisters have attempted home births for their numerous pregnancies, but Jinger Duggar didn’t follow in their footsteps. Although all signs were once pointing towards the midwife option, Jinger recently revealed that she had opted to have a hospital birth for her daughter Felicity and she opened up about her decision in her new Counting On birth special.
“Some of my sisters have been through a bit of a tough time with labor and delivery so I have decided to just go ahead and switch to the hospital,” Jinger said in her confessional. “I think that kind of puts me at ease knowing, ‘Okay, if I need anything, it’s here.’ And I think it’ll help me be more relaxed in the long run.”
But that wasn’t the original plan. In Monday, Septemer 24th’s Counting On episode, Jinger and Jeremy discuss their plans for the delivery of their baby. People got an early look at clip from the show and shared the inside scoop with the rest of us. Before they ended up in the hospital, the couple was touring a birth center in San Antonio. “A birth center is, we like to say, the step down between hospital and home,” their midwife Alisa explains. “What we provide here at the birth center is a home-like setting, but the really nice thing is the proximity to the hospital.”
Initially, the new mom was looking for that happy medium — being in a comfortable, more relaxed setting but having all those medical resources immediately at hand. “My mom and quite a few of my sisters have done home births and for me, I don’t feel comfortable with it,” Jinger explained. “I think I feel safer being in a birth center where they have a lot more things that you would need for care and also being closer to a really good hospital.”
Jeremy weighed in, too: “One of the factors for why we chose a birthing center — and specifically the one we chose — is because it is literally a minute away from multiple hospitals: a children’s hospital and two others. And so if there’s any complication whatsoever, we’ve pretty much got immediate care.”
They also planned for a natural labor — meaning drug-free. It’s one of the conditions of giving birth at the birth center. At first, Jinger seemed apprehensive about going through the process without any medicinal help, but she was also determined to give it a shot. “I’m good with natural childbirth,” she said. “I mean, [being at the birth center would be] a good thing to hold me to it because there’s no option of it.”
One thing that she was worried about, though, was her sister and mom’s histories of long labors. “I would love to break the mold,” she admits to the midwives at the birthing center. “I would love that.”
But, despite the birthing center plan and hospital reality, there were still some similarities between Jinger’s labor and her fellow Duggar girls’ experiences. One thing that Jinger went through that was very similar to her sisters’ labors is that she went past her due date. Jinger tried natural methods to help start labor, but it didn’t work. In the end, Jinger had to check into the hospital so that professionals could help induce her.
Though her contractions started to increase naturally, she still needed a dose of Pitocin to move the process along. Pitocin is a drug that is meant to induce labor, but even with its help, it still took Jinger 18 hours to fully dialate. Once she was dilated, she went through about 30 minutes of pushing before she could finally hold her baby girl.
Prior to the Counting On episodes, however, several fans already assumed that the “rebel” child went to a medical facility. One curious redditor wrote, “I saw in Felicity’s birth announcement picture that they were in the hospital. I know most of the Duggar girls have attempted a home birth but all ultimately ended up giving birth in the hospital, except for Jessa. They all spoke about their initial disappointment at not having natural home births, but I haven’t read anything like that from Jinger and Jeremy. I’m wondering if they planned a hospital birth all along.”
In response, someone commented, “Jinger was always squeamish about births, so it doesn’t surprise me that she wanted to be in a medical facility.” They added, “Especially since she saw Jessa’s complication firsthand. Jill and Joy had complications, too. After seeing three sisters have to change birth plans last minute, I’d want to be in a hospital too.” A second agreed, adding, “I think it was hospital all along, especially given that she gave birth in San Antonio over Laredo. It’s two and a half hours away.”
Although they each wanted to give birth in the comfort of their own homes, Jill, Jessa, and Joy-Anna all ended up in the hospital due to complications. Only Jessa was able to welcome both sons — two-year-old Spurgeon and one-year-old Henry — at home, but after giving birth to her oldest son, she was soon transported to the hospital due to extensive bleeding.
Back in February, Joy made headlines for her failed home birth with her son, Gideon. After 20 hours of painful labor, the 20-year-old was rushed to the hospital because the baby was breech, forcing her to have an emergency C-section. While the situation luckily had a happy ending, many fans fear that it’s only a “matter of time” before one of their birthing plans ends in tragedy. Thankfully, both mama and baby are happy and healthy now, but hopefully Jinger’s change of plans shows future Duggar girls that they can choose whatever kind of birthing plan they’d like.
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