Jill Duggar (née Dillard) has revealed that her and husband Derick Dillard’s refusal to let TLC film the birth of their second son, Samuel, ultimately led to the couple leaving the 19 Kids and Counting spinoff, Counting On

In her memoir, Counting the Cost, which was released on Tuesday, September 12, Jill, 32, revealed that she and Derick, 34, did not allow cameras to roll while she was in the delivery room giving birth to baby No. 2 in July 2017. In response to this, a Counting On producer whom Jill referred to in her book as Chad resigned from the board of the couple’s charity, Dillard Family Ministries, which caused them to lose a significant amount of money. The situation led Jill and Derick to come to terms with leaving the TLC show. 

As Jill wrote, her and Derick’s decision to leave came after the couple met with the International Mission Board (IMB) — a Christian missionary society affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention — to discuss working with them. The organization requested that Jill and Derick first leave Counting On. They agreed to leave and drafted an email to Chad saying that they no longer wanted to be part of the show. However, Jill felt “so terrified” to send the email that she “started having contractions” even though she had only just entered her third trimester.

Instead of sending the email, Jill and Derick decided to call Jill’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, to tell them directly. They seemed to take the news well, so the couple moved forward with sending the email — only to see an “instantaneous fallout,” as Jill described it. Several calls with TLC and Chad followed as Jill and Derick attempted to get out of their Counting On contract, but they had no luck. The expectant parents ultimately had to let go of working with the IMB because they were “unable to secure any kind of documentation confirming our release from the show.”

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Courtesy of Jill Duggar/Instagram

A few months after Samuel’s birth, in October 2017, Jill and Derick announced that they would not be returning to Counting On after season 6 ended, although the exact reason for their departure was kept under wraps at the time. Jill wrote in Counting the Cost that she and Derick were “asked to give a few different versions” of an explanation, but she didn’t “think any of it ended up making it into the final cut of the show.”

“Part of me still wonders why they didn’t bother to explain to viewers why we left. Part of me knows that it didn’t matter,” she added. 

In November 2017, Derick came under fire for making transphobic comments online about fellow TLC star Jazz Jennings, which led TLC to announce that they “had no plans” to continue filming him for the show. Many fans speculated that this was the true reason for Jill and Derick leaving Counting On, but they have both insisted that was not the case.

In a 2020 YouTube video, the parents of three said they left to “pursue their own goals.” They opened up more about their departure in Amazon Prime Video’s Shiny Happy People: Duggar Family Secrets docuseries in June, revealing that a failure to negotiate fair pay with Jim Bob contributed to the end of their relationship with TLC.

Jill explained in Counting the Cost that she didn’t remember much about filming her final interviews for Counting On, but she could recall how she felt. She wrote, “I know what I was feeling – a mix of sorrow and gratitude, or relief and anxiety, of feeling happy that this was all behind us now at the same time as wondering what was coming next.”

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