When Jill Dillard announced on social media that she had received certification as a midwife, fan speculation immediately ran to Jessa Seewald’s pregnancy. Jill, whose own homebirth attempt ended with a hospital transfer, and who was supposed to be on an extended mission trip, struck many as an odd choice of birth attendants.
After Jessa’s birth, which also ended in a hospital transfer, Duggar followers leapt to a question: why hadn’t the midwife been named? Was it really Jill? Catching the Duggar family in statements of questionable veracity has become something of a public pastime since the disastrous interview with Megyn Kelly. Every statement in that interview has been picked over for contradictions and direct falsehoods — a particularly popular meme purporting to have caught Michelle Duggar in a direct lie when she said that one of the safeguards implemented after Josh Duggar admitted to molesting young girls was to forbid little girls to sit on the laps of boys or men, except their own father. The meme, seen below, appears to show a number of photos in which that statement is directly contradicted, including a shot of Josh himself holding a young sister.
Of course, statements by the married Duggar sisters, Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald, are subject to as much scrutiny. That’s especially been the case where the Dillard family’s mission trip has been concerned — there have been many questions about whether they’re really on a mission trip or a fan-funded vacation, where they really are, and how much time they’re really spending out of the country.
Specifically, there’s been a lot of speculation and questions about how often the Jill and husband Derrick Dillard return to the U.S., and how long they’ve stayed at each visit — such as when Derrick appeared in a photo with his brother-in-law some time after the family threw a party for the those who supported the Dillard mission trips. (See dates on respective photos below.)
There were accusations that the Duggar family was deliberately misleading the public, and that Jill and Derrick Dillard were spending an unprecedented amount of their mission time popping back to Arkansas for “brief” visits — the “briefness” of which Duggar detractors debated.
When Jill and Derrick did head back to Central America, four days after the image of Derrick caused a ruckus, the Dillard Family Blog bore a post stating that it would be “many months” before they could return to America again.
Many months? But Jessa Seewald’s baby — whose birth Jill Dillard was widely expected to appear at as midwife — was due in only a few short weeks.
The Duggars have reacted to fan (and non-fan) questions and speculation on their social media pages a few times by posting things that address accusations obliquely rather than responding directly, and it appears they noticed that the public was questioning whether Jill was the midwife at Baby Seewald’s birth.
That may be why, in an open letter to Jessa, posted on the Dillard Family Blog, Jill made sure to answer that question, in a somewhat sideways manner, in between Bible verses and parenting advice.
“It was such a joy to get to be apart [sic] of the birth from Central America, thank you.”
It’s a line that can easily be read as love from sister to sister, or as a public statement of Jill maintaining that she was not in Arkansas for the birth, and making certain that the public knows she hasn’t gone back on her statement that she would be out of the country for “many months.”
Perhaps responding to continued questions and criticism, Jill later added a photo of the letter appearing on a computer screen to her Instagram account, further ensuing that those questioning her whereabouts would see it.
The letter goes farther, to suggest the two babies meeting each other by FaceTime and to invite Jessa and family for a visit — lines that seem to be a further statement from Jill Dillard that she does indeed intend to continue her trip for a longer stay this time.
[Image via Duggar Family / YouTube]