Jill Duggar Dillard forgot to wish Josie a happy birthday on Instagram, but she did take the time to re-post a family photo that caused a major controversy a few years ago.
Yesterday was Josie Duggar’s seventh birthday, according to the Duggar Family Blog. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar consider Josie their “miracle” child because she was born three weeks prematurely and survived, but they haven’t mentioned Josie’s birthday on social media at all. None of Josie’s older siblings with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram pages have acknowledged her birthday, either.
This is out of character for the Duggars — they usually share birthday wishes for their family members with their adoring public.
Instead of wishing Josie a happy birthday, Jill used her Instagram page to pay tribute to Jubilee Shalom Duggar, the child that Michelle Duggar miscarried five years ago. Michelle found out that Jubilee no longer had a heartbeat on December 8, 2011, and she was stillborn three days later on December 11. As evidenced by Jill’s recent Instagram post, this is the day that the Duggars consider Jubilee’s birthday.
“5 years ago today my mom gave birth to my youngest little sister, Jubilee Shalom Duggar and Jesus welcomed her home to Heaven!” Jill wrote.
“She is a testimony to every life being beautiful; at 18 weeks gestation, she was a beautiful baby with little blue eyes, 10 fingers & 10 toes! She weighed 4 oz. and was six inches long. We miss you Jubilee and look forward to meeting you one day in Heaven!”
Jill’s Instagram post included photos of Jubilee’s tiny corpse. In one image, someone holds her feet between their thumb and forefinger. In another, the fetus’ hand rests on a fingertip.
When the photos of Jubilee Duggar’s dead body first circulated online five years ago, they stirred up a lot of controversy.
“Who would take photographs of their dead baby daughter, and release them?” the Daily Beast asked. The Duggars were accused of using Michelle’s miscarriage for publicity, and some critics said that the way they dealt with their loss was “distasteful.”
“From what I know of parents who have lost children, it’s horrific. It’s not something you want pictures of. There are people who will argue with me and say it’s a way of coming to terms with the death,” said social psychologist Susan Newman. “But given the Duggars’ history, their television show, and the way they exploit their children, I just find this a cog in the same wheel. I find it rather distasteful.”
However, Slate writer Mary Elizabeth Williams argued that the photos of Jubilee’s lifeless limbs are the only images of her that the Duggars will ever have. Most of the Instagram responses to Jill Duggar’s post have also been positive.
“Precious baby girl! She is a lucky one, got to go home to Jesus! God bless your family,” one commenter wrote.
Jill Duggar’s parents weren’t just criticized for taking photos of Jubilee after Michelle miscarried; some critics also slammed the mother of 19 for getting pregnant again after Josie’s life-threatening premature birth.
“The more pregnancies one has, the greater the risk of a bad outcome that could leave the children that are already born without a mother,” said Dr. Philip Darney, director of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.
Darney told LiveScience that the likelihood of a mother or her unborn baby dying increases with each birth that the mother has. In other words, Jubilee and Michelle were both at risk. However, as Us Weekly reports, Jubilee’s death didn’t stop Michelle Duggar from trying to get pregnant again. Three years later, she and Jim Bob visited a fertility clinic to see if another baby was a possibility.
“We didn’t want to stop on an odd number,” Jim Bob once told TODAY.
Michelle Duggar’s highly-publicized 2011 miscarriage was not the only time she miscarried. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Michelle went on the pill after she gave birth to her first child, Josh Duggar, but she got pregnant while she was taking it. She miscarried that pregnancy, so now she and Jim Bob erroneously believe that oral contraceptives can cause miscarriages.
That first miscarriage took place so early during Michelle’s pregnancy that she and Jim Bob didn’t know whether they would have had a boy or girl, but they still picked out a name: Caleb.
It’s possible that Michelle had other miscarriages that she was unaware of. As Parenting.com reports, “about 30 to 40 percent of all conceptions result in a pregnancy loss,” but many of these happen before women know that they are pregnant.
What do you think of Jill Duggar’s tribute to Jubilee? Share your thoughts below.
[Image by Duggar Family/Facebook]