After months of anticipation, Bringing Up Bates star Josie Bates has given birth to her first child. The 19-year-old television personality welcomed her newborn with husband Kelton Balka, bringing the total number of Bates grandkids to 10.
Josie and Balka's daughter, Willow Kristy Balka, was born on Friday, July 19 (Felicity Duggar shares her birthday, btw) at 2:23 a.m. and the little one weighed 6 lb 10 oz. and measured at 19 inches long, per the reality star's announcement on Instagram. “We are so thankful to God for this little blessing and can't wait to start our journey as a family of three,” the new mother wrote.
Kelton posted the same photo of the couple cradling their newborn, with the caption, “Soooo thankful to welcome little baby willow into the world.” He called the birth a “terrifying and shocking process” while mentioning that his little one was “an absolute miracle from God.”
“Our hearts are [feeling] so full,” he added.
The couple first announced they were pregnant in February of this year, just four months after tying the knot. In the announcement photo that showed Josie holding balloons and the couple cradling her small baby bump as Kelton kissed her head, she said, “We are already so in love with this little one and can’t wait to meet him/her in July!”
Now that the baby is here, the couple seems as happy as ever.
Throughout her pregnancy, Josie shared snippets of her life as a mother-to-be in anticipation of Willow’s arrival. Just last week, the new mom posted a photo of the baby preparation, complete with a bassinet, blanket, and tiny baby shoes. She shared, “We’ve been in total nesting mode the last few days trying to get Willow’s nursery done, her clothes washed, the house cleaned, and bags packed for whenever she decides to come All the nerves and emotions are setting in, but It feels so surreal that we are this close to meeting our baby girl.”
The parents also revealed their plants to name the baby Willow Kristy in honor of Balka's mom, Willow, who died while delivering her fifth child, according to People. Balka was 13 at the time of her death.
Willow, aka the Bates family's newest addition, enters an ever-growing number of grandchildren for Kelly and Gil Bates. Last November, Tori Bates gave birth to the family’s ninth grandchild, and in early 2018, sisters Erina and Alyssa Bates gave birth to children just two weeks apart, according to Knox News. "That was a really, really difficult time for our family, the hardest thing I’ve ever been through," he previously said on the topic.
But wait — that's not all. Just last month, Josie posted a photo of herself, Whitney, and Erin Bates all showing baby bumps with the caption, “It’s so much fun being pregnant together. Can’t wait for our little babes to be besties."
Congratulations to Josie and Balka on the arrival of their little one, Willow. I have feeling fans can’t wait to follow the couple's journey as new parents.