In the opening episode of Counting On's ninth season, Lauren Duggar revealed that she suffered a miscarriage sometime in the fall of 2018. The Duggar family has rallied around the reality star since the admission, including Jessa Duggar, who addressed Lauren's miscarriage in an Instagram shared Thursday. Not only is the message supportive, but it reveals a heartbreaking detail bonding the two together.
For the past few years, Counting On has been chock full of happy events — from countless weddings (five in total, wow) to a handful of births, there has been a lot to celebrate in the Duggar family as of late. But in the Counting On premiere on Feb. 11, Lauren revealed through tears that she suffered a miscarriage shortly after her wedding to Josiah Duggar in June 2018.
“I wasn’t feeling well. I was cramping really, really bad, which was quite strange because I normally don’t," she shared about the moment in October that she had miscarried, according to People. "I was thinking maybe I had something that had gluten in it. It was late at night and I went to use the restroom and there was the baby. Gone. I couldn’t believe it and I was hoping it wasn’t true.”
The timing of Lauren's miscarriage coincided with Jessa's pregnancy, which she announced in January. Sadly enough, Jessa revealed in her Instagram post that she and Lauren shared the exact same due date.
Jessa, who shared the information alongside a photo of her bump, wrote: "As we look forward to meeting our baby, we’re also feeling an exceptional amount of grief over my brother Josiah and sister-in-law Lauren’s loss of their baby. Lauren and I shared the exact same due date. We have cried so many tears, both together and apart."
She added: "My heart aches for them. I weep when I think of how difficult it must be for her to see me pregnant in the very stages where she would’ve been— right up through the baby’s due date."
How heartbreaking. I can't imagine the pain these two must feel -- at least they have each other to lean on.
Speaking of support, Jessa has a few ideas about how people can better lift up Lauren during this trying time. Essentially, she advised that silence can be hurtful to a person who has suffered a miscarriage, explaining: "Even in a flood of emotions, there are perplexities of the human heart that may cause us to want to clam up or remain silent through such a trial. Because of this, many people feel like they’re walking this road alone."
But the mom-of-two has a caveat to this advice — she warns that "unsolicited opinions" are not needed.
It is true that speaking for the sake of filling silence is not needful and is often hurtful. I’ve watched Lauren converse with people who have been unknowingly insensitive, and I am amazed by her graciousness. I’ve heard some try to give reasons or explanations, not realizing that their unsolicited opinions might be very painful, like salt to a wound. One might never know the tears you cry at night as a result of their words flowing back through your head. Often times, 'I love you and I’m praying for you' along with a hug are quite sufficient.
Spot-on, right? A grieving person doesn't need to hear someone's thoughts and theories about why they might have miscarried, even if it's well-intentioned.
The reality star also reinforced the healing power of leaning into your feelings, writing: "We must all reinforce the fact that emotions over a life lost are not something to be resisted. They’re not wrong, and you should never think that for a moment."
Ending her note with a message to all parents, she concluded:
If you’ve lost a child, know this — YOU ARE A MAMA, and you will never cease to think about and cherish the life you carried. So no matter how hard or difficult the journey, please don’t feel guilt over this. You’ll never stop wondering all of the details, from what the baby would look like, hair color, eye color, personality, etc. It’s only natural. Your tender heart just goes to show what a loving, caring person you are — that you care so deeply for one you were only graced only hold for such a short time.
Lauren appreciated Jessa's heartfelt message because she commented on the post: "Oh Jessa, I love you! God is so good to have given me such a sweet sister like you. This post just goes on to show how beautiful and tender your heart is."
Although Lauren's situation is a painful one, it's nice to know she has a thoughtful and supportive friend in Jessa. It's clear the sisters-in-law share a bond in more ways than one.