Life after a miscarriage or a stillbirth can be unbearable. Although everyone grieves differently, talking about the pain of this type of loss is often difficult — and so is the idea of moving on. Recently, however, Counting On's Joy-Anna Duggar opened up about having more children after her miscarriage — and it's clear she's had so much family support in the wake of her loss.
Joy-Anna and her husband Austin Forsyth have a 20-month-old son, Gideon, who was born in February 2018. In May, the couple announced they were expecting their second child, E! News reported. Heartbreakingly, though, they later revealed that Joy-Anna had suffered a miscarriage, according to People. It was when the Forsyths went in for the 20-week anatomy scan ultrasound that they discovered their baby had died in utero, Joy-Anna revealed on Instagram.
“Today marks one week since we heard these words… ‘So this is your baby’s heart (pointing to the ultrasound screen). I don’t hear a heartbeat or see any movement,” the bereaved mom wrote at the time. Joy-Anna revealed they had lost a baby girl, and that she and Austin had already picked out a name for her: Annabell Elise. “Annabell means ‘God has favored me,’ and Elise means ‘God satisfies,’" the bereaved mom told People. "What a precious thing to know that when our daughter opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was the face of Jesus.”
It's been roughly four months now since the Counting On couple revealed Joy-Anna's miscarriage. In a recent interview with Us Weekly, Joy-Anna opened up about whether she and Austin would like to try to have more children. “We want to be wise and give my body time to heal,” she told the publication. “But we are excited for the children that God’s going to give us and can’t wait. I don’t know if four is the number. I mean, I would be fine with a few more if that’s what God wants us to have.”
In the wake of their loss, Austin's family has been a "huge blessin," Joy-Anna told Us Weekly — particularly by watching Gideon so the grieving could could have some alone time. The Duggars have been incredibly helpful, too, brining Joy and Austin meals and food while offering encouraging words. The bereaved mom also sang the praises of her husband for being her "anchor" during this difficult time.
Joy-Anna also shared that there is a headstone on Austin's family's property — a place that now holds extra-special meaning. “That’s going to be something special because a lot of our important things in life have happened there," she told Us Weekly. "We got engaged, we started dating and now we have her there. That’s just a really special spot.”
As someone who has followed the Duggars since their 17 Kids & Counting days, I was heartbroken for Joy-Anna and Austin when I learned about the miscarriage. I've wondered since then how they were doing, and whether they wanted to try for another baby in the future. Since everyone grieves differently, I knew that it could take some time before they were ready. My thoughts are with them still as they continue to navigate healing after their loss — and deciding when the time is right for them to try again.