It's no secret the Duggar sisters tend to have long and difficult labors — and that several of them have either ended up delivering via C-section or wound up in the hospital because of other complications. In fact, Jill, Jessa, and Joy-Anna have all had attempted home births that landed them in hospitals. It seems a combination of genetics, large babies, and less-than-ideal positioning of the baby is to blame for these intended home births not going according to plan. So it's no wonder Joy-Anna Duggar's difficult labor left her "just ready to get the baby here" by any means possible.
Followers of the Duggar family and TLC's Counting On are probably already aware that Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth welcomed their first child — a baby boy they named Gideon — back in February, according to Us Weekly. Although it wasn't immediately apparent where or how Joy-Anna delivered her son, fans eventually learned that the first-time mom had attempted a home birth. “I decided to have a home birth, just because I know that it’s more comfortable being at home,” Joy-Anna explained in a clip from an August episode of Counting On. “I really wanted to at least try it, and we’re only about 30 minutes from the hospital, so it’s not too bad in case of an emergency or a change of plans."
In a different TLC video, Joy-Anna opened up about what she and Austin were doing to prepare for their little one's arrival. This included getting a birth pool set up, cleaning up the house, knocking out those last big projects, and preparing the guest bedroom for visitors. (You know, typical nesting and home-birthing stuff.) The expecting mom again mentioned that a contingency plan was in place, in the event a home birth didn't work out:
The advice I have gotten so far is just to be flexible and prepare for the birth, and have plans, but if something doesn’t go as planned, then be OK with that and just have another plan.
Ultimately, the laboring mom-to-be did end up needing to make that drive to the hospital.
Ahead of Monday night's special featuring the birth story of baby Gideon, People revealed more details about Joy-Anna's long and difficult labor. Joy-Anna explained that after laboring at home for 19 hours, her midwife realized her baby was in a breech position — and they immediately embarked for the nearest hospital. “When the midwife came and told us that the baby was breach and that we had to go to the hospital, I was kind of discouraged because she had labored for so long and we were really hoping that we could just have a home birth,” Austin said, according to People's exclusive sneak peek of tonight's episode. “But at the same time, I was ready to have this baby. Joy was tired and I’m just: ‘Let’s just do whatever it takes to get the baby here.’”
Joy-Anna had previously confessed that having a C-section was one of her "greatest fears,." However, an emergency C-section is exactly what doctors determined was necessary when she arrived at the hospital, according to People. And Joy-Anna's reaction to this news sounds about right, for someone who had already endured nearly 20 hours of labor.
But, by that point, I was really just like, ‘Whatever it takes I’m ready.’ I was exhausted. I was just ready to get the baby here in any way possible.
On Friday, Feb. 23, Gideon Martyn Forsyth was born, weighing in at a whopping 10 pounds, 3 ounces, according to an Instagram post from the Forsyths.
Although it was unfortunate that Joy-Anna had to suffer through so many hours of labor at home before her midwife realized her baby was breech, it was smart that she and Austin had a back-up plan in place. Because that's the thing about birth "plans" — they don't always pan out as expected. And sometimes, it includes facing one of your biggest fears for the sake of a healthy mama and baby in the end. To watch Joy-Anna's birth special in its entirety, tune into Counting On at 9 p.m. (ET) tonight on TLC.