In the wake of a pregnancy loss (or any loss, for that matter) one of the cruelest realizations is that time marches forward. Although grief is an ongoing process, responsibilities still call — even when your heart still feels like it's in a million pieces and the thought of "moving forward" can feel impossible. Someone who might understand this sentiment is Joy-Anna Duggar, who returned to Instagram on Monday after a period of silence. And Joy-Anna's first Instagram post since announcing her miscarriage shows she's focusing on her family at the moment.
If you're a Counting On fan or follow the Duggars on Instagram, then you probably already know that Joy-Anna suffered a miscarriage right around the halfway point of her second pregnancy. She and her husband, Austin Forsyth, first announced the pregnancy on May 1, sharing that their second child was due in November. However, on July 4, the Forsyths revealed the devastating news that their baby had died, Us Weekly reported.
"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,'" Joy-Anna wrote on an Instagram photo of Austin comforting her while she sat in a hospital bed. "We had gone in for our 20-week ultrasound and gender reveal. It was a baby girl."
The bereaved mom went on to share that they had named their stillborn daughter Annabell Elise, and that they were turning to their religion to cope with the loss.
And one day later, on July 5, the Forsyths shared a series of photos honoring the baby they had lost, according to People. "We only had her for 20 weeks," Joy-Anna wrote. "Life is fragile and precious."
After an understandable period of silence on Instagram, Joy-Anna returned to the platform on July 15, marking the first post since sharing the news of her miscarriage. Her post features an adorable shot of her 1-year-old son, Gideon, who appears fast asleep while snuggled up to his mama.
I can't say for certain, of course, but it looks like Joy-Anna is finding comfort in sweet moments like this one as she grieves the loss of her baby girl. And it seems like her fans understand that she's in healing mode right now, as countless people have left her words of encouragement.
One Instagram user wrote, "Lots of love for your family. I hope you're doing good."
Another user commented, "Praying for you and the family."
Yet another follower declared, "Best healing."
Everyone grieves differently following the loss of a pregnancy or a stillbirth, and there's no one "right" way to do it. I realize for many people, a loss might occur before they have any living children — but when I suffered a miscarriage in between my first and second child, those snuggles I shared with my son brought me so much comfort. As part of my healing process, I focused my energy on my family and the child I could hold in my arms.
I can't speak for Joy-Anna, of course. But I sense that her son, Gideon, has also been a source of hope and joy for her during this difficult time. My thoughts remain with her and her family as they continue to grieve their loss.