Baby Josie Duggar Celebrates First Birthday
The littlest Duggar, Baby Josie, has just passed an important milestone -- one that even her parents thought she might not reach: Her first birthday.
When she was born via emergency cesarean-section on Dec. 10, 2009, weighing only 1 lb. 6 oz., the family, and especially Mama Michelle Duggar, feared for the preemie's life.
"We didn't know if she was going to live. She was so tiny and fragile, the size of Dad's hand," she tells ParentDish, referring to her husband, Jim Bob.
But a year later, Josie weighs 16 lbs., and she's doing well developmentally, though she continues with monitoring and receiving oxygen when she sleeps, the ubermom says.
"She's so strong," Duggar of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" says. "She's saying da-da. She has an iron grip. She's a funky little fighter; she had to be to stay with us this long. I thank God; we are so grateful."
The family, steeped in the QuiverFull religion, is quick to acknowledge the power of prayer. Eight-year-old Justin gave his mom all the spiritual props: "Mama, you prayed for that," he told her yesterday.
Little Josie is bright-eyed and smiling, and though she might not have real pigtails yet, she's sporting a Bebe Doos headband with faux blonde hair.
"Our babies don't have hair for the first year-and-a-half," Duggar laughs. "We love these."
A balder Baby Josie initially went home from the hospital on April 6, but she was readmitted two days later. She finally went home for good in June. "We are so thankful," Duggar told ParentDish in August. "It could've been much more serious."
Now, to celebrate Josie's first birthday, Mom has cut out a giant number 1, which her younger kids are decorating in pink with polka dots. She plans to start a new tradition of taking a photograph every year with the three little Duggars who are the same age. Other daughter Jordyn turns 2 on Dec. 18 and her granddaughter Mackynzie was born on Oct. 8, 2009.
In addition to the fun photo, the Duggars will throw Josie a proper ice cream and confetti-poppers birthday party -- either tomorrow or Thursday -- when the rest of the family arrives back from a mission in Central America, specifically Honduras and El Salvador. Daddy Duggar took 10 of the older kids with him in an effort to teach the Duggar youth to help others.
"In the spirit of the season, Jesus gave the greatest gift and we need to reach into our own lives and be sacrificial for others as well," Mom Duggar says. "It's about giving others their basic needs and not expecting anything in return."
And speaking of not expecting anything, baby Josie has no idea that a riding toy is at the top of the list of birthday gifts from her family, along with new pajamas in the next size up, nine months. Josie is just growing out of her six-month size pjs, Duggar says.
As for her own 44th birthday back in September, Mama Duggar says she's still using the elliptical machine -- sometimes twice a day -- she received from the family, adding that she only has 10 more pounds to drop until she's at her ideal weight.
And then what? Will she get pregnant again?
"I would love more and we're hoping we're not finished," she says. "But at this point, I'm not pregnant."
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.