November 15, 2011

20 Kids is Too Many

So, did you hear?  Michelle Duggar is pregnant AGAIN.  With baby #20.  Look, to each his own... except I'm a bit bugged by this one.  First of all, she is now 45 years old.  She has given birth 19 times.  She is of "advanced maternal age" which means that there's a higher chance for something to go awry with the baby.  If she has a special needs child at this point, there are already more than a dozen young children that need to be taken care of.  Mostly what bugs me about that she is pregnant again after what happened with the last one:
Michelle Duggar suffered preeclampsia during last pregnancy. Her blood pressure soared and protein appeared in her urine. To save Duggar’s life, doctors had to deliver daughter Josie three-and-a-half months early. She weighed only 1 pound six ounces and experienced a number of health problems, but she’s now a healthy toddler who will turn 2 in December.  However, some problems related to prematurity don’t become apparent until a child is in school. source
Yeah... so she couldn't carry anywhere near full term, and both her life and the babies life were at risk.  I think it's irresponsible.  It's one thing to put your own life at risk if you don't have children, but she already has 19 kids who love her that she needs to be there for.  Additionally, she's putting the babies life at risk by even being pregnant in the first place.  She had preeclampsia once, which means she is at a higher risk for having it again.  Having a higher number of babies can also lead to risk of excessive bleeding after birth.

I know, it's her life.  I'm not going to tell people how many children to have.  It just seems like there must be a point where the risks outweigh the benefits, and it seems like that time has arrived for the Duggars.  Their last daughter spent the first six months of her life in a hospital and was in critical condition.  I'm sure that took them away from their other kids and caused a lot of stress for everyone.  Yes, I'm sure that every baby is beautiful and makes them happy.  But, when is enough just... enough?

I also don't buy the argument that we should butt out and let them be happy.  If you're going to put your life on National TV for everyone to watch, have a very nice, professionally designed website about your family, and publish books about your life, you are ASKING for people to have opinions about you.  You can't have it both ways.

One of the things that bothers me about The Duggars and other families that play out their lives on channels like TLC is that they are not really being authentic at this point.  Sure, they can say they live a certain way.  But they're also making $25,000 or $40,000 or more per episode of the show.  They also have their own store at  They can talk about the lifestyle all they want, but the reality is that the lifestyle they set out to have when they were just a big family five or ten years ago has certainly been altered by the media attention and the fact that they are advertising for CollegePlus and whatever else.

At this point, they have a grandchild who will be older than their next child.  Maybe they could concentrate on giving love to that kid and supporting their child, who is now a parent, through that journey.  It's certainly not always easy.  I can't help wondering if after this baby is done, Michelle and Jim throw in the towel.  Or whatever.  It would be such a shame for those 19 or 20 kids to lose their mother.


Liz Sawyer said...

was so shocked to hear this in People mag... I simply cannot imagine being prego that many times, and the 24/7 management of that family & house is unfathomable. And who paid the hospital bills for their premie? There is a financial risk/responsibility when choosing to have children too. 

gnomeangel said...

I have a confession, I actually really love watching their shows.  Part of me wishes that I could have a family that's as loving and supportive of one another as they appear to be.

With that said, I too was a little concerned to read about #20 in light of what happened with #19.  I understand that they are leaving their reproductive outcomes in the hands of the Lord, but at some point the Lord would like you to help yourself and your family by not taking unnecessary risks. 

In the end though I guess it just comes down to "each their own".  But you're right - you go on television you take on the responsibility of having to deal with people having an opinion on your life.

I wish them well and hope they don't have a horrible outcome.