Back in June, Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell welcomed the birth of their first child, a precious baby boy named Garrett David.
Now, almost four months later, Counting On has aired Kendra’s difficult delivery episode.
As difficult as it was for fans to see her in so much discomfort, it was even harder for Joe. It was hardest of all, of course, for Kendra herself.
Many Duggar fans were surprised when they learned that Kendra gave birth in a hospital. The Duggar family is big on home births for … complicated cultural reasons.
“Kendra would lay down and she would have a contraction,” Joe explained.
“So,” he continued. “The only comfortable position for her was standing on her feet.”
She was having enough discomfort and difficulty that they went to the hospital.
And that was a very smart move.
Kendra kept holding her breath instinctively while in pain, but
Kendra’s labor would ultimately last 13 hours.
As her contractions grew closer and closer together, her water still had not broken.
Fortunately, she was in the hospital, so the doctor was able to help her with that.
“Don’t push,” Kendra’s mother coached her as her labor grew more intense. “Just breathe.”
Joe was riding an emotional high, but his actual feelings were very conflicted.
“It’s exciting because our baby’s almost here,” he admitted. “But also it’s a hard time because I have to see Kendra go through the hardest time of her life.”
When little Garrett David was born, however, Joseph was positively over the moon.
“He’s here, he’s here!” Joe kept repeating.
Kendra chimed in, cooing over her “sweet little guy.”
Fans have known about this precious baby for months, but seeing his birth on Counting On gave them a whole new perspective.
Part of the appeal of the Duggars is how viewers feel that they’ve been with the family every step of the way, even through births. That can really hook you.
That said, a number of viewers can’t help but wonder: what comes next?
Obiously, Joe and Kendra are busy being new parents to their baby and Kendra is probably still in the later stages of healing from childbirth.
But fans realize that, for most of their marriage, Kendra has been pregnant with their honeymoon baby. What is next for the couple?
A lot of married couples have a child early on in their marriage. After they give birth, they focus on parenting but still make time to enjoy their married state.
But Joe and Kendra are not most couples — they’re Duggars. Fans figure that it’s only a matter of time before baby #2 is on the way.
That said, considering how difficult Kendra’s childbirth was, will she be so eager to try again? And having seen and heard her pain, will Joe be in any hurry to return to a delivery room?
Probably not. But they may feel an obligation to, either from family and community pressure or from religious beliefs.
And if you spend enough time around a precious baby like Garrett, sometimes the pain of childbirth becomes a distant memory … and all that you can think about is how much you’d like to have another.