After celebrating the release of their 19th child from the hospital last week, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar had to take her back to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock on Thursday at 3 a.m., when her vital signs began to drop unexpectedly.
“Dr. Arrington told us to never trust a preemie,” says Jim Bob, quoting Josie’s attending physician, Dr. Robert Arrington, co-director of the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. “That is really true.”
Fortifiers added to breast milk to increase her calorie intake and spur her growth are the culprit in causing the littlest Duggar constipation after being at the family’s temporary home in Little Rock for just a few days, according to Jim Bob. The constipation led to her vital signs fluctuating.
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After Jim Bob and Michelle rushed her back to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, “She’s doing fine now,” says Jim Bob. “They will watch her for a few days to make sure she’s safe.”
The Duggars brought little Josie home to the family’s temporary rental in Little Rock on Tuesday, April 6, so they could be as close to the hospital as possible while they ensured she was doing well. Today Josie weighs in at 4 lbs., 12½ oz., says Jim Bob.
Caring for a Preemie
Josie was born Dec. 11 at 25 weeks, after Michelle’s preeclampsia diagnosis caused an emergency C-section. Her birth, fight for life and growth are part of the hit TLC reality series 19 Kids and Counting, airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m.
Now, the doctors are trying different combinations of fortifiers to find the exact combination that’s best for Josie, says Jim Bob – who, with Michelle, is continuing to learn about the ups and downs of caring for a preemie, he says.
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“It seems like she will do great for a few days and then have challenges,” says Jim Bob. “We are so encouraged about how she’s doing, and it is amazing how she’s filling out. But, even though she is beyond her due date and over the four-month mark, she is still not at the weight of a full-term baby.”
While the other 17 children living at their temporary home in Little Rock were happy to have their youngest sister around for a few days, they understand that her hospitalization puts her in the safest place possible, says Jim Bob.
“This is the very reason we stayed close to the hospital initially because they are experts at her care,” says Jim Bob. “They are used to dealing with these preemies, and this is the best place in the world to have her.”
While Jim Bob says they don’t know yet how long Josie will remain at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, “We really appreciate everyone’s continued prayers for Josie.”