After a 70-hour delivery and surprise C-section, Jill and Derick Dillard open up about their firstborn’s arrival. Subscribe now for Jill and Derick’s exclusive interview – and to see photos of their son Israel David – only in PEOPLE!
Jill Dillard was one relaxed expectant mom.
When her water broke in the early hours of April 4 following 41 weeks and 5 days of pregnancy, the 19 Kids and Counting star went to sleep and managed to squeeze in a morning appointment with her chiropractor. (“I wanted to get aligned before birth,” Jill tells PEOPLE exclusively.)
Then, she and husband Derick indulged in a couple’s pedicure before they went on a two-and-a-half-mile walk to get her labor started in earnest.
“We didn’t tell anyone else that her water had broken,” Derick, 26, tells PEOPLE. Adds Jill, 23, “We didn’t want anyone to be freaking out.”
Once her contractions became regular, Jill settled into the bedroom where she had planned to deliver. After 20 hours in labor, however – with contractions just one minute apart – Jill still wasn’t progressing.
“There were times I looked into her eyes during contractions where I wanted to cry,” Duggar matriarch Michelle, 48, tells PEOPLE. “I know how horrific it is to go through that, and I did everything I could not to break into tears.”
It was decided that Jill would have to be taken to the hospital. “I was praying to God to give me strength,” she says. “I was really scared and nervous, but I was praying.”
Finally, after a grueling 70-hour labor and an unexpected C-section, Israel David was born. “I looked at him and said, ‘He is so beautiful,’ ” says Jill.
Derick, too, was awestruck: “I looked at him and thought, ‘This is my son. I love this person.’ ”
Fans of TLC’s hit show 19 Kids and Counting can see the birth of Israel David on May 5 in advance of Mother’s Day.
For more of Jill and Derick’s exclusive interview – and to see photos of their son Israel David – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now
Want more Duggars? Click here to get weekly updates on the stars of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting in the Duggar Family Newsletter.