"God gives us strength," Jim Bob tells PEOPLE after Michelle's miscarriage
The reality TV stars of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting had discovered on Thursday at a routine ultrasound appointment that their 20th child, due next April, no longer had a heartbeat. Advised by her doctor to let the miscarriage occur naturally, Michelle, 45, was being cared for at home by her family.
Following the miscarriage late Sunday night, Michelle began to feel lightheaded and as a precaution was taken to the hospital, where she was kept for observation, according to a family spokesperson. Michelle is recovering well and expected to return home later on Monday, the spokesperson adds.
“We have had many tears today,” says Jim Bob Duggar, 46. “This is life, and I understand that we are going though something that many others have. You think about the what-ifs, but God gives us strength to go on. We won’t be able to see this child’s life and the phases that we’ve seen for our other children, but we know we will see this child in heaven one day. We are thankful for each child, and we are blessed to have the children we have here and the ones we will meet someday in heaven.”
Jubilee Duggar’s memorial service will be for friends and Duggar family members, who on late Sunday already held a private service in their home.
“We would like to thank everyone for their prayers, emails and outpouring of love,” Jim Bob wrote in a letter he shared with PEOPLE. “As our whole family is grieving, we also know that God promises to work all things for good in our lives. Our prayer is that Jubilee’s passing will help us all realize that this life is short, and our relationship with Jesus is the most important thing. He gives us a peace in our hearts as He guides us through whatever we might face.”
Though the family is in mourning, Jim Bob says they are grateful for the health of youngest daughter, Josie, who turned 2 on Dec. 10. Josie survived against all odds after being born at just 25 weeks and 1 lb., 6 oz. and has developed normally with no lasting impairments.
“We were looking forward to this birthday because it is a milestone for her,” he says. “It is wonderful that she is with us and doing so well.”