Josie Duggar Turns 9: Her Parents Reflect on Her Scary Birth, 3 Months Premature

On Dec. 10, 2009, the youngest sibling in the Duggar family — Josie Brooklyn Duggar — was born at 25 1/2 weeks and weighed only 1 lb., 6 oz.

Photo: The Duggar Family/Instagram

Nine years ago, the Duggar family‘s world was rocked to its core when the youngest — and 19th — sibling arrived nearly three months premature.

“Josie was born on December 10, 2009 at 25 1/2 weeks gestation and weighed 1 pound 6 ounces,” the family wrote in an Instagram post on Monday, sharing three throwback photos of Josie Brooklyn Duggar, including two of her hooked up to cords in the hospital as a newborn.

The Duggar Family/Instagram

Born at 25 weeks after mom Michelle Duggar was diagnosed with preeclampsia, Josie weighed only 1 lb., 6 oz. Eight days later, her bowel perforated, her parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar told PEOPLE after her birth.

The micropreemie was rushed from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas, the hospital where she was born, to Arkansas Children’s Hospital, her parents at her side.

“She developed a spontaneous bowel perforation,” her physician, Dr. Robert Arrington, co-director of the neonatal intensive care unit, explained at the time. “She responded to placement of an abdominal drain, plus antibiotics, and did not require an open operation.”

It was wonderful news for her frightened parents that their tiniest baby would not require surgery. “Dr. Arrington knows how to think outside the box and come up with different creative solutions,” said a grateful Jim Bob. “Josie is walking a daily tightrope to keep her vitals stable and the nurses and the whole team here has been wonderful.”

Thankfully, almost a decade later, Josie “is a healthy, happy 9 year old that is full of energy,” the family wrote in her birthday tribute.

“We are so thankful for everyone’s prayers and all of the doctors and nurses at Arkansas Children’s Hospital that saved her life,” the family shared in the post.

They admitted that it was the most trying time for them — but their faith in God was their cornerstone.

“That was the most difficult time in our family’s life,” they wrote, adding, “but by God’s grace Josie and our whole family made it through!”

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