How Derick Dillard Kept Jill Calm During Her Intense Labor

What tricks did the 19 Kids and Counting star use to keep his wife relaxed during 70 hours of labor and a surprise C-section?

Photo: Duggar Family

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!

While Jill endured painful and sometimes scary moments leading up to the birth of her son Israel David on April 6, the 19 Kids and Counting star turned to husband Derick for support throughout their dramatic journey.

To distract Jill after a full day of labor with little progression and contractions just a minute apart, soon-to-be “amazing” dad Derick played spiritual songs that the couple both love and read Bible verses and inspirational sayings.

“I was nervous,” Derick tells PEOPLE, “but I didn’t want to show that or make her more fearful.”

But, as Jill’s contractions intensified, Duggar matriarch Michelle, 48, admits it was hard to watch her daughter struggle.

“There were times I looked into her eyes during contractions where I wanted to cry,” says Michelle. “I know how horrific it is to go through that, and I did everything I could not to break into tears.”

After ultimately undergoing a C-section to welcome the nearly 10-lb. newborn into the world, Jill says the her drawn-out delivery was nothing compared to the joy of being a new mom.

“I love our birth story because it bonded us so well,” she says. “It brought us through something amazing together, and it was a journey that we needed to go through.”

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 Friday

Want More Duggars? Click here to get weekly updates on the stars of TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting in the Duggar Family Newsletter.

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