Sunday, April 4, 2010

Visiting Josie: Duggar Denial or Duggar Confidence

There have been a few blog comments that when Jim Bob and Michelle go visit Josie they seem to almost be in denial over the fact that their newborn could have serious problems for the rest of her life. They just visit her as if they are visiting any other newborn baby. Michelle is quite emotional, but that is more the emotion of a mother who is unable to be doing the mothering--watching nurses do the things that she as a mother feels she should be doing. Jim Bob stands proudly over his newborn daughter smiling. And because they are just smiling are bringing comments that they are completely in denial.

I don't think they are. Why? Because I know the look on Jim Bob's face, because it's a look I wore for the two weeks I too walked into a NICU to visit my daughter. It was the look of someone who had the complete faith in G-d. Someone who knew that someone else held all the cards and someone who was completely and totally confident. Instead of walking into the NICU and crying, wishing that I had a baby I was taking home with me, I walked in and smiled, cooed, rocked her in the rocking chair, sang to her, and knew in my heart that Hashem knew what was best and would send her home when she was ready to come home. Those of us with faith wear that confidence proudly and I see that confidence on Jim Bob's face every time they show him visiting the NICU to see Josie.

They know full well how Josie is doing; they talk to her doctors daily and get full updates. They are not flying blind on this. If Josie has any health problems, they are fully aware of what they are. Of course she may have some that could come up as she gets older, and her doctors will let them know what those could be, and prepare them for what to look for, and so I'm sure they will be fully prepared by the medical staff before Josie is released. Babies are just released from the NICU without complete and total instructions.

My child was born in London, UK and they actually had us spend the first night in the hospital with her in a special suite before we took her home. That way we got used to how to care for her and we had people to ask in case we had questions. Then the next day they sent her home with us. How they send home NICU babies in the US, I have no idea, but I'm sure they will be giving the Duggars a complete and total list of what to do, what to look for, and what to be aware of.

So no, I don't think they are glossing over any possible future problems Josie may have, I think they just have complete and total confidence in G-d and the medical staff they've entrusted with her care.


  1. I so agree!

    I remember skipping through the halls after we saw my 24 weeker in nicu. She was fighting to live and we were so happy that she was doing. Some days I sat in the bathroom crying and had overwhelming thoughts of what her future might be and wondered if she would have a future. We talked to the Dr's daily and they gave us hope that she would be just fine. We were happy on her good days and and mourned on the bad days. I lived on the fence of "New baby joy" and horrible grief that we might lose her at any moment.

    My daughter was born at 24 weeks 6 days she was 1.9 She had stage 3 ROP and has limited vision today, she died once on us in NICU, she had infections, over 26 blood transfusions, PDA , Lung disease, she has speech delays, she has developmental coordination disorder, she had Chronic Zinc Deficiency and had to put back in hospital after a month home because her skin and hair were falling off, her digestion to this day is touch and go. We have alot of follow up with my daughter she has a team of people that care for her and monitor her looking for issues that may pop up. This is good though! She is happy, she was reading at age 4 and a half and is doing well in grade one now. She has many friends and we have high hopes for her future. Is she was she could have been if she had been born full term, no. She could have died though and when I look at that I am grateful that she is alive with such minor issues. That isn't denial it is the reality us preemie parents live in.


  2. Sadly, some people just don't understand that there are people out there, like us, who see the world with an attitude of "it is what it is." When you have confidence in G-d, you have a different perspective. It's disturbing that people almost want to see the Duggar family depressed and miserable---of course their heart is breaking and they are scared, that's a given, but this experience is only going to strengthen their faith in G-d, not weaken it. I guess some people just want to see negatives while those of us like to see the world in positives. Baruch Hashem for you and your family!

  3. Michelle just did an interview that is on her blog at the tlc website. These people aren't stupid. She says they were/are 'terrified' looking at Josie's translucent skin, etc.

    Like you say, it's their faith in G-d that is giving them strength and proper perspective. I'm glad someone else can see this!

    Love Mrs P

  4. I know if she were my baby, I would ache to hold her, and care for her. It must be painful to watch babies being cared for by others, for normal parents. I don't believe the Duggars are particularly stressed by not being able to care for Josie. As we have seen, Michelle is really not involved with the care of any of her children. Little Jordyn, little Jennifer and the Jo something are not being cared for by their mother, nor are any of the boys. They never were after the first few months. What possible difference could it make to Michelle, who is actually caring for this newest one, as long as she is being taken care of?
    Now what is different between the Duggars and you and me, is that we do "care" for our children, not for 6 months, but as they grow. I know that you never stop supporting and caring for them in numerous ways. I'm am there for my older girls, I give them hope, inspiration, cheer and commiseration, and some times a mental kick in the rear if needed. My little boys need daily guidance training and hands on attention and love.
    Kids need parents when they are babies, when they are little kids and when they are teens. Even when they are away at boarding school or college, kids need to be able to turn to parents when they need them. Not just on their birthdays. And before anyone says, " we aren't seeing everything in 30 minutes a week", let me remind you, that it is physically impossible to give the one on one attention, love and guidance to that many children.

  5. Another case of "damned if you do damned if you don't."

    Had the Duggars been wringing their hands crying all the time and complete downers about this "they are not trusting their God like they said they do"

    The fact that they are smiling, making plans that include Joise or don't include include her. "they are naive or don't care about her health"

    Again I say damned if they do damned if they don't.

    BTW it's impossible to give one on one attention, love and guidance to any child after you have TWO for any length of time. The Duggar children know they are loved and cared for. They know their parents love them, and would do anything for them. Isn't that what the shrinks have been trying to convince us of with the "quality time vs quantity time"? The Duggar parents are THERE 24/7 most of the time. Most families can not say that.

    After that does ANY child need a parent up their ass 24/7... even INFANTS need time to just BE.

  6. Michelle spoke in one episode about how in a year from now Josie would be talking and walking. That seemed to be strong evidence that she doesn't have a realistic idea of what kinds of global delays a micro-preemie can face.