Jill Duggar has revealed she suffered a miscarriage mere days after learning she was pregnant with her and husband Derick Dillard's third child.
The couple shared the news on their website, describing how their "happiness" turned to "heartbreak" upon learning they had lost their unborn baby. The announcement was accompanied by a video showing Duggar first taking a pregnancy test and learning she was pregnant. In the video she and Dillard then tell their sons Samuel, 4, and Israel, 6, about their new sibling on the way.
"We were all thrilled!" the couple wrote on their website. "It was fun to see so much joy in the boys' faces as we shared the news with them. They were full of questions and so excited as we talked about the pregnancy and how they would get to be involved along the way and after baby was born. However, a few days later we started miscarrying."
Although it was still too early for Duggar and Dillard to know the baby's sex, they picked a name that "encompasses our baby's significance and the life we will always remember" — River Bliss Dillard. The name held several inspirations behind it.
"One meaning for River is 'tranquil' . . . and here in Arkansas, rivers are often a serene, beautiful escape in nature," they explained on their website.
"We also like how the River talked about in the Bible (Rev. 22:1-5) represents God's life-giving presence," the couple continued, later noting that while their baby "doesn't get to live here with us on earth," they are " forever with the source of the river of life, in the presence of the Lord!"
"And we chose Bliss for a middle name because our baby is living in perfect bliss with the Lord and was such a gift that brought immense joy and happiness to us even though only with us here on earth for a short time," the couple added.
The tragic news comes shortly after Jed Duggar and his wife Katey Spark revealed they were expecting their first child in a controversial Instagram post that sparked widespread backlash. The post featured a photo of Spark holding up a board that reads, "And then there were 3. Baby Duggar, Spring '22." The caption said, "She tested positive, but not for COVID."
"Without a Crystal Ball" host Katie Joy was among the many critics who slammed the couple as "insensitive" for the post, which comes amid the current COVID-19 surge in the pair's native Arkansas.
"Arkansas is facing some of the worst with COVID right now due to low vaccination rates," Joy wrote on Instagram. "656,000 Americans have died from COVID since the virus hit 18 months ago."
Joy also pointed out the couple did not hesitate to share a photo in which Spark held up a board with the same COVID joke in a YouTube video but refrained from including that specific photo on Instagram— something she believes was intentional.
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