Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar surprised a lot of people when they recently told People magazine they are still open to having more kids despite their most recent baby – their 19th child – being born more than three months early and struggling to live with multiple medical issues. (This particular article is not featured online, but here is the most recent story about the Duggars on People.com.)
Mom Michelle had preeclampsia, pregnancy induced high-blood pressure, and the baby girl had to be taken by C-section in December.
Jim Bob and Michelle talk frequently about why they want to have as many kids as the Lord will give them. (The story is on their Web site.)
Michelle miscarried after she conceived on birth control pills. The doctors felt the miscarriage was because of the pills. At that point they decided to they shouldn’t use contraceptives and be open to how ever many kids they conceive whenever they conceive.
Doctors in the People article suggest that the preeclampsia could be a problem in any future pregnancies and additional health problems could arise as Michelle is 43.
People did have some interesting quotes on having multiple babies that I had never heard before:
“ ‘The risks of additional pregnancies tart to go up dramatically after four,’ warns Dr. Jeffrey Richardson,a Ventura, Calif., obstetrician who had practiced for more than 30 years.”
“ ‘Postpartum hemorrhage, dysfunctional labor, preterm labor and early miscarriage are all risks.’ ”
The article says the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says pregnancies should be spaced out at least 18 months. (I think Rose was 16 months old when I got pregnant with Walsh.)
The article also reported that based on the Bible, The Duggars abstain from sex 40 days after having a boy and 80 days after having a girl.
The Duggars say in People: “Each child is a gift from God.” Jim Bob adds, “The negatives don’t bother us.” Agrees Michelle: “Our hearts haven’t changed.”
There are many faiths that for many reasons preach that parents need to always be open to conception and there are loads of reasons why people think having as many kids as you can conceive in a lifetime is excessive, but I really want to focus on the medical issues alone.
At what point do medical factors override that openness to having children? At what point does Mom’s health or baby’s potential health change being open to conceiving any time you are having sex?