Arkansas Mom Prepares for Birth of 17th Child
LITTLE ROCK — The Duggars are once again pulling out the pink ruffles and lace as they prepare for the birth of baby number 17.
Michelle Duggar said Monday in a telephone interview from her northwest Arkansas home that the whole family is excited about the arrival of the baby girl they will name Jennifer Danielle, keeping with the family tradition of giving the child a name that begins with J.
Jennifer Danielle is due July 27.
Duggar, 40, said she was doing fine with her latest pregnancy. Although she has gotten older since she had her first child at age 21, she said, she still has plenty of energy and only minor aches and pains.
"With each baby, God's given me the grace and the energy to keep going, and they really keep you going," she said. "I feel like a 20-year-old kid, but I'm realizing my body isn't that 20-year-old. I don't get up and play the games as hard as I used to, and I try to be a little more careful."
Duggar said she and husband Jim Bob, a former state representative and U.S. senate candidate, view each phase of their children's lives as an adventure.
"I've never been a mom of a 19-year-old young man and a 17-year-old young man and woman, so every phase of parenting is an exciting adventure" Duggar said.
The Duggars home school their children at their 7,000-square foot home in Tontitown. The couple's oldest child, Joshua, is 19, and their youngest, Johanna Faith, is 19 months. Their children include two sets of twins.
Because the couple sees each child as a blessing from God, Michelle Duggar said they will, as long as she is able, accept each child they are given.
"Really, our heart is we would love to receive whatever gifts or blessings the Lord wants to give us," she said. "But I love the baby stage and I can't imagine life without having a toddler in the house."
Two of the Duggar children, Janna, 17, and Jill, 15, attended Johanna's birth at St. Mary's hospital in Rogers in 2005. Duggar said the two girls, who both have an interest in becoming midwives or nurses, may attend Jennifer's birth as well.
And though she has 16 children, Duggar said that each child is so different there are times when she feels like she knows nothing about parenting.
"Here I am a mama with her 17th child on the way, and so many people think 'Oh you've got it all figured out,"' Duggar said. "I am still learning. Just when I think I've got something figured out I try it on the next one and it doesn't work."
The Duggars' other children are John David, 17; Jessa, 14; Jinger, 13; Joseph, 12; Josiah, 11; Joy-Anna, 10; Jeremiah, 8; Jedidiah, 8; Jason, 7, James, 5; Justin, 4; and Jackson Levi, 2.