On this week’s episode of Counting On, a plethora of Duggar spawn are preparing for the births of their first blessings. Jinger and Jeremy offer to watch Jeremy’s friend’s kids so that they can get a trial run at parenthood, while Joy turns to her older sister (and two-time baby birther) Jessa for some advice on how to spew a baby from your loins without getting placenta on your couch.
Oh, and Josiah takes one more step toward a lifetime of missionary sex by asking Lauren to be his lifelong partner (and home haircutter).
First up we head to Texas, where Jeremy and Jinger are arriving at the airport to pick up Luis—whom Jeremy met while they were pro soccer players—as well as Luis’ wife Cara and their three kids.
Luis & Co. are going to be staying at the Vuolo house for a few days. (Shockingly, Jim Bob, Michelle and the rest of the Duggar grifters aren’t still shacked up there, milking the free accommodations for as long as possible.)
Jinger and Jeremy show their friends to their guest rooms. (It looks like Cara and Luis have been given the room with the “squeaky bed” that Jim Bob was worried about last episode.) The kids are shown to the other room, and immediately start running around.
Somehow, a swing set has “magically” appeared in the Vuolos’ backyard. (Perhaps it was still set up from Ben’s last visit?) The kids go play, and Jeremy joins in. Everyone’s happier than Michelle after she misses a period.
Jinger sees Jeremy playing with the kids, and thanks the Baby Jesus she got him as a husband. If she were married to Austin right now, she would have had to carry that swing set home on her back, set it up, and then make dinner for everybody. If she were married to Derick, she’d be trekking through the jungle, looking for a hole to birth her child into. (Well that and/or trolling Twitter looking “the gays” so he can attack them…)
We next head over to the Swanson home. Lauren is serving up her best Jana impression by getting everything organized for her family’s trip to Georgia. The Swansons are loading up their tour bus for the trip. (They aren’t Fundie Royalty like the Duggars so they are sans a personal airplane at the moment. Peasants!)
We learn that they are heading back to their home state of Georgia because Lauren’s mother is about to shoot Baby #9 from her sausage gobbler and apparently she wants to have her old “doctor” be the one to catch the new blessing.
(And by “doctor” we all know that they probably mean “midwife,” obvs…)
Since Josiah “Siiiiah” isn’t married to Lauren (yet), he isn’t allowed to go on the Swanson Family Fun Birthing Tour 2018. He is, however, going over to help the Swansons pack up.
Lauren’s parents explain that the naming system for their fundie family is “D” names for boys and “L” names for girls. It’s no surprise that Pa Swanson’s first name starts with a “D” and Ma Swanson’s first name starts with an “L.” These people may be even more vain than Jimmy B and Michelle!
Since Ma Swanson is having a boy, they will be naming their “new little one” Duke. Although the name seems more fitting for a trusty golden retriever than a baby boy, Little Duke can rest assured that he at least has a better name than Spurgeon Seewald.
Once all the kids, denim skirts and birthing pools have been loaded up into the tour bus, it’s time for Lauren to bid “Siiiah” farewell. They stand there awkwardly, moving their faces toward each other but stopping before they actually touch each other’s (equally chapped) lips.
Everyone looks generally uncomfortable, especially poor Josiah, who is probably having to picture something disgusting (like Jill‘s cooking) to keep his mind off of getting into Lauren’s
Lauren then gets on the bus with her growing-by-the-minute family and Josiah excitedly tells producers the next time he sees Lauren he will be proposing to her. In other words: brace for hand-holding, everyone!
Back at the Vuolo house, Luis tells Jeremy and Jinger that he and his wife don’t get to enjoy date nights at chain restaurants like they used to, now that they have kids.
Well, that’s a hint that’s about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the head, Luis!
Jing and Jerm agree to watch Luis and Cara’s kids so that they can go have a nice date. It will give Jeremy’s pals some kid-free time and provide Jinger and Jeremy with a decent storyline for the week!
Jeremy tells Luis and Cara that he won’t be taking part in any diaper changing until his own blessing pops out, so the producers decide this is a perfect opportunity to ask assorted Duggar kids how many diapers they have changed in their lifetime. Of course, they only ask the Duggar women about the child diaperin’, since we all know that’s women’s work!
Jinger tells us she’s changed hundreds if not thousands of diapers in her lifetime. Next up is Jana, who gives the same answer as Jinger. For some reason, I find their answers really sad. These poor girls spent their entire childhood cleaning up the poop of their many siblings, all while their mom and dad were humpin’ for Jesus in the bedroom, trying to create more kids for the girls to take care of.
Jessa pops in and, like a good fundie daughter, tries to make it seem like Michelle and Jim Bob were the ones who were doing most of the diaper-changing over the years.
Um…yeah, OK Jess…
Next she’s going to tell us that Ben is the Rap Superstar of Our Generation.
Luis and Cara quickly leave, hoping they can slop down a couple of courses before Jerm and Jing change their minds about watching their litter.
Once they are alone with the kids, Jinger tends to the baby, while Jeremy runs around the swing set and plays with the two older kids. He gives them pizza, and teaches them how to chew with their mouths open. (Hey— at least he didn’t teach them the Duggar mealtime habit of licking your plate clean!)
Before long, the novelty begins to wear off for Jinger, who says pregnancy is really taking a toll on her. Naturally, the producers decide to make things worse by asking if there’s a possibility she’s carrying twins. Jinger and Jeremy don’t believe they’re in for a BOGO blessing special, but Jinger still mentions caffeine and how she plans to rely on it to help her deal with her kid(s)…much like the Duggars rely on Jana.
Jeremy celebrates the fact that no diaper changes have had to go down yet. His comments remind Jinger that she hasn’t actually checked to see if they baby has dumped itself.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve done this!” she yells as she goes to change the baby.
That comment also makes me sad. The year she has spent married and in Texas is the only reprieve Jinger has had from playing “Sister Mom” to kids. She’s actually been able to be a real person (and not a built-in babysitter) for once, which makes us realize just how sad the older Duggar girls’ childhoods must have been, if it was always their responsibility to have to remember to check their siblings’ diapers.
Luis and Cara come back to the Vuolo home after their two-hour taco dinner and are happy to find their kids unharmed.
Back at the Duggar Compound, Josiah packs up his assorted flannel shirts and a framed 8×10 photo of himself and Lauren (naturally). He literally shoves a pile of shirts into his suitcase—hangers and all—and heads to the airport. He tells us he’s flying to Georgia to propose to his Lauren, his teen girlfriend (of literally less than two months).
Before he arrives, we see Lauren and her family, including her new baby brother, Duke. He’s been freshly sprung from Ma Swanson’s baby chute. (We’re just hoping that the home birth didn’t go down in the chair Grandma Swanson is currently sitting in. Amniotic fluid can be a bitch to get out of a denim skirt, y’all!)
Soon Josiah arrives and is greeted at the door by Lauren with a super romantic side hug. Lauren says that she has missed “Siiiiiah” so much that, every night before she’s gone to bed, she’s been thinking about him.
“I know what you mean,” Josiah responds.
Umm…hold up there, horndogs. There will be no touchin’ (or thinkin’ of touchin’) of any kind before saying “I do!”
Back in Arkansas, Austin has given Joy the day off from manual labor, apparently, because she’s going to go “exercise” with Jessa in hopes of jump-starting labor. Joy is about 145 months pregnant and absolutely miserable. She seems nervous about the birth, and appears to be regretting this whole idea of teen parenthood.
Joy is worried about all of the pain she will be in during labor, so she is hoping Jessa will be able to make her feel better.
Of course, that’s not going to happen. Jessa has been stocking up on horrific “Spurgeon Birth” stories and is gleefully telling her sister all about the pain she will be in once that baby comes barreling down her birth canal in a few days.
Jessa and Joy are walking around an indoor track. (Joy is wearing her athletic Birkenstock sandals for the outing…as you do.) During the walk, Joy tells Jessa she plans to give birth at home (shocker!) where she can relax and swaddle her new baby in her old Austin sweatshirt without judgement from any nurses or doctors.
Joy tells us that she wants to do a home birth because it’s more comfortable and enjoyable being at home.
Um…has this chick never watched a Duggar birth episode? There’s nothing comfortable about deep breathing on the living room couch for 80+ hours while a film crew zooms in to capture every agonizing moment on film!
While walking some laps, we get to relive Jessa’s two-day birth with Spurgeon, which we’re sure is exactly what Joy wants to hear about right before she expels her own giant fundie baby on a mattress on the floor of her bedroom.
Joy looks positively terrified as Jessa tells her all about how her back’s going to feel like its on fire, and how’s there’s absolutely nothing she can do to stop the pain.
If only there was some sort of drug that could be administered that would lessen the pain of childbirth!
Jessa reassures Joy that it will all be OK. She tells her not to get discouraged, even if it feels like her hoo-ha is about to explode.
Well, at least Joy has a kind, supportive husband to help her through the agonizing home birth.
We go back to the Swanson’s home in Georgia, where Josiah, Pa Swanson and one of Lauren’s brothers hop on a golf cart to get things ready for the big proposal. While driving past assorted fake animals on the property (um?), Josiah tells Pa Swanson he’s super pumped about eventually getting to deflower his daughter and Lauren’s dad seems possibly even more excited.
Pa Swanson is thirstier than Jim Bob after a blessing-making session, y’all! He keeps putting his big ol’ mug right in the camera frame.
The three arrive at some giant bales of hay that they adorn with flowers in a way that would make Ms. Cindy very proud. Pa Swanson tells Josiah that this here hay field is the exact same hay field he proposed to Ma Swanson nine blessings ago!
Josiah puts the framed portrait of him and Lauren on a random end table they’ve brought to the field (um?) and he’s ready to ask Lauren to be his teen bride!
Back at the house, Josiah and the Swanson family sit down for a fast-food family dinner before Pa Swanson ever-so-slyly insists they go on a family walk around the property. Lauren looks like she really just wants to sit there and finish eating her mac ‘n’ cheese, but she agrees to go on the stupid walk.
While creeping through the woods, Pa Swanson, Lauren and Josiah share some chit-chat about the couple’s extremely short relationship before arriving at the Hay Field ‘o’ Love.
Lauren sees the random end table in the field and asks, “What’s this?”
That’s what we’re wondering too!
She’s still pretending she has no idea why Josiah has called a camera crew in, thrown some flowers on some bales of hay and is standing next to her with a goofy look on his face. Josiah finally has to drop down to one knee before Lauren realizes what’s going on.
Josiah tells Lauren he loves her and asks her to be his wife.
“Oh, Siiiaaah!” Lauren breathlessly squeals. (She’s still trying to be the Fundie Marilyn Monroe, I see.)
Lauren, of course, accepts the proposal, and Lauren’s dad wastes no time popping out from behind a hay bale and getting his big head back into the camera frame. He stands there awkwardly as the newly engaged couple stares longingly at each other, and then waits until they are holding hands for the first time, loudly announcing it to everyone around.
Lauren and Josiah can’t wait to tell everyone in her family the good news. Ma Swanson squeals, Baby Duke cries and Lauren’s sister Lily sighs, knowing that, with Lauren on the bullet train to being the one birthin’ a baby on a couch, she’ll be forced to do twice the household chores.
On the next episode of ‘Counting On,’ Joy, Kendra and Jinger get to be the ones to hear birthing horror stories from Jessa. Also next week, Joy and Austin welcome their first baby after another horrific failed home birth/C-section combo.
To read our recap of the previous episode of ‘Counting On,’ click here!