‘Counting On’ Stars Joy & Austin Forsyth Reveal They’ve Lost Their Baby 20 Weeks Into Joy’s Pregnancy: Carlin Bates & Duggar Family Respond

The Duggar Family is mourning the loss of yet another family member.

On Thursday, Joy and Austin Forsyth announced on social media that they have lost the baby Joy was carrying. The Counting On stars stated that they found out that their baby had no heartbeat at Joy’s 20-week ultrasound appointment.

“Today marks one week since we heard these words…’So this is your baby’s heart (pointing to the ultrasound screen). I don’t hear a heartbeat or see any movement,'” the couple wrote in an Instagram post. “We had gone in for our 20-week ultrasound and gender reveal. It was a baby girl.”

The couple went on to share that they named their daughter Annabell Elise.

View this post on Instagram

Today marks one week since we heard these words… . “So this is your baby’s heart (pointing to the ultrasound screen). I don’t hear a heartbeat or see any movement.” . We had gone in for our 20-week ultrasound and gender reveal. It was a baby girl. Although we don’t understand why, God has given us unexplainable peace and comfort during this very difficult time. Yes, it still hurts and we have cried countless tears, but we know that we can trust the Lord. In the words of King David after the loss of his baby, “I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me” (2 Sam 12:23). We don’t grieve as those who have no hope because we trust that we will see this little one again. We named her Annabell Elise. Annabell means “God has favored me”, and Elise means “God satisfies”. What a precious thing to know that when our daughter opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was the face of Jesus. Please pray for continued healing, not only physically but for our hearts as well. . “All the way my Savior leads me; What have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my Guide? Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell! For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well, For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.” -Fanny Crosby

A post shared by Austin & Joy Forsyth (@austinandjoyforsyth) on

“Annabell means ‘God has favored me,’ and Elise means ‘God satisfies.’ What a precious thing to know that when our daughter opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was the face of Jesus.

“Although we don’t understand why, God has given us unexplainable peace and comfort during this very difficult time. Yes, it still hurts and we have cried countless tears, but we know that we can trust the Lord.”

Annabell is Joy and Austin’s second child. They are already parents to one-year-old son Gideon.

Due to how far along in the pregnancy Joy was, she needed to deliver Annabell. Her best friend, Carlin Bates of Bringing Up Bates fame, came to be with Joy and Austin for the delivery. She later shared more details and photos from Joy’s hospital room on Instagram.

“I wish there were words to express how brokenhearted I am for my best friend,” Carlin wrote. “Seeing her give birth to her little girl, Annabell Elise, and knowing that she would never be able to hold her again while on earth just brings tears to my eyes. Yet, through it all, she has been so strong and held on to Jesus, knowing that we will see her little baby in heaven one day. I know that Jesus doesn’t promise that we will not face difficulties in this life, but He does promise to be by our side every step of the way. I’m so grateful to have a friend as precious as Joy, and I know that she would covet prayers at this hard time.”

On Friday, Joy and Austin shared photos of themselves with Annabell, and Joy thanked Carlin for coming and fixing her up so she and Austin could take the photos with their baby. 

“We only had her for 20 weeks, Life is fragile and precious,” Joy posted to Instagram. “So thankful the Lord gave her to us for that short time! She will be in our hearts forever! Thank you all for your love and support! We can feel the prayers! Thank you, @carlinbates98 for coming to town to be here for me and for doing my hair and makeup for pictures with our little girl!”

In one photo posted by Joy and Austin, Joy’s sister Jill Dillard and mother Michelle Duggar are shown, as Joy holds the baby.  Jill later shared her thoughts on Instagram.

“Joy Joy & Austin, our hearts break for y’all with the loss of your precious Annabell Elise,” Jill wrote. “May God continue to give y’all peace and comfort in the days ahead. 💞We love y’all dearly!”

In the comment section of Joy and Austin’s post, other members of the Duggar family offered their support.

“Such a precious little life! Annabell is so missed. We love you so much Joy and Austin!” Anna Duggar wrote. 

“We love y’all so much and we grieve with you over this loss,” Jessa Seewald wrote. “I love the name you chose and the meaning behind it. Annabell Elise will forever be in our hearts.”

“We love you and are praying for you,” Jeremy Vuolo wrote. “Your trust in the Lord throughout these days has inspired me to know God more intimately. I look forward to meeting Annabell Elise with you in heaven.”

This is just the latest tragedy for the Duggar Family. Last month, Grandma Mary Duggar died unexpectedly in a drowning accident. 

(Photos: Instagram)


  1. I used to think pretty highly of the Bates family. Erin never broadcasted her miscarriages (and I don’t think Zach’s wife Whitney did either). But now that I see that Carlin help with Joy’s hair/makeup so she take AND post these pictures, I’m gonna have to rethink about how highly I regard them!!!!!

  2. My personal opinion. Some events in your life are just too personal to share with the world and these pictures are too much. An announcement of the loss was enough but the pictures.. I feel…were a bit too much

    1. Thank you!! That is exactly what I have been saying!!! But everybody has been nagging on about “my opinion”. I guess they think their opinions are better. THEY’RE OPINIONS!!! If everyone thought the same way, the world would be one dull ass place!!!

  3. They may look sad on the outside.
    But I’m sure visions of cash registers going “cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching” are dancing in their heads!!!!

  4. For those of you who think I am throwing shade on the situation, let me assure I AM NOT!!!! I do believe that what they are going through is heartbreaking and devastating. But there are much more private ways to grieve. The way these people have grieved miscarriages and the unfortunate and untimely death of Grandma Mary is HORRIBLE!!!!

    1. Why do they have to grieve in private? Child loss is isolating enough. Everyone does not grieve the same. Hopefully you never have to know this pain.

      1. I’m not saying that should grieve alone, they should lean on the support of friends and family. Not make it known to every Tom, Dick and Harry on the outside!!!! When I grieve, I lean upon my friends, family, and most importantly my faith in God!!!! I don’t need people I don’t know to know what I am going through!!

      2. FYI, I can’t have kids so I fortunately will never how it feels. All I know is that if were ever in that position, I would NOT grieve in this way!!!!

        1. You *don’t* know though.
          And sharing this type of loss in this way is not totally uncommon. Just like FEELTHERIDE said, child loss is isolating enough.

          1. Regular people don’t make a public display of the “woe is me” attitude like a famous person. I mean really, have you ever seen a down-to-earth person make a big deal out of something like a miscarriage or a death in the family?

      3. The answer is no. A regular, down-to-earth person depends of family, friends and faith to get them through it (unfortunately some people don’t have the loving support they need). But you don’t see them posting stuff to social media to gain popularity and the almighty dollar. That is EXACTLY what these people do!!!!

        1. I’ve seen lots of “regular” people mourn loss publicly via social media. It helps some people grieve. There is not a right or wrong way to grieve.

          1. There is in my mind!!! My personal business is not for public display. It is private. No stranger should know your personal business. It is one thing to make posts like “Today I suffered a tragic event and miscarried my child” and leave it at that. But to post pictures (with perfect hair and makeup)is just despicable. In my opinion, the Duggars are despicable people. I am so glad 19 Kids and Counting is off the air and I am counting the days for when TLC gets smart and cancels Counting On!!!!

  5. I just noticed the picture that show Austin, Joy, along with Joy holding baby Annabell Elise. And I’m surprised they didn’t post a picture showing that poor child’s face!!!!! These people truly DESPICABLE!!!!

    1. Have you ever lost a child? I’m guessing not. Photos are ALL they have. Why would they not want to share their beautiful, precious daughter with the world. You don’t know what is in in their hearts.

      I lost my son at 40 weeks and any opportunity I have to share photos of him I jump on.

      When we were having photos taken there was no direction from the VOLUNTEER photographer. We didn’t even know she was there, we just spent time with our son. Those photos are the ONLY photos we will ever have with him.

      Their choice to share them publicly is their business. They wanted to share her and that’s their right to do so.

      Hopefully you never need to feel the pain they are feeling right now.

      1. I’m not saying that grieving parents shouldn’t have pictures made (just don’t post them for the public to see). But the fact that someone from this family did that, DOESN’T surprise me!!!!

    2. Take pictures with a stillborn baby and posting pictures to share is actually not that uncommon among people who have had late pregnancy loss

  6. Omg. This is terrible. I cannot stand this family but this is heartbreaking. I get that everyone grieves in different ways but that should not be a public photo. Just too much.

    1. Jane, that is ULTIMATELY what these Duggars are about… ratings!!! The sadder the pictures/posts are, the more popularity they receive!!!! It’s disgusting just how far they go for sympathy!!!!

  7. Very sorry for their loss. However, I do not understand posting these photos to social media. It looks like they are trying to be actors for a commercial. I cant even imagine the photographer- “ok y’all, now look sadly at the baby.” Idk. Just seems like a very private and intimate experience that they just made very public and open… also, why are the siblings commenting their condolences on these pics? Wouldn’t a sibling or close friend TEXT OR CALL you if this happened? Or say it in person???

      1. They will pass it off as if they are raising awareness or whatever. There is a reason why I dont do face book or any sm. It’s because I dont need strangers approval in order for me to feel good about myself or my life. It’s a strange world we are living in. I’m old lol.

        1. I don’t do Facebook, Twitter or any other social media!!! That’s for money hungry bottom feeders, and drama queens/kings!!!

        2. But it is raising awareness, you have no idea how lonely it is to lose a child. There is not a lot of support for pregnancy loss at any stage of gestation. That is why we are so vocal about it.

          1. You obviously don’t have a close knit family and friend base that some do!!!! I cannot stress this enough, DO NOT PUBLICIZE IT!!!!

    1. My sister had a similar situation many years ago, the baby was about 21 weeks and had strangled himself. The hospital was so very kind – understandably everyone was devastated. They didn’t offer pictures with my sister and the baby, like this weird photoshoot, but if she wanted they could dress him and take photos. She opted not too, but they did give her a keepsake with his hand and footprints which I don’t think she’s ever looked at, but it’s there if she changes her mind. In Texas, after 20 weeks you’re forced to have a burial/funeral. So not only was my poor sister in shock and devastated to lose her baby, she was forced to shell out even more money and go through a funeral. I know how hard it is to lose a child, especially one so far along (you think you’re in the *safe* zone) but these pictures do rub me the wrong way… at least I feel like it shouldn’t be for public consumption on social media.

  8. sorry I find it tacky and gross. she put on makeup for a photo shoot with her dead child. which would be fine if joy every wore makeup she barely cares how she dressed or looks. I’ all for spending time with your child when you loose one but to publicize it make money of it is gross. I had 5 miscarriages and lost a daughter at birth. yes we sat with her and held her she is the only child I delivered. But that was private as well as the photos taken by a very caring photographer that did this for parents who have lost a child. this is as bad as a full funeral for the child her mother lost they have zero class anything for a buck and keep on breeding that is all those girls are good for.

  9. This family is so goddamn creepy. These photos are obviously staged. Why put this on social media? Nobody cares. Oh that’s right they crave the attention.

  10. I’m not much of a Duggar fan. But this news is genuinely heartbreaking. I’ve never had a miscarriage myself (so I wouldn’t begin to understand what they are going through). But numerous people in my family have miscarried so having watched the emotional rollercoaster that the parents go through (so I do know how it feels to be on the outside looking in so to speak)!!! So sorry for their loss!! They are in my prayers!!!

  11. Loosing a child at any time is absolutely devastating. My cousin gave birth to her sleeping baby daughter, Sofka and it was truly heartbreaking. She had a text book pregnancy, and labour was going well, until just before she gave birth, they lost the heart beat. There was nothing anyone could do. My grandma had a dream the previous night of her own mother, holding a baby girl, reassuring her. That gave my grandma comfort thinking the baby was with her great grandma. Sending my sympathy

  12. Not religious at all but that line where they said that they first thing their daughter will see if Jesus…. wow. I hope they make it through this. Miscarriages are so common and i hope speaking about theirs will make others who suffered them know they aren’t alone.

  13. I am truly sorry for your loss I hope and pray that you stay strong through this time. I am sure God need her for something special I will keep you an my payers and Annabell too.

  14. That must be a dreadful thing to go through, especially for a very young woman who has been brought up believing that her only purpose is to have babies.

    But given how obviously Joy despises being a wife and brood mare, I can’t imagine the mental struggle she must be going through. Having a schmuck like Austin beside her must just make it worse.

    I can’t help but wonder how this, and Laurens miscarriage play into Michelle and Rim Job’s narrative of losing a child being caused by sin such as those infernal contraceptives. I wonder if they are making the girls feel even worse in such a difficult time.

  15. Ugh ugh that is so awful 🙁
    I cannot imagine how painful it would be to lose a baby, especially halfway through a pregnancy 🙁 those little footprints are heartbreaking

  16. Heartbreaking. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. I’m glad they got some photos with the baby. This year will be so incredibly hard on Joy, not just from losing her daughter, but from having to watch so many others in her family welcome their new babies. I think there are 3 or 4 others due this year. And Joy was very close to the grandmother that just died too. I feel for her.

  17. No matter what I think about this family, no one should go through something as awful as this. I feel sorry for them, they should take time to grief now and a support to each other.

  18. I’m currently 20 weeks pregnant with a little girl so this really broke my heart. My last pregnancy ended at 6 weeks and I remember how heartbreaking it was to go to the ultrasound and seeing no heartbeat. I’m very sorry for their loss this is really hard.

  19. My sister Inlaw lost her baby at 61/2 months pregnant, a little boy.

    It is heart breaking.
    I’m so sorry for your loss.

    1. This sounds awful…….I can’t even imagine. This is also one of my biggest fears if I ever get pregnant. So many things can sadly go wrong.

  20. I read this yesterday and my heart broke for them. I’ve never watched any of the Duggar shows but I know her pain. I lost my daughter at 22 weeks pregnant in 2017. I still struggle with my loss. I hope her husband and family provide her with the support she is going to need ♡

    1. I’m right there with you! I don’t follow the duggars at all and usually scroll past posts about them.

      We lost our son last year at 40 weeks. Definitely still a struggle.

      I’m glad they got to spend time with her and have photos. Those will be the only photos they ever have.

      Hugs to you!!

  21. Such sad news! I was nearly in tears reading this. I’m sure it will be made all the more difficult when she sees her siblings children who will be born right around when Annabell was supposed to be. Prayers to Joy and Austin

  22. This is horrible. And the fact that they are so young makes it all the more tragic. I’m not a fan of the Duggars, and I think the whole “pump babies out until it’s physically impossible just for the sake of pumping babies out” thing is really gross, but my heart is breaking for Joy. She is only what, 20? 21? That’s a whole lot to cope with at such a young age, especially with the sheltered life she’s lived. I hope she and Austin seek counseling for their loss and work through their emotions instead of just accepting it as “God’s will” and burying their grief.

    1. Why on earth would someone downvote this? You surely don’t have to agree with their beliefs to feel sad and heartbroken for them.

      1. Probably the same people who downvote everything including those concerned for the welfare of others. I’ve wondered the same thing when seeing these types of downvotes. Trolls.

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