If you didn’t get your fill of whisper screams during Kendra’s “grin and birth it” performance last episode, you’re in luck! On this episode of Counting On, Lauren is taking her first (but certainly not her last) turn
on the birthing tarp in the birthing stirrups and for some reason, like the fertile Duggars before her, she’s cool with letting a camera crew film the whole thing.
Now let’s jump into this episode before Jim Bob hijacks a scene with a demonstration on labor breathing or some other topic that no one asked him about…
When we check in with Lauren and Josiah, we find them cramming what looks to be an excessive amount of stuff into their car. The plight of packing for a modest-dressed woman, we suppose.
Lauren and “Siah” explain that they’re preparing to head to the Swanson family home to “walk some stairs” to put Lauren into active labor. Cardio followed by child birth WITH a camera crew?? This is officially the only thing less appealing than participating in the Duggar Dash.
Once they arrive at the Swanson’s house, Lauren gets down to business power-walking on the treadmill, bouncing on the exercise ball and basically everything short of dusting off an old VCR and popping in a Richard Simmons Sweatin’ to the Oldies VHS.
Meanwhile, Josiah does his best to be supportive.
… and off camera, Jill makes an appearance via voiceover to talk about positions that open up your pelvis.
When asked (for the millionth time) why she decided on a hospital birth in lieu of squatting her blessing out onto the trusty/crusty Duggar birthing tarp, Lauren says her mom had all of her blessings at the hospital and she just feels more comfortable doing the same.
After a few more minutes of sighing with Siah, Lauren decides she’s not quite ready to deliver a Duggar so she and Josiah leave the Swanson’s to “labor at home” until it’s time to haul themselves, their overpacked car and Lauren’s overcrowded uterus to the hospital.
Over at Joe and Kendra’s house, everything is peachy freaking keen, as Kendra laments over childbirth and receiving her “grand prize” (her daughter, Addie) and Joe wakes Garrett up from his “happy nappy.”
Just when we think we might get through this episode without a Jim Bob and Michelle sighting (yeah right), the First Family of Fundie flashes onto the screen to regurgitate some tips about how to parent more than one child. The only positive to this Jim Bob and Michelle ambush is that it gives the producers an excuse to joke with the Duggar kids about having 19 kids of their own – an idea that tickles Kendra pink and brings Joe to the verge of a nervous breakdown.
When we check back in with Lauren and Josiah, they’re finally heading to the hospital to get the Duggar Blessing Loyalty Card stamped for the second time in just as many episodes.
Later that night, Lauren’s mom, Michelle and Jill (still lurking behind the camera), continue to cheer Lauren on through the pain, which she says is largely being caused by her baby’s head pressing up against her spine.
Because of the human skull cramping her style/spine, Lauren opts to have an epidural, despite it not being part of her birthing plan. Unfortunately, the epidural doesn’t work for Lauren so she ends up getting a second one two hours later. That one doesn’t do anything to alleviate her pain either.
(Thankfully they don’t let Jim Bob into the labor room to talk to Lauren about the pain he felt that one time he stubbed his toe or something. They probably sensed Lauren would’ve hit him with a bedpan.)
Now 34 hours into labor (cringe!) Lauren is exhausted and still in pain, so her doctors give her something to knock her out – thankfully it’s medication and not Michelle’s creepy ASMR-adjacent speaking voice reading a lullaby.
While Lauren rests up before the Spawn ‘o’ Josiah pops her “Duggar Head” through Lauren’s pelvis, Ben and Jessa decide to hit the store to put together a parenting survival basket to give Lauren and Josiah when they come home from the hospital. Within 5 seconds of hustling their heathens into the Piggly Wiggly, The Spurge grabs a watermelon, throws it on the ground and cracks it open.
A few seconds later, Jessa discovers a second busted watermelon. After The Spurge casually confesses to the second fruit fatality, Jessa places both cracked-open watermelons in her shopping cart
like the good samaritan she is because she’s on camera and doesn’t really have another option.
Back at the hospital, Lauren has officially been in labor for 40 hours and her doctors have begun talking to her about the possibility of a cesarean section. Before making that decision, the nurse gives Lauren pitocin and soon her contractions become unbearable to the point that she tells Josiah she feels as if her back is going to break.
Fortunately, the pitocin helps Lauren dilate enough so that she is able to begin pushing after more 40 hours – 39.5 hours too long to be stuck in a room with Michelle’s pep talks of positivity.
Not long after, Lauren and Josiah’s daughter, Bella Milagro, makes her fashionably late debut into Duggar World.
Right on cue, Jim Bob and his dad jeans stop by the hospital the next day to meet baby Bella, who unfortunately doesn’t sneeze in her grandpa’s face like her cousin Addie did. Jim Bob has so many grandspawn at this point he doesn’t even seem to know who’s hoo-ha this one came out of.
Now that we’ve concluded the blessing birthing portion of this episode, it’s time to head to Los Angeles to check in with Jeremy and Jinger. While Jinger is hard at work in the kitchen, we learn that she and Jeremy are expecting and they plan to reveal their big news via video chat during Duggar Family Fun Night using decorated
Jinger gingerbread people.
After Jeremy nopes the hell out of this activity, Jinger is left to roll cookie dough into pregnant bellies all by herself (as you do), while Felicity protests the idea of a second sibling and/or the upcoming video chat with the Duggars that she knows she has to participate in.
Back in Arkansas, Jim Bob and Michelle amp the family up for the cookie decorating activity, which they’ve (of course) decided to turn into a competition. Jinger and Jeremy are then welcomed via video chat and Michelle gives them her idea of a standard California greeting.
After Michelle stops throwing up gang signs, the Duggars get down to constructing their gingerbread houses using the typical gingerbread materials as well as hot glue guns and power drills because… Duggars.
Once it’s time to reveal the houses, Jinger and Jeremy are the last to show theirs off and even though it takes Michelle a ridiculously long time to notice the “pregnant” Jinger bread girl, she eventually catches on and everyone responds with obligatory excitement, as per usual.
Well, almost everyone…
That’s all for this week!
On the next episode of ‘Counting On,’ Jeremy plans a birthday surprise for Jinger (spoiler alert: it’s not a skateboard) and we bid farewell to a member of the ‘Counting On’ family when Ben ditches his trusty transitional-lens glasses and undergoes laser eye surgery.
To read The Ashley’s previous ‘Counting On’ recap, click here!