Despite the pain of her recent miscarriage, TLC reality-show star and mother of 19 Michelle Duggar says she'd like to have more children if she's able. "We would be open to more if God saw fit to bless us with more," Michelle said in a green-room interview with TODAY Moms. Even given her recent loss, she said, she's not ruling out more pregnancies: "I would do it again."
Whatever you think of the Duggars, TODAY Moms' hearts went out to Michelle Duggar when she announced that she had suffered a miscarriage at 19 weeks with her 20th child.
As one mom wrote on our Facebook page: "How terrible. No matter HOW MANY children you have, it is still a loss."
Michelle and Jim Bob spoke to Ann Curry on TODAY Tuesday, their first public appearance since the miscarriage in early December.
"It's devastating, and many others have experienced very similar situations," Michelle said. "Probably the hardest part is that when a loss like this occurs people really don't know what to say.... We realize our sweet little Jubliee is with the Lord, and we will see her again someday."
And if another child isn't in the cards, the Duggars say they're enjoying being grandparents. Their oldest son, Josh, has two children with his wife Anna.
"We have heard so many things about being a grandparent and now we know why it is so great," Michelle told Ann Curry. "You get the joy of playing and spending time with them but you don't have all the responsibility."
Their grief over the loss of the baby they later named Jubilee Shalom will be on display in their reality show this season. A preview clip provided to TODAY by TLC shows Michelle and Jim Bob in the doctor's office for what they thought would be a routine ultrasound. Instead, they found out the baby's heartbeat had stopped. Michelle is crying and cradling her belly with her hands, while Jim Bob sits next to her with a look of shock on his face. "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away," she prays between sobs. "Blessed be the name of the Lord." Jim Bob prays with her, then says softly, "Michelle, I'm so sorry."
Michelle had also suffered a miscarriage during her second pregnancy. That first miscarriage was what caused Michelle and Jim Bob early in their marriage to rethink their plan to have two or three children, and instead to eschew family planning and leave the number of children they have up to God.
Between 20 to 30 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Dr. Rebecca Brightman, an OB-GYN at Mount Sinai hospital in New York, told TODAY in an earlier interview that having a lot of children doesn't increase the risk of miscarriage, but that Michelle Duggar was at increased risk because of her age -- she is 45, and women over 40 are more likely to have babies with chromosomal abnormalities, which is a leading factor in miscarriage.
The Duggars star in the TLC reality show, "19 Kids and Counting," which chronicles life at their Arkansas home with their children: Joshua, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Jinger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace and Josie. The show airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on TLC.