Duggar family expecting baby No. 20, TLC reality stars 'grateful to God'
Jim Bob Duggar and his wife Michelle of the TLC reality show "19 Kids and Counting" are expecting their 20th child.
The conservative Christian Arkansas-based pair, who are licensed real estate agents, have 19 children, whose names start with the letter J, and two grandchildren. The family appeared on NBC's "Today" show on Tuesday, November 8 to announce the news of the pregnancy and the couple talk about it in a web clip to promote their series.
"We are so excited," Michelle Duggar, 45, said in the video. "We were surprised. We are so grateful to God and really believe that each one is a gift from Him. The title will change to '20 and Counting.'"
The name of the show has been changed to reflect the number of the family's children before. Michelle Duggar said she is due to give birth in April 2012.
"This is the farthest apart we've gone (without having a child)," We are due in April," Michelle Duggar said on the "Today" show. "There's always room for one more. They are such a gift."
The Duggar family's oldest child, son Josh, is 23. The youngest child, Josie, was born premature in December 2009.
"We didn't want to stop at an odd number," Jim Bob Duggar, 46, joked. "Our two little ones are already overjoyed when they have aunts and uncles around. It is unique when you have an aunt or an uncle that's younger than you are."
When asked how she plans to ensure a healthy pregnancy, despite her age, Michelle Duggar says she tries to maintain a healthy diet and also spends an hour exercising on an elliptical machine five or six days a week.
"We've kind of jokingly said, 'I think Mom's in better shape than she's been in a long time,'" she added.
The Duggar family's children are: Josh, 23; fraternal twins Jana Marie and John-David, 21; Jill Michelle, 20; Jessa Lauren, 19; Jinger Nicole, 17; Joseph Garrett, 16; Josiah Matthew, 15; Joy-Anna, 14; fraternal twins Jedidiah Robert and Jeremiah Robert, 12; Jason Michael, 11; James Andrew, 10; Justin Samuel, 8; Jackson Levi, 7; Johannah Faith, 6; Jennifer Danielle, 4; Jordyn-Grace Makiya, 2 and Josie Brooklyn, 1.
The Duggar couple has said that they initially thought they would have a maximum of three children. Michelle Duggar became pregnant with their second child despite being on birth control pills and miscarried.
"To us, it meant that something we had chosen to do - use the pill - had caused the end of the pregnancy," the family said on its website. "As conservative Christians, we believe every life is sacred, even the life of the unborn. Due to our lack of knowledge, we destroyed the precious life of our unborn child."
"We weren't sure if Michelle could have any more children after the miscarriage, but we were sure we were going to stop using the pill," the family said. "In fact, we agreed we would stop using any form of birth control and let God decide how many children we would have. Just a couple of months later, Michelle became pregnant with twins."
Jim Bob can also be seen announcing his wife's pregnancy to the family in the "19 Kids and Counting" season finale on Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on TLC. A special called "19 Kids and Counting World Tour: Scotland & Ireland" is also set to air on Sunday, November 13, at 8 p.m. ET.
The cable network also airs other large family-based reality shows, such as "Sister Wives," whose star, polygamist Kody Brown, and fourth wife Robyn recently welcomed a new baby, and Kate Gosselin's former series, "Kate Plus 8," which ended in September.
Check out a video of the Duggar family on the "Today" show as well as a TLC clip of the Duggar couple talking about their upcoming arrival.