Wednesday, October 14

18 Kids and Counting: "Duggars at the Doctor" and "First Grandduggar"

First of all, can I just say "wow," Anna Renee Keller Duggar, I am so proud you! I'm sure she's been surrounded by pregnancy and childbirth her whole life, just living in that lifestyle, but she delivered her first child, at home, mostly unassisted save for a doula and a couple family members toward the end, and completely without drugs! Seriously, I am impressed by this girl!

So, the shows. The first episode was a regular half-hour episode they were obviously planning to show anyway. It began with Anna and Michelle having back-to-back OB/GYN appointments. How adorable. Anna: "It's unusual having a mother in-law who's expecting... and not as far along as you are." Josh managed to drag himself out of bed to get his wife to her appointment on time, which was considerate. However, I have the feeling that when he moaned that "It's really early in the morning," it was probably like 7 AM. Josh called his parents and said he and Anna would pick them up because "we know you don't have any vehicles over there." I don't know if that was sarcastic or not, considering we always see like 10 cars/vans/busses parked in front of the Duggar house. Anyway, remember back when Josh and Anna got married and I said there could potentially be a Father of the Bride II situation? I was right.

At the doctor, Jim Bob proudly announced to the receptionist that both his wife and his child were expecting babies. I don't think she knew what to make of that. Even though the Duggar girls were praying hard for twin girls, this child is a singleton (which means Michelle will have to get pregnant one more time to get to an even 20). Anna got her exam first, then sat on her husband's lap to do a little interview with the cameras, because even at 30 weeks pregnant, she cannot sit in her own chair or go without touching him. After her exam, Michelle shares her exciting news with Josh and Anna - they're 9 weeks pregnant (Anna: "Oh neat!"). They got pregnant on Father's Day. Do you know where the entire Duggar family was on Father's Day? Touring around the country on a bus. Groooosssss!

In the second half of the episode, Jim Bob "held down the fort" while Michelle, Anna, and the older Duggar girls went to a giant kids' consignment sale about an hour away. Anna needed to get some baby furniture and stuff, and Michelle apparently needed five more of those bouncy baby seats. Surprisingly, this group of women was allowed to spend a day out by themselves without any men to protect and supervise them! The mystery of whether Anna and Michelle share that same green maternity shirt was solved - they each have their own! Meanwhile, Jim Bob took care of the younger kids back home, which included letting them run around the house and get hurt every five minutes, and making his famous canned tuna + BBQ sauce recipe (it's in their book). One of the boys was trying to operate a can opener with his mouth - was that the same boy who tried to adjust the crutches with his mouth a few weeks ago?! Jim Bob to Jennifer (or Hannie?) playing with a glue stick: "That'll make a big mess, so we're going to make it disappear. [Does some slight-of-hand move and glue is gone.]"

The second episode was an hour-long birth special they managed to throw together in four days. I have to say, as much as I love watching the Duggars, 90 minutes is a bit much. And First Grandduggar was mostly filler - they didn't even get to the actual birth until like the last ten minutes! A lot of stuff in this show seemed to be a direct shout-out to the internet fans, however:

  • How do Josh and Anna have enough money from the car lot to get by?
    They almost don't, and business this summer was slow (maybe because they were traveling on the DuggarBus most of the summer?), so they nearly had to dip into some savings, but then didn't. Josh needs to sell six cars a week (a month? I think it said a week) to earn enough for them. I am also thinking this is why they chose to have a home birth - way cheaper than going to the hospital.

  • What do Josh and Anna do all day?
    From the looks of things, they wake up whenever, roll onto the car lot sometime after 10 AM, sit around all day, maybe pray? (Anna: "Once you get to the car lot, you never know what's going to happen." Yeah, it seemed really exciting there.) Anna is learning about selling cars - the problem is, I don't think she can even drive. She doesn't know the difference between automatic and "standard" (I assume she means manual) transmission, so I'm sure she really helps make those sales.

  • Does Anna really have a purse that says "JOSHY GIRL?"
    Yes, they zoomed in on it sitting there!

  • Isn't Josh getting so fat?
    Yes, he knows it, and everyone else knows it. Their Bradley coach mentioned it ("Josh has gained a little weight, along with Anna..."), and Josh himself brought it up a couple times ("Anna's gonna drop that weight, and I'm gonna be stuck with this - hopefully not for life").

  • Did Anna get to see her family at all?
    Yes, her mom and sisters came for her baby shower, and it was the first time they'd all seen each other in nearly a year (except for sister Suze, who spent most of the summer with them). Her sisters seem pretty trendy, less plain and conservative than Anna, and definitely more fun-loving! Maybe Anna is just shy on camera, but her sisters seemed more like Cousin Amy (also, they love Cousin Amy!). Suze got a pretty rockin' haircut since she'd returned home, and I wonder why - is it because she's a celebrity now after being on TV, or maybe because she's more "worldly," having traveled around with the Duggars?


Other notable moments: Josh hosing himself down with a can of hairspray - just like his dad! Anna saying they're not trying to set a record with having kids - woo hoo! Jim Bob saying that during the baby shower he might take the boys "someplace where kids eat free." Jill and some little J'boy curling ribbons for shower decorations (Boy: "I do that with a pocket knife." Jill: "Really?" Boy: "I cut myself." Jill: "Oh."). Joseph Duggar is growing into quite the cutie! Michelle corrected a potential cake wreck by correcting the spelling of her granddaughter's bizarre name. Everyone freaking out over that chocolate-in-diaper baby shower game like they'd never heard of such an amazing idea before.

Finally, we get to the actual birth. Josh, in his "iPray" t-shirt, tracked Anna's contraction times on an iPod. Anna is asked what is the most painful thing she's ever experienced. "I haven't had a lot of pain. I've had chicken pox?" It was ten days before her due date, so I guess Dr. Sarver, Cousin Amy, and the entire Duggar family thought it was safe to travel (doctor was "out of town," Amy was in Disney World, and the Duggars were at ATI family camp in Big Sandy, TX). So with literally everyone away, Josh and Anna decided at the last minute to have a home birth with their Bradley coach as their doula. And this is where I'm so impressed with her. For most of the day it was just Anna, Josh, the doula... oh and a three-person TLC camera crew. Michelle and Jill (who I guess won the birth lottery and got to attend while her sisters corralled the little ones in Texas) flew home and arrived at Josh and Anna's literally just in time for her to deliver. I have to admit, the delivery scene was pretty sweet, and it was cute to see Josh holding the baby, cutting the cord, weighing her, and all that.

And then they appeared on the Today Show! Just another normal family…

By the way, let's add a new rule to the Duggar Drinking Game: take a sip every time Michelle mentions a "season of life."

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