Four months after Joy-Anna Forsyth and her husband Austin announced that they suffered a stillbirth, their sister-in-law Lauren Duggar, who is married to Joy-Anna’s brother, Josiah, is opening up about how she helped Joy-Anna through the loss.
In October 2018, Lauren and Josiah also experienced a loss when Lauren suffered a miscarriage just weeks after announcing they were expecting their first child together. Lauren said that she pulled from what she experienced while grieving that loss to help Joy-Anna nine months later.
In an interview with Us Weekly, Lauren said it was how Josiah’s older sister, Jessa Seewald, treated her after her miscarriages that she knew exactly what to do when reaching out to Joy-Anna following her stillbirth.
“I just remember how sweet Jessa was. She’d write special notes and texts, just reminding me how much she loves me and that she was praying for me. That’s kind of one thing I do for Joy, sending her encouragement and sending her scripture. I know what it feels like when someone’s pregnant and you’re not. I know what you’re feeling and just knowing to be sensitive [to] different things.”
Joy-Anna and Austin first opened up about the stillbirth they endured on July 3. The mom wrote that they were told their child didn’t have a heartbeat on June 26.
“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.”
The couple decided to name their stillborn daughter Annabell Elise. “Annabell means ‘God has favored me,’ and Elise means ‘God satisfies.'” Lauren and Josiah also lost a daughter, who they named Asa.
Lauren commented on Joy’s post, “Annabell will be forever loved and missed! I’m sure she and Asa are best buds. #angelbabies.” Then, shortly after their first announcement, Joy-Anna shared photos of Annabell Elise on Instagram.
Roughly a month later, Joy said that her and Austin’s hearts are healing, despite wishing she “could have met her, seen Austin love on her and Gideon play with her.”
Lauren also shared some words of encouragement for other mothers and parents of have also endured child loss. “Every day, you have to give that sweet little one to the Lord. There are many times where you can just be fearful and think, ‘Oh, I’m going to lose this one too.’ But … this child belongs to the Lord. He’s the one that has given this life.”
Several months later, in May, Lauren and Josiah announced that they are expecting again.
The couple wrote that they are overjoyed to welcome their rainbow baby into the world. “We are so excited to announce that baby #2 is on the way!!!! It’s hard to fully express just how grateful we are for God blessing us again with another precious gift!”
However, despite entering her final month of pregnancy, Lauren admitted that she’s feared the worst over the last nine months. “There are many times where you can just be fearful and think, ‘Oh, I’m going to lose this one too.’ But this child belongs to the Lord. He’s the one that has given this life.”
The couple is expecting to meet their little one sometime in November. Joy-Anna has not discussed publicly when or if she plans on having more children following Annabell’s stillbirth.
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.