Jinger Duggar Reveals Why She Didn't 'Feel Comfortable with' a Home Birth for Baby Felicity
Before Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo welcomed her baby girl in July, the pregnant Counting On star assessed all of her childbirth options.
In a PEOPLE exclusive sneak peek at Monday’s Counting On, audiences get a behind-the-scenes look as Jinger, 24, and her husband Jeremy Vuolo prepared to welcome little Felicity into the world. During the episode, the pair visits a birth center in San Antonio, where they meet with their midwife, Alisa, to discuss the upcoming delivery and her initial plans to have a natural birth.
“A birth center is, we like to say, the step down between hospital and home. What we provide here at he birth center is a home-like setting, but the really nice thing is the proximity to the hospital,” Alisa tells the couple.
Although Jinger’s mother and some of her sisters had home births — “My mom and sisters have had long labors,” she shares — she admittedly doesn’t “feel comfortable” with going that route for her daughter’s delivery.
“My mom and quite a few of my sisters have done home births and for me, I don’t feel comfortable with it. I think I feel safer being in a birth center where they have a lot more things that you would need for care and also being closer to a really good hospital,” Jinger explains.
Adds Jeremy, 31: “One of the factors for why we chose a birthing center — and specifically the one we chose — is because it is literally a minute away from multiple hospitals: a children’s hospital and two others. And so if there’s any complication whatsoever, we’ve pretty much got immediate care.”
Choosing the birthing center meant that Jinger would not be administered any medications during the labor — something that she was initially willing and wanting to do.
“I’m good with natural childbirth. I mean, at this point I will say that,” she shares. “I mean, it’s a good thing to hold me to it because there’s no option of it.”
Last month, Counting On viewers watched as the couple entered parenthood; the delivery episode aired nearly a month after she gave birth. A day after Jinger was admitted into the hospital on July 17, she started Pitocin, which is a drug that induces labor by causing or strengthening contractions. Over the next few hours, Jinger’s contractions strengthened, but she did not fully dilate. Finally, after 18 hours in labor, Jinger was fully dilated and started pushing.
At 4:37 a.m. on July 19, Jinger and Jeremy welcomed baby Felicity. She weighed 8 lbs. and 3 oz. and was 19.5 inches long.
“She went from hardly any progress at all and such hard work to ready to push her baby out! She pushed for 30 minutes and had this beautiful baby,” Alisa said.
During the labor, Jinger received an epidural, and she explained of the anesthesia being administered, “So I got an epidural and I was sleeping quite well. I had some pressure and cramps and stuff, and so I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I felt pretty good considering the 12 hours of labor without that. And by the time I woke up, my nurse came in and she checked me and she’s like, ‘Wow, you’re dilated to 10!’ And I was shocked because I was like, ‘How did this happen? How did this happen? I was just sleeping!’ They had me rotating every 30 minutes and I think all those things really helped.”
“When it was time to push, it seemed like everything just went so fast,” she said. “It was really, really good. It wasn’t what I expected it to be, of course because I had an epidural. I was expecting a lot more difficulty with that, but I was grateful, everything went really quick.”
Counting On airs Mondays (9 p.m. ET) on TLC.
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