Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo nearly had to go under the knife for a Caesarean section during the birth of her first child, the new mom revealed during her Counting On birth special.
In the TLC special, which aired Monday, but is also available to stream online, Jinger and her husband Jeremy were preparing for what they thought could be a tough birth based on her sisters' histories of having big babies. Jinger's midwife even suggested the expectant mother get induced right at her due date so that she would have a better chance of an easier birth, which would work in tandem with the natural methods Jinger was using to try to keep her pregnancy from running long.
"My doctor and midwife both thought it would be best to get things rolling at this point, just because my sisters have had such huge babies that they thought it would be better if I went closer to my due date," Jinger told the cameras prior to checking into the hospital. "It's pretty crazy thinking that I'm just days away from being a mom and actually having the baby in my hands."
Her midwife explained, "She's been doing what we call natural nudging. Jinger has been taking some herbs to help her body get ready, and she's been walking, and she's been doing things to help the baby get into a good position."
Ditching the Duggar family convention of a home birth, Jinger said, made her feel more secure heading into her labor.
"Some of my sisters have been through a bit of tough time with labor and delivery, so I have decided just to go ahead and switch to the hospital," she said. "I think that just kind of puts me at ease because, if I need anything, it's here. I think it will help me be more relaxed in the long run."
Despite all the medical means of inducing labor, however, Jinger was having a tough time dilating in a timely manner, wearing her out without much progress being made. Her midwife was even thinking doctors would have to take over in a Caesarean section if things didn't change soon.
"She didn't dilate as quick as they thought she would have," a frazzled-looking Jeremy said from the hospital room. "So they think it's probably something to do with the position of the baby not pressing down on the cervix enough."
After 12 hours of labor, Jinger opts for an epidural, which made the remaining six hours she had to go a lot easier, she said, and even gave her the opportunity to get some sleep. It was then time for her to push. After 30 minutes, which Jinger said went faster than she expected, Felicity Nicole was born at 4:37 a.m. at 8 lbs. 5 oz.
In blurry shots from the family's camera, Counting On viewers can see the newborn take her first few breaths before being handed over to a tired and radiant-looking Jinger, whom Jeremy kisses intermittently with his new daughter.
Later, holding their little girl, Jeremy gushed over his wife. "I realize that my wife is incredibly strong," he said. "It was really cool actually — she would start to doubt herself and she would just tell me or whisper in my ear that she was in so, so much pain and I would tell her, 'I know, but you're stronger,' and she would kind of grit her teeth and push through."
Since giving birth to Felicity on July 19, the new parents have been settling in with the new normal of their family, posting photos of the little girl to social media and gushing over their lives as parents. We can't wait to watch Felicity grow up!
Counting On airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.
Photo Credit: TLC