More than two years after she and her husband Derick Dillard last appeared with their families TLC series, Jill Duggar officially made her return to Counting On earlier this month. The mom-of-two made a brief appearance in the Dec. 9 special Josiah and Lauren’s Baby, which documented the November birth of the couple’s daughter, Bella Milagro Duggar, following a miscarriage they had previously suffered.
"There you go, Lauren. Relax right here on your shoulder. Relax. Beautiful. Down and out. Think, down and out," Duggar can be heard saying in the special as Lauren is in labor, according to InTouch Weekly. "Good job, that’s it. Relax right here. Right here."
Duggar does not, however, make a physical appearance in the special aside from her arm, which is seen resting on her sister-in-law’s shoulder at one point. Her appearance is entirely off-camera, as only her voice is ever heard.
As fans of the Duggar family know, Duggar and her husband have been absent from the TLC series for years. In 2017, Dillard was fired after he made several anti-LGBTQ+ comments on social media. Many of the comments were directed at fellow TLC star, Jazz Jennings.
"We want to let our viewers know that Derick Dillard has not participated in Counting On for months and the network has no plans to feature him in the future," TLC said in a statement in 2017. "We want to reiterate that Derick’s personal statements do not reflect the views of the network. TLC is proud to share the story of Jazz Jennings and her family and will continue to do so."
The couple have continued to be shrouded in controversy, with Dillard again this year making similar comments when he tweeted about Jennings' gender confirmation surgery, stating that "this kind of thinking should not be encouraged by media," and that "a system that allows this kind of child abuse is clearly broken."
In 2018, he had also slammed Nate & Jeremiah by Design stars Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, calling their lifestyle a "travesty" and "degrading to children."
Despite the controversy, many fans have still wondered whether the couple would ever return to the series. In November of this year, however, Duggar informed her fans that she and her husband have "no plans to [return to the show] currently. It just all got to be too much for our little family, so we decided to step away from it all a couple years ago before the birth of our second child."