Joy-Anna Duggar doesn’t seem to be bothered by her family and best friend sharing photos of her from when she was pregnant. Her parents and Carlin Bates posted happy birthday images on Instagram last week. The posts were met with intense backlash from fans who found it in poor taste to share photos of Duggar’s pregnancy that eventually ended in a miscarriage.
"Happy birthday, Joy!! One of my favorite things about you is that you always have a song in your heart to sing," the Duggars wrote to their daughter in the post. "In good times and in hard times we have always heard your heart overflow with encouraging truth from God’s Word through song. It is beautiful, and so are you!! Now we get to sing to you tonight!! Happy birthday, Joy... You are SO LOVED!!"
While Duggar didn’t directly address the criticism from fans, she took to her own Instagram to post a photo of her pregnancy, essentially making it clear she's OK with the images.
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“So thankful to have these pictures from the photo shoot back in June with all the pregnant sisters. I couldn’t have known at the time what these memories would mean to me now,” she wrote. “While we grieve over the loss of our baby girl who would’ve been due in just 8 days, we are grateful for the time we had with her."
“We are thankful for memories like these,” Duggar continued. “We are thankful for the precious hours we were able to hold her in our arms and say our goodbyes. We are thankful that God allowed us to be her parents, and we know that her life—though it was brief—has changed our lives forever.”
Duggar and husband Austin Forsyth were expecting to welcome their first child this month, but they made the sad announcement on July 3 that she had lost the baby.
"Although we don’t understand why, God has given us unexplainable peace and comfort during this very difficult time," the couple wrote on Instagram at the time. "Yes, it still hurts and we have cried countless tears, but we know that we can trust the Lord. In the words of King David after the loss of his baby, 'I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me' (2 Sam 12:23). We don’t grieve as those who have no hope because we trust that we will see this little one again."