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Jill Duggar Reveals Father Jim Bob's 'Controlling' Reaction to Her Fertility Struggles

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Source: @JILLMDILLARD/INSTAGRAM; @duggarfam/Instagram

Nov. 27 2023, Published 6:58 p.m. ET

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Jill Duggar revealed her dad, Jim Bob, had a surprising reaction when she told him she may not physically be able to have any more children.

During an appearance on a November installment of the "Ask Dr. Julie Hanks" podcast, the mother-of-three — who shares Israel, 8, Samuel, 6, and Frederick, 1, with husband Derick Dillard — spoke about her complicated feelings regarding not having as many children as her parents did.

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jill duggar reveals jim bob reaction fertility strugglespp
Source: @JILLMDILLARD/INSTAGRAM

Jill Duggar is one of 19 children born to Jim Bob and Michelle.

"In the book, I talk about the shift of going from feeling that pressure, being okay with having a lot of children, in that belief system that I grew up in," Jill explained, referring to her memoir, Counting the Cost. "To then having the shift of being like, do I trust in God with the number of children that I'm supposed to have, could also mean trusting Him if he doesn't give us 20 kids."

"Am I being punished for my lack of desire of having 20 kids?" she added. "All those mind games that you play."

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Jim Bob and Jill have a complicated relationship.

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The 32-year-old then recalled seeing a fertility specialist and talking with her father about the possibility she would need to be done having children.

"'I don't think I'll be able to have any more kids,'" she said, remembering the past conversation. "My Dad pipes up, 'We don't really know, do we know?' He's trying to control the situation."

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jill duggar reveals jim bob reaction fertility strugglespp
Source: @JILLMDILLARD/INSTAGRAM

Jill and Derick got married in 2014.

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Derick claimed Jim Bob warned them they "don't know that yet" and to be "careful" of what they say to any other people about the subject. The father-of-three noted the Duggar family patriarch's reaction was "frustrating" to him in that moment.

"This idea still that he was a gatekeeper for our information," he continued. "To whatever extent we want to share with people, we're going to share with people."

Jill added, "There was this boundary line that we didn't have in place."

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jill duggar reveals jim bob reaction fertility strugglespp
Source: @JILLMDILLARD/INSTAGRAM

They share three sons — Israel, 8, Samuel, 6, and Frederick, 1.

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Derick also pointed out "another toxic aspect" of the culture the Duggar family came from was there's "a sense of hierarchy" where people are "less than if you have less kids."

"Even your parents have said: 'Whoever has the most kids gets the house," he pointed out, to which Jill replied they were only "half-joking."

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As OK! previously reported, Jill also claimed her issues with her dad had a negative effect on her marriage while filming 19 Kids and Counting and other TLC spinoffs.

Derick said "whenever we were at odds with what her dad thought we should be doing with filming," Jim Bob would allegedly say "very damaging" things to them that hurt their relationship.

"When I saw how it was affecting our marriage, I think that was another wake-up call for me," Jill shared. "It was like, okay, we need to either fight this battle together, or it's going to rip us apart. So yeah, we had to join forces at that point."

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