2019 was a big year for the Duggar household! There were seven pregnancies, feuds within the family and many scandals.
Jessa was the first person in her family to give birth in 2019. She welcomed her third child with her husband Ben Seewald via home birth on May 26. The couple named their daughter Ivy Jane. Although Jessa delivered her baby at home, she was rushed to the hospital because she wouldn’t stop bleeding.
Amy became a first-time mom in 2019! She and her husband, Dillon King, welcomed their son, Daxton Ryan, on October 9 via cesarean section. "I have a great respect for anyone who's had 19 or one," Amy told OKMagazine.com in August. Despite Amy having 19 cousins, Dillon said, "We're aiming for one and done. Two is max! One may be it but we will see.
Kendra welcomed baby number two, Addison Renee, on November 2. "Addison made a quick arrival in the early hours of the morning and has already melted our hearts. We know Garrett is going to be a great big brother. Children are each a special gift from God and we are so happy our newest blessing is here," Kendra and her husband Joe told Us Weekly. The Counting On star took castor oil to jumpstart labor and suffered from dehydration, vomiting, and painful delivery.
Lauren announced in February that she had a miscarriage in November 2018. The Counting On star later revealed she was pregnant again. Lauren gave birth to her daughter Bella Milagro on November 8. “After a long and difficult labor, our girl arrived,” the couple told Us Weekly. “When we finally got to see and hold our precious Bella Milagro all the pain instantly went away. We can’t believe she is ours — she is so perfect!”
Anna had baby number six with her husband, Josh, on November 27! The Counting On star named her daughter Maryella Hope in honor of her husband's late grandma Mary. "We wanted our daughter’s name to be a reminder of how special Grandma was and carry on her legacy, but without feeling like we were trying to replace her," she shared on Instagram. "Josh and I both fell in love with the name Maryella! We chose Hope for her middle name because of the Hope we have because of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection."
Fans speculated that John David's wife Abbie was pregnant after he held onto her stomach in a photo they posted on July 29. On August 1, the couple confirmed they are expecting their first child, a baby girl, who is due in January 2020. "We are on Cloud 9 about welcoming our own little Duggar into the world!!! It really is amazing to think about being parents and having our own child to raise," they wrote on Instagram.
Joy-Anna announced that she was pregnant with her second child on May 1. She later revealed that she suffered a miscarriage in June. The early months of her pregnancy were filmed for Counting On and many fans have expressed their sympathy for the star after an episode aired of Joy-Anna doing a maternity photoshoot with her siblings who were expecting. "So thankful to have these pictures from the photoshoot 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 shared on Instagram on November 1.
There were a lot of couples celebrating in 2019, except Jana who is one of the few siblings in the Duggar family over age 20 that is still single. Fans speculated that she had a secret lesbian romance with her friend Laura Demasie who has appeared on Counting On many times. On April 1, Jana shared a photo from a trip to the hardware store and one fan commented, “Are you and Laura dating? Anyone else think the same thing?” Jana shut down speculation and said, "No. And I would like to stop that rumor. I have no interest in girls that way whatsoever.”
Jill came under fire in June for over-sharing details about her relationship after sharing photos from her 5th anniversary weekend with her husband, Derick Dillard. In one of the pictures posted on June 26, there was a Kama Sutra book on the table. Many fans were outraged that she was promoting a sex positions book that is rooted in Hinduism and has LGBTQ+ friendly suggestions, in contrast to the Duggar family’s strict Christianity beliefs.
The former Counting On star apologized to fans and said the couple was "not recommending the Kama Sutra." She added, “The little book pictured is a modern, smaller, cleaner, edited version that doesn’t focus on spiritual aspects, homosexual, or other extramarital relationships, and again, we don’t take everything in there either as the truth. It is always good to be aware and careful of what we allow into our minds, hearts and marriages.”
Jill has been wearing pants for quite some time so she wasn't criticized for that this year but her younger sister Jinger caught heat for wearing them when she visited Los Angeles ahead of her move! The Counting On star wore pants on a hike and broke down while discussing the decision with her mom, Michelle. “I know a lot of people have had different speculation or ideas or whatever about conflict between us over the matter of pants,” Jinger told cameras on the October 22 episode. “We had conversations before I started wearing pants. I shared my heart with them about where I saw the Lord leading me. I was really grateful for their response.”
Joy-Anna didn't escape from her family drama either. Her husband Austin Forsyth was sued for fraud on October 11. A family claimed Austin sold them a home he flipped that allegedly didn’t have a permit for a septic tank on the property. In court documents obtained by In Touch, the family reported there was a “foul odor of human waste” in their yard from the faulty system and that Austin lied about getting the proper paperwork for a septic tank on the property they purchased from him in June 2018.
The biggest scandal of the year occurred when rumors surfaced in November on a Facebook group and eventually went viral on the website Crazy Days And Nights that alleged Josh’s home and/or business was raided by the FBI for child pornography, tax evasion, and money laundering. We were not involved in any kind of law enforcement action,” an FBI agent told RadarOnline.com on November 18. “I can confirm we were not there.”
A Homeland Security Investigations spokesperson told KNWA news station on November 20 that they raided Jim Bob and Michelle's home, but they later amended the information. On November 21, an HSI representative told the news outlet that Josh’s car lot business was visited for an “ongoing federal investigation.” They wouldn’t confirm that Josh was the one specifically investigated because no charges were filed. “I can confirm that we were at that address. And spoke to individuals at that location. But I can’t discuss any individuals by name,” the spokesperson added.
Jill's husband Derick started picking fights with Jim Bob in the midst of her family's legal trouble. Derick answered a series of questions from his fans in October and November and accused Jim Bob of negotiating his children's contracts on Counting On and stealing their money. “So why does Jim Bob get all the money for the show and doesn’t give any to his children? The actual stars of the show,” one fan asked. Derick replied, “I don’t know. You would have to ask them that.” He also claimed that Jim Bob negotiated the contracts “for everyone, but without telling anyone.” Jim Bob did not respond to the allegations.
Derick was kicked off of Counting On in 2017 after he made transphobic remarks about fellow TLC star Jazz Jennings. Since then, fans have speculated that there's a rift between him and Jim Bob. "Dude, you could make some serious bank by writing a book. I know a ton of people that would buy that book pre-release! I mean, come on, you know that there is some crazy in that family!” one fan tweeted at Derick on December 4. The axed Counting On star responded, "That's the plan, but it will take longer to write because I do most of the outlining/writing on breaks from school."
The family all came together in June after the tragic death of Jim Bob's mother, Mary. Her passing, however, stirred up controversy amongst fans. The family announced that Mary died on June 9, but didn't initially disclose cause of death. On June 13, a representative of the family told Us Weekly, "Grandma Duggar has had two strokes over the last year and some other medical issues and it’s our understanding that Grandma Duggar had slipped and fallen and passed by the time her daughter Deanna found her in the pool."
Some of Jim Bob's children used emojis in their posts about Mary. Jill and Jessa also directed fans to monetized blog posts in honor of their late grandmother. Amy criticized her cousins for their social media behavior on June 12. "Sometimes it's ok to use emojis and then there are other times when. You. Just. Don't. ???," she tweeted.