After having a C-section in 2017, Jill, 32, decided to start taking birth control because doctors recommend that women don’t become pregnant for at least 18 months after the surgery, In her new memoir, Counting the Cost, the Counting On alum said that she and Derick, 33, agreed it was the right decision, though she admitted she felt guilty about it and “kept it a secret from nearly everyone.”
“I was devastated at the thought of not being able to have more kids, and I felt like my fertility had been robbed from me,” she wrote in the book, which was released on Tuesday, September 12. “But also, dare I say it, I was somewhat relieved. The devastation far outweighed the relief, but there was a small part of me that appreciated the excuse not to have to go through a zillion pregnancies and deliveries.”
Jill also recounted the scary delivery experience in the book and admitted she thought she and Samuel would die. Shortly after his birth, doctors discovered there were signs of bleeding in Samuel’s brain and he remained in the NICU for nine days. However, he seemingly made a full recovery and was eventually able to go home with his parents.
The former TLC personality had mixed feelings about going on birth control because her parents, Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar, raised her and her siblings to follow the teachings of the Institute of Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), which puts an emphasis on the importance of having children. Due to that belief, members of the organization are expected to not prevent pregnancies. However, Jill has since left the organization and currently follows another form of Christianity.
In addition to Samuel, Jill and Derick, 33, are the parents to sons Israel, 8, and Freddy, 14 months.
Jill’s memoir is not the first time she’s opened up about her decision to use birth control. “Growing up, it was ingrained in me that if you don’t have as many kids as you’re able to, that there’s something wrong with that,” she told People in October 2020. “But there was a shift in me where I felt like it wasn’t wrong if you decide as a couple that it’s best for you to wait.”
“Children are a blessing, but that doesn’t mean that at all costs you should have as many kids as possible,” she added.
Jill went on to state that she believes people “need to do what’s healthiest and best for your family,” adding that they relied on “non-hormonal birth control” such as various barrier methods at the time.