It hasn’t been an easy year for the Duggar family. In February, Josiah and Lauren opened up about the miscarriage they suffered in the fall.
On June 9, 2019, Grandma Mary Duggar passed away suddenly. Now, Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth are going through their own family tragedy.
In May, the parents of 1-year-old Gideon announced that they were expecting their second child. The baby was due in November. Joy and Austin were thrilled to be expanding their family.
Unfortunately, the pregnancy ended recently. On July 4, 2019, just two months after announcing their pregnancy, Joy and Austin announced that they suffered a miscarriage.
They had gone to their 20-week ultrasound appointment to find out their baby’s gender when the doctor told them the baby had no heartbeat.
Austin and Joy were absolutely devastated by the news. They turned to their faith and family to get them through this tough time.
On July 5, Joy and Austin shared photos of their stillborn baby girl, whom they named Annabell Elise Forsyth.
After being friends for years, Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth tied the knot on May 26, 2017. Just a few months later, they announced that they were expecting their first child.
The newlyweds were thrilled to be expanding their family. On February 23, 2018, Joy and Austin welcomed their baby boy, Gideon Martyn Forsyth, to the world.
Joy and Austin absolutely loved being parents. Although the transition to parenthood was difficult, they were totally smitten with their baby boy.
After a few months, people started wondering when Austin and Joy might have another child. The couple always talked about wanting a big family, and it wasn’t too long before they were expecting again.
On May 1, 2019, they took to Instagram to share the news that they were expecting their second baby.
They wrote: “Some of you have guessed, some of you had no clue… November, 2019 Baby Forsyth #2 is Due!!👶🏼❤️ Cannot wait to meet this new little one! Gideon is going to be such a great big brother!!”
Over the next few weeks, Joy proudly showed off her baby bump. At her best friend Carlin Bates’ wedding, Joy’s belly was on full display.
In late June, though, everything came crashing down. Joy and Austin went in for their 20-week ultrasound appointment and got devastating news: Their baby had no heartbeat.
The couple wrote:
“Today marks one week since we heard these words… ‘So this is your baby’s heart (pointing to the ultrasound screen). I don’t hear a heartbeat or see any movement.’ We had gone in for our 20-week ultrasound and gender reveal. It was a baby girl.”
“Although we don’t understand why, God has given us unexplainable peace and comfort during this very difficult 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.”
“We named her Annabell Elise. Annabell means ‘God has favored me’, and Elise means ‘God satisfies’. What a precious thing to know that when our daughter opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was the face of Jesus.
“Please pray for continued healing, not only physically but for our hearts as well.”
On July 5, Joy and Austin shared photos after the delivery of their baby girl. They wrote:
“We only had her for 20 weeks, Life is fragile and precious. So thankful the Lord gave her to us for that short time! She will be in our hearts forever!💝😇 Thank you all for your love and support! We can feel the prayers!💕.”
Although Joy and Austin are hurting right now, their family is helping them get through this tough time. Joy’s sister Jessa wrote a heartfelt message on her own Instagram. Other members of the extended Duggar family also shared their sympathies.
Joy’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, wrote: “We were so sad to hear that Joy and Austin’s baby girl passed away mid-way through their pregnancy. The pain of losing a child is unimaginable. Yet, for the one whose hope is in God, there is a peace that surpasses our finite understanding. We pray that God will comfort Joy and Austin and carry them through this difficult time.”
Joy and Austin may be going through a tough time right now, but they have a great support system to lean on. Annabell Elise will never be forgotten.