**Warning: contains images and content that some readers may find distressing.**
Counting On star Joy-Anna Duggar has shared a picture of herself holding her stillborn daughter, after miscarrying at five months.
The 21-year-old confirmed this week that she and husband Austin Forsyth had lost their second child, a baby girl they planned to call Annabell Elise.
And a week after Joy-Anna’s miscarriage, the reality star has posted a series of intimate pictures, seeing her and Austin saying goodbye to Annabell.
One picture saw Joy-Anna cradling her baby in a hospital bed with Austin beside her while another saw Joy-Anna’s mother Michelle and sister Jill gathering around her.
A final heartbreaking snap showed the baby’s footprints next to a quarter coin, to show how small she was.
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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!? . Thank you, @carlinbates98 for coming to town to be here for me and for doing my hair and makeup for pictures with our little girl!?
Joy-Anna 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!? Thank you, @carlinbates98 for coming to town to be here for me and for doing my hair and makeup for pictures with our little girl!’
Joy-Anna’s sister-in-law Anna – married to Josh Duggar – commented: ‘Such a precious little life! Annabell is so missed. We love you so much Joy and Austin!’, while Lauren Duggar, who suffered a miscarriage last year with Joy-Anna’s older brother Josiah, wrote: ‘She is such a gift! Forever loved!’
Carlin Bates, who did Joy-Anna’s make-up for the personal shoot, wrote on her own Instagram: ‘I wish there were words to express how broken hearted I am for my best friend. Seeing her give birth to her little girl, Annabell Elise, and knowing that she would never be able to hold her again while on earth just brings tears to my eyes.
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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. . “All the way my Savior leads me; What have I to ask beside? Can I doubt His tender mercy, Who through life has been my Guide? Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort, Here by faith in Him to dwell! For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well, For I know, whate’er befall me, Jesus doeth all things well.” -Fanny Crosby
‘Yet, through it all, she has been so strong and held on to Jesus, knowing that we will see her little baby in heaven one day. I know that Jesus doesn’t promise that we will not face difficulties in this life, but He does promise to be by our side every step of the way. I’m so grateful to have a friend as precious as Joy, and I know that she would covet prayers at this hard time.’
Meanwhile, Joy-Anna’s parents Jim and Michelle, who have 19 children, 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-Anna and Austin, who got married in May 2017 after six months together, welcomed their first child, Gideon, in February last year.
The reality star is the ninth child of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, whose devout Baptist family life was documented on the TLC series 19 Kids And Counting, which ended in 2015.
The Duggar kids – Josh, Jana, John-David, Jill, Jessa, Junger, Joseph, Josiah, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah, Jeremiah, Jason, James, Justin, Jackson, Johannah, Jennifer, Jordyn-Grace and Josie – range from 31 to nine years old.
Jim Bob and Michelle have 12 grandchildren with another three on the way.
Joy-Anna now stars on Counting On, which focuses on the lives of the older Duggars, Jessa, Jinger and Joy-Anna.
Jill stopped appearing on the show in 2016, while eldest brother Josh does not take part following revelations that he molested five underage girls between when he was 14 and 15 years old; four of the girls being his siblings.
For support around stillbirth and miscarriage, call Sands on 0808 164 3332.
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