Jill Duggar Dillard gave birth to a son, Israel David, on April 6. The overall delivery lasted about 70 hours, and she faced various complications along the way.
In an exclusive report by Alicia C. Dennis of People Magazine, the star of TLC's "19 Kids and Counting" and her husband, 26-year-old Derick, shared the intimate details of their son's birth. The delivery began after her water broke on April 4.
"I was praying to God to give me strength," Dillard said. "I was really scared and nervous, but I was praying."
Dennis reported that other members of the Duggar family, including her mother, 48-year-old Michelle, and sister, 25-year-old Jana, pitched in to help her during labor.
"Jill was telling me, "I don't know when my labor is going to start. I don't know when to think it is labor and when it is Braxton Hicks contractions,'" Derick said. "God answered her prayer with her water breaking because that doesn't always happen and then she knew she was in labor."
According to Dennis, the labor process lasted close to 70 hours and had intermittent contractions. In addition, Dillard worked as a student midwife and has attended over 60 births.
"What I love about our story is that, at the beginning, my water broke and I was really scared," Dillard said. "I thought, 'I have seen so many people go through this labor thing, and I know what to expect in that aspect, and I know it is going to be really hard.'"
Dillard then told her husband that she was "scared" and "nervous" about the birth process, asking him to "pray for me." She asked God for a sign when she was ready to give birth.
"I had been praying for contractions, and when contractions did start, God made me grateful for those contractions," Dillard said. "When they came, even though they were really intense, I was crying, but I was saying, 'Thank you for this contraction, God, this is what I prayed for, thank you for this.'"
Dillard told Dennis that she had an extensive birth plan prepared so she could have her child at home. Even though she had contingency plans, Derick noted that they ended up going to hospital.
"Though we were planning on a home birth, we were grateful to have the option of being in the hospital," Derick said.
Derick told Dennis that even though he was nervous for his wife, he helped her focus on the delivery by reminding her about the good times they had during their honeymoon in North Carolina.
"I would say, 'Think about being on the beach on our honeymoon, just think about this one contraction, don't think about the future ones,'" Derick said.
Dillard appreciated Derick's gesture.
"Derick would say, 'You're going to get to see him, you're going to get to see him, the pain won't mean anything, just one contraction at a time,'" Dillard said. "He did such a great job."
According to Dennis, TLC will air Dillard's childbirth on "19 Kids and Counting" on May 5.