Renowned TV figure Joy-Anna Duggar emerged from the Duggar family, recognized for popular reality shows like “19 Kids and Counting” and “Counting On”. She is the ninth child and fifth daughter of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who are devout Baptists and follow strict rules of courtship, modesty, and family planning. Joy-Anna married Austin Forsyth, a contractor, and pilot, in May 2017, after a brief courtship and engagement. The couple has three children: Gideon, Evelyn, and a baby boy born in May 2023.
The Tragic Miscarriage: Annabelle’s Story
In July 2019, Joy-Anna and Austin announced that they had suffered a miscarriage at 20 weeks of pregnancy. They named their daughter Annabell Elise and shared photos of them holding her in the hospital. They also posted a heartfelt message on Instagram, expressing their grief and faith in God’s plan. “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!” Joy-Anna wrote.
The Bittersweet Experience: Welcoming Gunner
In August 2020, Joy-Anna and Austin welcomed their second child, a daughter named Evelyn Mae. They shared the happy news on social media, along with photos of their newborn. “To say my heart is full is an understatement,” Joy-Anna captioned one of the posts. “We have been dreaming of this day and are so happy to announce that our baby girl arrived August 21st at 2:12pm weighing 8lbs 5oz and is 19.5” long! She has the best personality, is easy going and loves to be held! She has her nights and days mixed up, but honestly, I love it! Getting to spend that quiet, quality time with her through the night has been SO special!”
However, the birth of Evelyn was also a reminder of the loss of Annabell, who would have been born around the same time. Joy-Anna admitted that she felt a mix of emotions as she celebrated her daughter’s arrival. “It’s been a very bittersweet day for me,” she wrote on Instagram. “Annabell would have been due this week… I’m so grateful for God giving us sweet Evelyn this year… but I still miss our Annabell greatly!”
Finding Comfort: Support from Family and Friends
Joy-Anna and Austin have received a lot of support from their family and friends throughout their journey of parenthood. They have often praised their parents, siblings, in-laws and church members for their help and encouragement. They have also shared how they have leaned on each other and their faith to cope with the highs and lows of life. “Austin has been such a huge encouragement to me through this whole process,” Joy-Anna said in a YouTube video after her miscarriage. “He has been by my side nonstop… He’s reminded me of Scripture… He’s prayed with me.”
The couple has also found comfort in honoring Annabell’s memory in various ways. They planted a flower garden in their backyard as a tribute to their daughter. They also visited her grave on what would have been her fourth birthday in July 2023. They posted a photo of them holding balloons and flowers at the cemetery, along with a touching caption: “Happy Birthday, Annabell! We miss you so much! You are always in our hearts! We can’t wait to see you again someday!”
Healing and Moving Forward
Joy-Anna and Austin have expressed their gratitude for their three children and their hope for the future. They have shared their joy of watching Gideon and Evelyn grow up and bond with each other. They have also welcomed their third child, a son, in May 2023, after announcing their pregnancy in October 2022. They revealed his name as Gunner James Forsyth in an Instagram post, along with a photo of him sleeping in his crib. “He’s here! Thank you all for praying… Mama and baby are recovering well,” Joy-Anna wrote.
The couple has also hinted that they are not done having kids yet. In a YouTube Q&A uploaded in June 2023, Joy-Anna answered a fan’s question about whether they want more children or not. “Everyone is asking me this question,” she said with a laugh. “I don’t know if we’re done or not… We’re just enjoying our three kids right now… But we’ll see what the Lord has in store for us.”
Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth have been through a lot of ups and downs in their journey of parenthood. They have experienced the joy of welcoming three children, as well as the pain of losing one. They have found comfort in their faith, family and friends, and have honored their daughter’s memory in meaningful ways. This couple also conveyed their thanks for the good fortune they received, along with their optimism for what lies ahead. Their display of strength, devotion, and belief amidst challenges stands testament to their character.