Jill Duggar Dillard reveals stillbirth of daughter 4 months into pregnancy, asks for prayers

Derick Dillard and Jill Dillard are pictured in a Thanksgiving photograph shared on Instagram on November 23, 2017.
Derick Dillard and Jill Dillard are pictured in a Thanksgiving photograph shared on Instagram on November 23, 2017. | Derick Dillard/Instagram

Jill Duggar Dillard, who shot to fame on “19 Kids and Counting,” and her husband, Derrick, revealed the stillbirth of their daughter, Isla Marie Dillard, after the four month of pregnancy.

The couple shared the news in a joint post on Instagram and on their personal blog on April 13.

“It is with heavy hearts that we announce the stillbirth of our beautiful baby girl, Isla Marie Dillard. Jill was 4 months pregnant (due in August) when we found out that our baby died in utero. From the moment we found out we were pregnant, we couldn’t wait to meet our baby. Isla was much loved from the start, and her 3 big brothers were so excited to introduce her to their world,” they wrote. 

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“We appreciate your prayers as we continue to grieve and heal from the loss of our little Isla Marie.”

The Dillards are parents to three boys: Israel, 9, Samuel, 6, and Fredrick, 1. The couple previously opened up about experiencing pregnancy loss in an October 2021 blog post.

After Duggar Dillard discovered she was pregnant and announced the news to her family, they were overjoyed. However, she started to miscarry "a few days later," they wrote on the blog.

“Even though it was too early to tell the baby’s gender, we picked a name that we feel encompasses our baby’s significance and the life we will always remember: River Bliss Dillard,” they added.

"Our baby doesn't get to live here with us on earth, but is forever with the source of the river of life, in the presence of the Lord!" they said at the time. "And we chose Bliss for a middle name because our baby is living in perfect bliss with the Lord and was such a gift that brought immense joy and happiness to us even though only with us here on earth for a short time."

In February 2022, the couple announced that they were pregnant again on their blog and on Instagram.

“We were devastated last fall by the miscarriage of our sweet baby, River Bliss,” the blog read, before explaining that they had been keeping a secret about their progress for months. “We are expecting our rainbow baby due July 2022!”

Duggar Dillard is one of the 19 children of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who raised their children based on the teachings of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, a Christian umbrella organization established by Bill Gothard, as documented in the long-running TLC series “19 Kids and Counting” and a spinoff series, “Counting On.”

She has since left the philosophy associated with the IBLP behind and opened up about some of the problematic ideas that defined her upbringing in her memoir, Counting the Cost. Gothard, now 88, led the controversial church until 2014 when more than 30 women accused him of harassment and molestation.

Her sister, Jinger Duggar Vuolo, shared with The Christian Post how Gothard’s teaching offered the same promises the “health and wealth” gospel promotes: "Follow these rules, and your life will be richly blessed by God."

“In the teachings I grew up with, everything's black and white: If you live a certain way, you'll be blessed by God, Himself,” she said. “In one of [Gothard’s] seminars, I remember him saying, ‘Life is a very delicate cause and effect sequence. So if you live by my principles’ — which he would say were biblical principles — ‘your life will be a success, and God will make you prosper in everything that you do. And if you don't, your life will be one disaster after another.’”

“You can do your best as a parent but at the end of the day, you have to trust God,” she said. “I think that's where a lot of parents got tied up in it, wanting the best for their kids. And ultimately, it ends up bringing harm because that type of man-made religion can build up your kids to perform well, and they can have the fear that grips them and cripples them into obedience, because you think, ‘If I step outside of this box, if I listen to rock music, I might be killed in a car accident,’ OK, that’s scary. So you’re motivated by fear and not out of the love for God.” 

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