Last week, “Counting On” star Joy-Anna Duggar shared the heartbreaking news that she and her husband Austin Forsyth had lost their second child in a miscarriage — a little girl they later named Annabell Elise.
Now the 21-year-old is sharing a series of intimate pictures of her and her family saying goodbye to their precious daughter.
When the Forsyths walked into the doctor’s office for their 20-week ultrasound, they were expectantly waiting to see their second child through the ultrasound and learn the baby’s gender.
The doctor was able to tell them that the child Joy-Anna was carrying was a little girl, but he also shared heartbreaking news.
“So this is your baby’s heart (pointing to the ultrasound screen),” Joy-Anna later recalled the doctor saying. “I don’t hear a heartbeat or see any movement.”
On July 3, 2019, just a week after she and her husband heard those words, she shared her grief on her Instagram.
“Although we don’t understand why, God has given us unexplainable peace and comfort during this very difficult time,” she wrote. “Yes, it still hurts and we have cried countless tears, but we know that we can trust the Lord.”
“We don’t grieve as those who have no hope because we trust that we will see this little one again.”
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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
The heartbroken mother also shared the meaning behind their daughter’s name: Annabell means “God has favored me” and Elise means “God satisfies.”
Joy-Anna’s older sister, Jessa Duggar, commented on the post and expressed her love and support for the grieving couple.
“We love y’all so much and we grieve with you over this loss,” Jessa wrote. “I love the name you chose and the meaning behind it. ❤️ Annabell Elise will forever be in our hearts.”
A couple of days later Joy-Anna shared pictures of her, her husband and other family members saying their last goodbyes to Annabelle — this side of heaven.
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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!💖
One particularly sobering picture shows Annabell’s two tiny, stamped footprints next to a quarter for reference.
“We only had her for 20 weeks,” the grieving parents wrote. “Life is fragile and precious. So thankful the Lord gave her to us for that short time! She will be in our hearts forever!”
We are praying for Joy-Anna, Austin and the rest of the Duggar family as they grieve and lean on the Lord of comfort and peace.
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