Jessa Duggar gave birth on her living room couch, and the whole saga was filmed
To each their own.
When Jessa Duggar Seewald realized in May that she was going into labor ten days early, she was forced to re-evaluate her plan, which was to work with her midwife in a birthing suite at a local hospital. Unfortunately, her midwife had just gone out of town, putting a wrench in the arrangement.
Most people would just head to the hospital anyway, but the Duggars aren't "most people"! Instead, Jessa opted to "call another midwife and do a home birth," she explained. Hours later, she delivered the baby right on her living room couch.
"Counting On" cameras documented the whole day of activity: At 10:30 AM, under her midwife's advisement, Jessa, 26, started walking up and down her staircase, noting that "being active" helped get her contractions going during her last two pregnancies. She also mixed up some homemade smoothies with contraction-friendly ingredients. Seven hours later, everything started happening fast.
While Jessa seemed at ease with the change in plan, her husband, Ben, was perhaps more apprehensive as he comforted his pained wife before the birth: "How ya feelin', Ben?" Jessa's sister, Jill, asked him.
In response, he just offered a fatigued shrug.
The mechanics of a couch birth may seem complicated, but it looked relatively simple on camera. Jessa sat upright on the couch while her midwife crouched on the floor. All was well until the Ben, Jill and the midwife realized that Jessa's continual bleeding wasn't coming to a stop.
After some trepidation ("I say let's go, just to make sure everything's good," Ben insisted), everyone agreed to call 911 and get medics involved, and Jessa was transported to the hospital.
The baby, Ivy Jane, is Jessa and Ben's first daughter. They also have two young sons.