The following photos are both heartbreaking and disturbing.
In many ways, however, they are also very important.
Days after Joy-Anna Duggar and husband Austin Forsyth revealed to the world that the former recently suffered a miscarriage, meaning they had lost their expected second baby, the Counting On stars posted two new pictures on Instagram.
Each features the husband and wife cradling their stillborn daughter.
It's tragic, but true:
Because Joy-Anna did not lose the child until her 20th week of pregnancy, she actually had to give birth to its corpse.
We hate to be so blunt, and we truly cannot comprehend what this must have been like, but it's simply what sadly transpired for Joy-Anna.
"We only had her for 20 weeks, Life is fragile and precious," wrote Joy-Anna, and Austin as a caption to these images, adding:
"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!"
Joy-Anna and Austin, who are already parents to one-year-old son Gideon, talked candidly about the awful news that they lost baby-number two in a black and white Instagram photo on Wednesday.
Here is the photo:
And here is what they wrote:
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.
In response to the miscarriage, many loved ones have sent their condolences to the TLC personalities.
"We were so sad to hear that Joy and Austin’s baby girl passed away mid-way through their pregnancy,” Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar wrote on Instagram in response to this news, adding:
"The pain of losing a child is unimaginable. Yet, for the one whose hope is in God, there is a peace that surpasses our finite understanding.
“We pray that God will comfort Joy and Austin and carry them through this difficult time."
Added Jessa Seewald:
"@AustinandJoyforsyth our hearts are breaking over your loss. Such beautiful words you’ve written in your post. Annabell will forever be in our hearts. We love you all and are praying for God’s peace and comfort during this time."
And Anna Duggar:
"Austin and Joy we love you both so much and my heart aches for your loss, we look forward to meeting Annabel Elise one day in heaven!"
And even Tori Roloff of Little People, Big World fame chimed in as follows:
“I am so sorry. You are in my prayers. How blessed she is that she gets to be with Jesus and she gets to call you two mom and dad.”
Austin and Joy-Anna had announced they were expecting again on May 1.
"Our favorite math is addition and we are very excited to share that the Forsyth family is adding a member!” they said at the time, continuing:
"Marriage and being a mom and dad to Gideon has already far exceeded our expectations.
"We are looking forward to loving another little one and seeing what special dynamic he or she brings to our family. Table for 4 sounds perfect!"
We send our thoughts and prayers to the couple during this tragic time.