Josie Bates has revealed some devastating personal news:
She has suffered a miscarriage.
The Bringing Up Bates cast member detailed the awful development on Instagram on Wednesday, explaining that she and husband Kelton Balka were "over the moon" to be expecting a sibling for their 13-month-old daughter Willow Kristy in March 2021.
However, they found out during "a recent ultrasound" that she had lost the child.
"Sometimes you have to walk through experiences you never thought you would have to. This has been a very difficult time for our little family," wrote the 21--year old.
She included with this admission images of herself and Balka on the beach.
Continued the reality star:
"We were filled with anticipation as we began to dream of what it would be like as a family of four and for Willow to have a little playmate.
"We surprised our family and friends with the news at Willow's one year old birthday party! Already, my heart felt an unexplainable amount of excitement!"
Josie, who is very close with the Duggar family, continued to be an open book when it came to this tragedy.
"Sadly, when I went for a recent ultrasound, we were heartbroken to hear our precious baby had gone to be with Jesus," she wrote.
"Our hearts have been completely broken. I've never experienced the type of pain and loss that I've had these past weeks. There is an empty spot in our hearts and in our home."
Bates is a woman of strong faith.
She went on to say that she and her husband "know God has a purpose for" their baby's "short life," even though the grieving parents "never got to see our baby face to face or hold its tiny hand."
"I added a charm to my necklace, next to Willow's, to help us never forget the memories of how this little one made us feel and how much love and joy it brought to our family," Bates wrote of the above photo. "We are grateful for the love and prayers from so many during this time."
"In spite of our grieving, we have peace in knowing that our little baby is in heaven with Kelton's sweet mom," she said, citing her mother-in-law, who passed away when Balka was 13 years old... while giving birth to her fifth child.
Bates and Balka got married October of 2018 in the Tennessee mountains.
They announced they were expecting first child the following February.
"We couldn't be happier to announce that we're having a baby!" the then-parent-to-be told People Magazine back then.
"We are a little nervous but totally flooded with joy as we're starting this new journey of love and parenting together!"
On September 24, Bringing Up Bates will air an episode that centers on Bates telling Balka about her second pregnancy.
According to People, UPtv offered to edit this portion of the episode out.
But the footage will remain intact because the couple wants to preserve the memory of discovering the jouyous news, cementing their unborn daughter's place in their immediate family.
We send them our very best.