Joy Duggar Forsyth Reveals A Scary Pregnancy Update

She may never have a family as huge as the one in which she grew up, but Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth is delighted to be expanding her household in a small way. The ninth child of the "19 Kids & Counting" reality-show clan, Joy recently announced the big news that she and her husband, Austin, are expecting their third child. The new arrival, due in late May, will join big sibs Gideon Martyn, 4, and Evelyn Mae, 2. While Joy is still in her first trimester, she's already experiencing a pregnancy craving that's beyond relatable: She can't get enough pickles.

While Joy is looking great and reveling in her growing baby bump, this pregnancy isn't without worries. In a recent video posted to the Forsyths' YouTube channel, Joy took fans to her October 25 OB-GYN appointment, where she got her first exciting view of her baby. The outline of the baby was clear, and the doctor pointed out movement in the arms and legs. But, outside the exam room, Joy explained that she has a variation of the gene MTHFR that puts her at higher risk of developing blood clots that could harm her and her child. "I am now going to have to start doing shots daily, taking blood thinners, a lot more vitamins, and then deliver early as well," Joy said. 

The expectant Duggar mom was clearly thrown by the news. "This is all a huge surprise," she confessed.

Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth has a high-risk pregnancy.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, the MTHFR gene plays an important part in helping the body process the nutrient folate. Some individuals also have elevated homocysteine levels, and pregnant women with this condition may be at increased risk for blood clots in the uterus, preeclampsia, miscarriage, or neural tube defects in the baby, per Healthline. This appears to be the case for Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth during this pregnancy. In her latest YouTube video, Joy explained that she needs to take daily injections of a blood thinner to prevent a dangerous blood clot. 

This was sobering news for Joy, who has already known a mother's heartache. In 2019, while expecting her second child, she suffered a stillbirth at 20 weeks. She and her husband, Austin Forsyth, named the baby girl Annabell Elise and took time to hold her and say goodbye (via Today). Joy's doctor now thinks it's possible that her condition might have contributed to the stillbirth.

Though Joy is determined to follow her doctor's advice, she is understandably concerned about having a high-risk pregnancy. "It's all kind of crazy," she admitted in the video. "I didn't know it was going to be like this." Still, "I'm just thankful the baby's healthy... and it's going to be worth it [to take the blood-thinner shots]." In an Instagram Stories follow-up, Joy explained that Austin is giving her the injections, which she finds less painful than when administering them herself.