Jill Duggar Confirms Wild Rules Of Her Family's Pregnancy Announcements

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The List obtained a copy of "Counting the Cost," Jill Duggar Dillard's new memoir, and in the book, which was released September 12, 2023, she pulled back the curtain on "19 Kids and Counting" money secrets and perks. Jill also opened up about some wild rules she had to follow regarding pregnancy announcements due to her life in the reality TV spotlight — as if pregnancy isn't already overwhelming enough!

Jill explained how her parents believed that they still had "parental authority" over their adult children. "We were careful to avoid their displeasure," Jill said in her memoir, "and so pretty much did whatever was expected of us, from wearing the right clothes to saying yes to whatever the show required." That obedience meant that she and her husband, Derick Dillard, had to follow rules set by the producers regarding their pregnancy announcement.

The producers had to know first, because they needed to shoot Jill and Derick telling her parents about the pregnancy. Jill told some of her sisters and friends the news ahead of time. Regarding telling the world, "I had to promise the crew that we would all keep it a secret ... since we couldn't make a formal announcement for another month — due to the show still rolling out our wedding story and teasing the blossoming relationship and forthcoming wedding of my sister Jessa and Ben."

Jill was conflicted and didn't want to disappoint anyone

IBLP stands for the Institute in Basic Life Principles, and it's the offshoot of Christianity that the Duggars practiced. In her memoir, Jill Duggar Dillard said, "IBLP teaching was clear that [my father's] authority over me would never diminish." That's one reason she felt she had to follow along with the producer's rules on her pregnancy announcement.

Jill recounted in "Counting the Cost" how the family pregnancy announcement went well, but the lead-up to the public pregnancy announcement was a different beast. Jill said, "I was inundated with emails, texts, and calls from the network and production crew as they were trying to organize things and make sure 'the announcement' — carefully scheduled so as not to detract from Jessa's wedding — went off without a hitch. ... I was tempted to remind people that this was my baby we were talking about, but I didn't want to play the role of Crabby First-Time Mom. Not yet at least."

Jill and Derick Dillard had to work with People magazine on the official pregnancy announcement, because they were the media outlet chosen to tell the world the news. Jill said in "Counting the Cost" that this kind of thing was typical to her since she'd seen other women in her family go through it. Derick, on the other hand, was surprised at the rules they had to follow and did not want the TLC network running the pregnancy.

Jill compromised about having her labor filmed

Jill Duggar Dillard felt sorry for her mother Michelle Duggar and sister-in-law Anna Duggar because their baby's births were made into television spectacles. Jill was conflicted about what to do herself: "I wanted to please everyone, not just my husband, but my parents and the network as well." She felt if her parents were not happy with her decision, " ... I would be sinning by not following God's will."

Jill eventually decided she did not want her birth filmed for "19 Kids & Counting." While telling this to one of the show's producers, Scott, he got a little emotional. Jill felt guilty and agreed that she'd allow her mother and her sister Jana Duggar to film part of the birth. "This was [Scott's] last offer — the compromise I had to make," Jill said. "If I said no ... I'd have an even bigger battle on my hands. Pops and the whole network would probably get involved. I didn't know whether Derick [Dillard] and I could withstand a force like that."

Unfortunately, after giving birth, Jill still had the network on her mind, uneasy that someone would break the rules and share the birth news before People did. They also filmed their own labor video, and she felt bad about that. Clearly, the stress of having your life so public could not have been easy. But now, Jill is risking everything to tell her truth — and we love her for it.