How Lauren Duggar helped Joy-Anna through her miscarriage

The Duggar kids are no stranger to tragedy, suffering through the accidental death of their grandmother earlier this year (via People). However, they're also fortunate to have a large and close family to lean on during life's most challenging times. In February, Lauren and Josiah Duggar announced to their followers that in late 2018 they miscarried their first baby

The heartbreaking news was made even more complicated by the fact that their sister, Jessa, was also pregnant — and, per Us Weekly, had the same due date as Lauren. Jessa explained further, "My heart aches for them. I weep when I think of how difficult it must be for her to see me pregnant in the very stages where she would've been — right up through the baby's due date." According to Us Weekly, though, it seems Lauren really appreciated Jessa's support and is now paying it forward to sister-in-law Joy-Anna, who announced her miscarriage on Instagram in July.

Lauren Duggar knows how difficult miscarriage is

Lauren recently took to Instagram to post an encouraging message for October's Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. She ended her sweet note with the sentiment, "Remember, that you are loved. You are a warrior. You are not alone. You are not forgotten," highlighting the importance of supporting other parents who have suffered this kind of loss. It's a message that hits close to home for Lauren, and having recently gone through it herself, she's in a unique position to support Joy-Anna. 

In a recent Counting On clip, Lauren said of miscarriage, "It's hard to talk about it. It's not pretty, it's horrible and some people feel ashamed by it." For her part, Lauren told Us Weekly that she attempts to ease her sister-in-law's suffering by "sending her encouragement and sending her scripture." She further explained, "I know what it feels like when someone's pregnant and you're not. I know what you're feeling and just knowing to be sensitive [to] different things." Sometimes, that level of empathy is what it takes to really help someone through a difficult time.

Lauren isn't the only on supporting Joy-Anna

In the emotional post announcing their miscarriage, Joy-Anna and Austin revealed, "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." A few weeks later, a post showed fans that another of Joy-Anna's sisters-in-law knew just how much that name meant to the grieving couple. Austin's sister Meagan Ballinger gifted Joy-Anna a gold necklace with "Annabell Elise" written in a delicate script on it. Of the sweet gift, Joy-Anna told Us Weekly she "hasn't taken it off."

In that same interview, Joy-Anna revealed the rest of Austin's family was "a huge blessing," further explaining, "They would help keep Gideon so we could have some alone time. My parents and my siblings were there for me. They would come and bring us meals and food and just give us encouraging words. My mom would write down scripture for me and post it everywhere. We had a lot of support." 

Going through a miscarriage is never easy, but it must be especially difficult for Joy-Anna, whose family seems to constantly be expanding — Today reported Joe Duggar and his wife welcomed their second baby on November 2. It seems Joy-Anna and Austin are doing whatever they need to heal, often taking time to simply be with each other, and even skipping out on a family trip to Los Angeles in favor of a Colorado road trip, per In Touch.

Fans think Joy-Anna's friends and family can do better

Based on what Joy-Anna has said of her family and their support thus far, it's safe to assume the Duggar clan is more than happy to do whatever it takes to make her happy in this difficult time. However, in a world where celebrities' social media accounts are full of fans who think they know better, Joy-Anna's best friend Carlin Bates and parents haven't been safe from criticism. 

Both Bates and the Duggar family account posted sweet notes to Joy-Anna for her birthday on October 28, but fans were quick to point out that including photos of Joy-Anna while she was pregnant with Annabell might be insensitive (via In Touch). Considering Bates is Joy-Anna's best friend and flew to be with her when she lost her baby, and the post on the Duggar account is from her parents, it's highly likely everyone involved knew what they were doing, and that Joy-Anna would appreciate the gestures. For her part, Joy-Anna even said so on Bates' post, writing, "THANK YOU, CARLIN!!!! I love you more than I can express!!" in response. 

Grieving is different for everyone, and this has no doubt been an incredibly difficult time for Joy-Anna, but it seems she is surrounded by people whose support she can count on.