Jill Dillard opens up on getting an emergency C-section

Derick and Jill Dillard with baby Israel in hospital

For months, 19 Kids and Counting‘s Jill Dillard prepared to have a natural home-delivery with her firstborn. Then she went into labor and was forced to change plans for her health and the health of little Israel.

“His birth didn’t go as expected,” Jill told People this week of Israel’s April 6th arrival. “But having him here – it’s worth all of it. I wouldn’t do anything differently.”

The problems began soon after Jill’s water broke when doctors diagnosed her with strep B, a bacteria that can be transmitted from mom to baby during delivery. According to the American Pregnancy Association, that can cause the baby to develop sepsis, pneumonia, meningitis, breathing problems, kidney problems and/or heart and blood pressure instability. To ward off the chance of passing it on, Jill started antibiotics through an IV.

Twenty hours into her labor and with little progression, Jill — a student midwife — noticed a faint stain of meconium, which can be a sign the baby is in distress. At that point, she and Derick decided they needed to go to the hospital.

“I was praying to God to give me strength,” she said. “I was really scared and nervous, but I was praying.”

For the next two days, Jill continued to labor without Pitocin (to accelerate labor) or pain medications. But, unfortunately, Israel flipped into a transverse breech position and was exhibiting irregular heart beats. With advice from their doctors, Jill and Derick decided she needed to go ahead with an emergency C-section. Then, after 70 hours of labor, Israel David Dillard was finally born!

“I love our birth story because it bonded us so well,” she said.

Since then, Jill’s been trying to recovery — and, thankfully, has a helpful husband.

“I still haven’t changed a single diaper,” she said. “Derick has been changing them all.”

A special episode of 19 Kids and Counting about Jill’s birth story will air on TLC on Mother’s Day.

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