Since Joy-Anna Duggar Forsyth has been on TV for more than half her life, she’s a little more adept at preparing for home videos than the rest of us — even when she’s giving birth.
The Counting On star showed herself to be poised and camera-ready almost the entire 12-plus minutes of the edited Youtube video of her labor and delivery of second child, Evelyn Mae Forsyth. She even pauses to do her makeup amid some serious contractions.
“Everybody wants an update, so here I am,” she says at the beginning of the video, which begins at 7 a.m. on August 21. The 22-year-old apologizes for her “puffy eyes” but looks incredibly presentable and alert for someone who had already been in the hospital and laboring since 8 p.m. the night before.
The doctor broke her water and gave her Pitocin to get the process moving along more, she explains, before the video cuts to her standing and moaning in her husband’s arms during one of her contractions.
Later, she’s about to film another update and stops herself, saying, “Never mind. I’m having a contraction. I’m going to go.”
I don’t know how anyone else’s contractions were, but even the fact that Forsyth can stop the camera and say that much instead of screaming incoherently is impressive to me. Especially as it turns out that the baby was sunny-side up, in which the baby’s spine pushes against her mom’s, adding that extra element of pain known as back labor.
The video continues to show bits of her day. She got an epidural after laboring without one for so many hours, and expressed nothing but relief about that decision, despite not using one for Forsyth’s first son, Gideon, two years ago.
“I’m so happy I got the epidural … I don’t see how people do this without epidurals,” she says, talking to sister-in-law Rachel. “I don’t know how I did it with Gideon.”
At around noon is when Rachel helped Joy-Anna put on makeup, with a pause mid-powder for her contractions. Now, a whole lot of us might scoff at the idea of makeup when we’re working so hard to bring another life into the world, but again, this is a girl who knows about living in front of an audience.
If she wants to look a certain way for her 1 million Instagram followers, then that’s her choice. And if you want to look that way for your 20 followers, that is also OK.
Though many of us would not make this choice, we still kind of want a list of the products she used. Because that makeup stayed in place, even as she pushed for a whole hour before Evelyn was finally born at 2:12.
We don’t see all the nitty gritty details of that part of her laboring, but it is quite fascinating to watch Joy-Anna’s face during each push. She is both tired and strong, determined and even, at one point, apologetic. The whole time, she remains eager to meet her little girl.
“To say my heart is full is an understatement,” Forsyth wrote in her birth announcement three days later. “We have been dreaming of this day and are so happy to announce that our baby girl arrived August 21st at 2:12pm weighing 8lbs 5oz and is 19.5” long! She has the best personality, is easy going and loves to be held!”