‘Jill & Jessa: Counting On’ Recap: Jessa Duggar Reveals Josh Duggar’s Scandals Were ‘Difficult’ Because She Initially ‘Stood Up for Him’

It’s never too early to see the world — just ask baby Spurgeon. On the Tuesday, April 26, episode of Jill & Jessa: Counting On, the Duggar family was preparing to travel to Central America to visit Derick Dillard, Jill and their son, Israel. Though Ben Seewald and Jessa were somewhat hesitant to commit to such a lengthy international trip with a newborn, knowing that her sister had been living down there with a son of her own (with no major disasters happening) gave Jessa the courage she needed to go for it.

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The first order of business was getting Spurgeon, now over 4 months old, his own passport. Though Jessa reported that their first attempt at securing the required photo was an epic fail thanks to what sounded like a faulty diaper, the second time around went smoothly, and the little tyke was good to go — except that they needed to take “special precautions.” (Those “special precautions” turned out to be sunscreen and bug spray.)

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“I am so thankful that after a really difficult year, my family is stronger than ever, and going on this trip is really a testament to that,” Jessa mused with a smile.

To Kiss or Not to Kiss

As they packed for their upcoming adventure, Jessa and Ben got nostalgic, and the show took a trip down memory lane by playing standout moments from their courtship and wedding. The biggest highlight, by far, was actually what wasn’t seen: Ben and Jessa’s first kiss. After exchanging vows, the couple opted to experience their first (ever!) smooch in private.

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“We didn’t want to draw everybody’s attention to only the kiss,” Ben explained. “We wanted them to see what the ceremony was all about and pay attention to the message afterwards and not just be analyzing our kiss.” Jessa chimed in, “Too short, too long, too mushy, not mushy enough.” After the fact, Ben reported that their first kiss was “great,” while Jessa gushed, “Wow.”

A few of Jessa’s siblings then discussed whether they themselves would opt to swap spit for the first time in private. Joy said she wasn’t sure what she would do. “We’ll have to see what my guy thinks,” she reasoned. John-David said that to him, the whole thing wasn’t “that big of a deal,” but said he’d defer to his future spouse: “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.”

Reflecting on Josh

But the show didn’t only revisit the good times. Jessa shared some thoughts on how her brother Josh Duggar‘s molestation and cheating scandals affected her during her pregnancy. “It was very difficult, and we cried a lot of tears, and I feel like it was especially difficult for me just because I had spoken out for Josh and stood up for him, and then there was another whole wave of things that came through, and some things were exposed about his personal life now, what he was currently involved in … There were some things that he was hiding and that he wasn’t being honest about,” she said.

She was quick to add, however, “Being pregnant was a breath of fresh air because we had the birth of this child to look forward to.” Jessa argued that it helped the whole family “look forward to the future.” Jana agreed: “Even in some of the hardest times in your life, there can still be joy.”

Jessa’s Home Birth — and Not Naming Her Son for Five Days

Still discussing the recent past, Ben and Jessa reflected on the birth of their first child. “Both of us were eager to meet the baby, but neither of us were eager to go through the labor,” Ben said. Jessa added, “To be honest, my whole labor was just a mental blur. I felt like I wasn’t living in reality.”

Jessa also confessed that midway through her labor, she told Ben they were not having any more kids — but she admitted to forgetting all about that as soon as her son was in her arms. “In labor, you think, ‘I’m never going to do this again,’ but when you have your prize, you really forget how difficult it was,” she explained.

Jinger Duggar, Joy Anna Duggar, Joseph Duggar, Josiah Duggar, Jessa (Duggar) Seewald, Spurgeon Seewald, Ben Seewald, John David Duggar and Jana Duggar.
Jinger Duggar, Joy Anna Duggar, Joseph Duggar, Josiah Duggar, Jessa (Duggar) Seewald, Spurgeon Seewald, Ben Seewald, John David Duggar and Jana Duggar. TLC

Naming that prize proved to be a challenge, however, as the parents confirmed it took them five days to decide. They had settled on Spurgeon for the first name, but the middle name was tripping them up. They considered Michael, which is Ben’s middle name, but they thought that Spurgeon Michael was too clunky. Ultimately, they settled on Spurgeon Elliot. “I think it’s a really strong name, and looking at him now, I think it fits,” Jana reported.

As for life as new parents, Jessa said it was amazing. “He is the joy of our lives,” she gushed of the bundle of joy, noting that she was “really excited” for her big sister, Jill, to finally meet him. “It’s just going to be really special,” Jessa predicted.

After a long flight, Jessa, Ben and Spurgeon arrived in Central America, where Derick greeted them at the airport. (Jill stayed home with Israel.) As they drove toward the home where Derick and Jill were living, Jessa’s excitement continued to grow for the moment her sister would meet her son.

Tell Us: Are you surprised that it took this long for Jill to meet Spurgeon?

Jill & Jessa: Counting On airs on TLC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET. 

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