By Charlotte Hilton Andersen, REDBOOK
Michelle Duggar announced this week that she is pregnant with the family's 20th child (and I do mean "family's child" because raising a kid is definitely something done by the whole tribe in their household). Wow. So what do you say to someone who has just explained they will soon have more kids than Lindsay Lohan has second chances? I'd start with "Congratulations." They're happy, the baby is wanted and they have the means to care for their newest little J(ehosaphat? Please??) so however the rest of us may feel about having a "quiverfull" of kids, this is really the only appropriate response. Besides I'm not even half the mom Michelle Duggar is (technically, by the numbers I'm 1/4 of the mom she is) so I'm certainly not in a position to offer advice.
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This hasn't stopped the experts from weighing in with their opinions on the latest news from the famously large brood.
On the issue of Bob and Michelle being too old: "I'd rather have nice parents that are 45 years older than me than mean ones who are younger," says one expert on the Today show.
On Michelle being a high-risk pregnancy at 45: "That uterus can't have any spring left in it!" said Dr. Nancy Snyderman who went on to compare Michelle's lady business to a water balloon.
On Michelle possibly dying: "The more pregnancies one has, the greater the risk of a bad outcome that could leave the children that are already born without a mother," said Dr. Philip Darney, director of the Bixby Center for Global Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco.
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On Michelle's mental state: "Michelle is thinking: 'Surely it's His will that she live and continue to love and nurture all those beautiful children whom He has blessed her with,' " explains Vyckie Garrison and former member of the Quiverfull movement. She goes on to call her a "maternal martyr."
On the reality show angle: "The Duggars are to families what the Kardashians are to marriage," says Rebecca Jane at FemPop.
And the most pressing concern: "What "J" names are left for the Duggars to use?"
As for the Duggars themselves, Michelle says, "We always have the motto around our house 'There's always room for one more.' They are such a gift, we are so grateful for each one of them." Jim Bob adds, "We didn't want to stop at an odd number either."
Now that you've heard what everyone else is saying about the newest Duggar baby due in April 2012, what do you say on the subject?
Read more of Charlotte on REDBOOK's The Motherboard blog.
Charlotte Hilton Andersen is a mom of 5 and the author of the book The Great Fitness Experiment: One Year of Trying Everything and the blog of the same name.
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