"I was praying to God to give me strength," Jill told People magazine during an exclusive interview. "I was really scared and nervous, but I was praying."
Jill’s original due date was March 24, but her water didn’t break until the early hours of April 4. Her labor was close to 70 hours with contractions sometimes minutes apart.
"I had been praying for contractions and when contractions did start, God made me grateful for those contractions," she told the magazine. "When they came, even though they were really intense, I was crying, but I was saying, 'Thank you for this contraction God, this is what I prayed for, thank you for this.' "
The 23-year-old Jill is a student midwife and has attended over 60 births. She put together her own extensive birth plan, but that still could not prepare the new mom for what she called "that early labor freak-out moment,” telling her husband, "I'm really scared, pray for me.'"
Jill praised Derick’s support and preparation for baby Israel's happy and healthy arrival. Derick attended Bradley birthing classes with his wife. Jill confessed, "Derick had blood blisters on his hands from doing a hip squeeze during labor.”
The new mom says, “His birth didn’t go as expected. But having him here – it’s worth all of it. I wouldn’t do anything differently.”
Experience the arrival of Israel David on TLC's hit show “19 Kids and Counting” on May 5.
For more of Jill and Derick's exclusive interview and for personal photos of their son Israel David, pick up the new issue of People.