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Josiah & Lauren 18: Still Only A Single Arrow in the Quiver


nelliebelle1197

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I think it would be very strange for all of them to want a large brood. They were all raised in the same house with the same dumb teachings, but they are still nineteen distinct hearts and minds and, eventually, at least subtle outside influences. 

It's somewhat more likely (though I think not probable) for the rest of them to remain "fundamentalist" than all wish to stack up new children like cord wood. And of course, some of them will think that's what they want at first, then change their minds later. Same with homeschooling. They might all start out thinking that's just how you do, but it isn't all that probable every single one of the remaining horde will follow through. 

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The thing about them being presumed Quiverfull until proven otherwise is that when they married many of them did trot out the 'as many children as the Lord gives us' line, plus it's one of the checkboxes on Jim Bob's GYM questionnaire. And that's all we have on the record. So while they may indeed have moved away from that belief, until they come out and say so it's only speculation on our part.

They clearly differ from their parents in terms of pants wearing etc, but I think most here agree that that's no indicator for any alteration to their deeper beliefs, it's only that the culture of expressing them has changed somewhat. For what it's worth, I think it's likely that many or most of the kids will end up not Quiverfull - and from what little we know of Josiah he may well be one of them - but I also feel weird about making assumptions when they've said nothing themselves. And historically we have been way off-base in our speculation on which kidults will start to reject their upbringing and which will double down.

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I actually don’t think there has to be something up. Best case- they have sex when both are into it, and have somehow managed not to conceive (“bad” luck) or they made a reproductive decision on purpose that had led to only one child. Not conceiving in 2+ years of you are not actively trying to conceive is just not completely out of the ordinary. I mean this could easily mean sex once every or every other week. That’s not really a big window. That’s also what I call “leaving it up to God”. Just doing your thing and if it happens it happens. But those people seem to have very different ideas about this.
I am also not sure we can definitely say the others are Quiverfull in the sense that they actively try to conceive as often as possible. They might not use any form preventing measures but I am not sure this alone classifies as Quiverfull as it can lead to 0-X kids. It might tick the Quiverfull box though, I don’t know if that alone would fit the definition. 
I can totally see them having a Quiverfull mindset and think that’s very possible though.

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17 hours ago, breakfree said:

Miscarriages are common but you need to have 3 in a row, at least when you are young, for doctors to think there's likely any problem. I find it unlikely that one miscarriage would likely indicate some kind of predisposition to having a ton of them especially with a living child immediately after, though I do agree these two won't share further losses, we will only be able to deduce them if they stick to their alphabet theme. I've admitted it is possible.

But I have to say a lot of people here are reluctant in general to accept the most likely answer (that couples are intentionally or perhaps unintentionally doing *something* to space pregnancies) until they come out and say so. While as they come from deeply quiverful parents I do understand that, I think the most likely explanation usually is right. Many people even here believed Jill had a hysterectomy before believing she was spacing in some way even after Derek outright said she hadn't had one. Quiverful is not a key principle of all fundamentalism, rejecting it isn't unusual among fundies and I think assuming  all these kiddults are quiverful even when only a few so far (Kendra, Jessa, Anna) obviously are breeding for Jesus isn't necessarily correct.

For me, personally, I’m not at all reluctant to believe that some of the couples are using some sort of family planning -  

I just don’t think most of them have been married long enough to really have much more than a hunch one way or the other. Anna has been married the longest, has a ton of children,  clearly is very firmly wanting as many as God allows— but she still has about 2 years between each kid.  She has 7, not 12.  Kendra had 3 back to back - and gives every appearance of being the most likely bet to hit mega-family numbers — or she could have always wanted 3 or4 close together when she’s young- and then be done. Abby  and Lauren certainly seem like they could be avoiding a new pregnancy — but if either of them is pregnant/soon to be pregnant , the kids would still be the very standard 2 1/2 years apart. 

Generally women who are just letting nature take it’s course tend to have new babies every 1 1/2 to 3 years. With a lot of variation even in most individual women.  There just hasn’t been enough time to get an idea if they are purposefully having a dozen, or one, or five. And we won’t know unless they tell us if particular spacing is due to intention - or difficulty conceiving or even birth control failure. 

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1 hour ago, Mama Mia said:

For me, personally, I’m not at all reluctant to believe that some of the couples are using some sort of family planning -  

I just don’t think most of them have been married long enough to really have much more than a hunch one way or the other. Anna has been married the longest, has a ton of children,  clearly is very firmly wanting as many as God allows— but she still has about 2 years between each kid.  She has 7, not 12.  Kendra had 3 back to back - and gives every appearance of being the most likely bet to hit mega-family numbers — or she could have always wanted 3 or4 close together when she’s young- and then be done. Abby  and Lauren certainly seem like they could be avoiding a new pregnancy — but if either of them is pregnant/soon to be pregnant , the kids would still be the very standard 2 1/2 years apart. 

Generally women who are just letting nature take it’s course tend to have new babies every 1 1/2 to 3 years. With a lot of variation even in most individual women.  There just hasn’t been enough time to get an idea if they are purposefully having a dozen, or one, or five. And we won’t know unless they tell us if particular spacing is due to intention - or difficulty conceiving or even birth control failure. 

Agreed. Most people (quiverfull or not) who choose not to use birth control don’t get pregnant the first month trying. For people in their 20s (as most of these couples are) it’s not considered medically time to get testing etc done until a couple goes 12 months with no pregnancies, or when they have 3 first trimester miscarriages, unless there is also a health condition present that can impact fertility. 

Also people who are quiverfull are not always doing things like obsessively charting daily fertility signs, they may “just” being having unprotected sex anytime they have sex. Most quiverfull families have nowhere near 19 kids, and some people will end up with small families no matter what they do. Even among quiverfull families we follow most do not have a child every 12 months year after year, many go more than a year before getting pregnant despite not using birth control. Having a couple of kids 1.5-2 years apart is common even among those who use birth control, the difference being most people stop after a couple of kids.

It’s hard to tell what is intentional or not if we haven’t had time to see many data points for a given couple. 

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I do agree having kids up to 2 years apart if you are letting nature take its course is common. I think when you are young having much longer than 2 years between kids if you are really and truly letting nature take its course is not common assuming you are having regular sex. If you look at any of the quiverful women who are clearly after many years quiverful it's true most have 8-14 kids not 19, but if you look at their average kid spacing you will be VERY hard pressed to find an average spacing much longer than 2 years between kids, especially if you eliminate pregnancies they had after reaching the age of 37 or 38. If you're practicing extended breastfeeding that may lengthen spacing for some women but both extended breastfeeding and it working as birth control are rare.

 

I do agree we don't have many data points for some couples and I of course wouldn't be shocked to see those couples go either way and am prepared to accept that they are quiverful if time shows that to be true. One can also double down on quiverful after taking a break from it. But again, I'm comfortable saying that if a 22 year old has two years between (successful?) pregnancies something is *most likely* going on, even if it's only not having much sex.

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You give up attorney client confidentiality if there is a third person in the room.  That is why JimBob is not part of the defense team.  If he was in the room, any discussions would not be covered by confidentiality. 

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So I may be wrong about this but my understanding of the separation between Quiverfull and Fundie was that 1) you can be fundie but not quiverfull and 2) quiverfull was actively trying to have as many children as possible by things like not doing extended cheastfeeding and tracking fertility for things like the best time to have sex. Quiverfull people might say "we're leaving it up to god" but they are doing things to increase the odds of a pregnancy where run of the mill fundies just aren't using any birth control. Correct me if I'm wrong (and I very well may be) but didn't Michelle track her fertile windows and stop cheast feeding at six months so as to increase the odds of a pregnancy? 

Also re; all "Lauren's" Posts being deleted could it be due to Lauren in general receiving more backlash/negative comments/nitpicky/criticism vs. what Josiah's posts got?

Edited by Peaches-n-Beans
more inclusive language
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5 minutes ago, Peaches-n-Beans said:

quiverfull was actively trying to have as many children as possible by things like not doing extended cheastfeeding and tracking fertility for things like the best time to have sex. Quiverfull people might say "we're leaving it up to god" but they are doing things to increase the odds of a pregnancy where run of the mill fundies just aren't using any birth control.

There's no strict definition, I guess, but from where I'm standing, using no birth control at all (not even rhythm methods or the like) makes you quiverfull, even if you should happen to have fewer kids - actively trying just adds an extra layer of crazy. But that may just be my European perspective - most of the people that are regarded as "mainstream conservative Christians" here on the forum sound pretty darn fundamentalist to my secular self.

Edited by Nothing if not critical
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1 minute ago, Nothing if not critical said:

There's no strict definition, I guess, but from where I'm standing, using no birth control at all (not even rhythm methods or the like) makes you quiverfull, even if you should happen to have fewer kids - actively trying just adds an extra layer of crazy. But that may just be my European perspective - most of the people that are regarded as "mainstream conservative Christians" here on the forum sound pretty darn fundamentalist to my secular self.

My definition could definitely be more influenced by my upbringing. I was homeschooled (not fundie I add but given it was the early 2000s pretty much every other homeschooler was fundie) primarily in the South and in military communities so there were a lot of people I would class as fundie who were not quiverfull. Most had anywhere from 2-7 children but definitely weren't what I would consider quiverfull. The kids had a spacing of like 2ish years on average and the parents usually said they "left it up to god" but didn't do anything "extreme" (extreme is relative obviously in the mainstream any of this is extreme) like weaning at a certain age and tracking fertile windows to get pregnant. 

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2 hours ago, Peaches-n-Beans said:

So I may be wrong about this but my understanding of the separation between Quiverfull and Fundie was that 1) you can be fundie but not quiverfull and 2) quiverfull was actively trying to have as many children as possible by things like not doing extended cheastfeeding and tracking fertility for things like the best time to have sex. Quiverfull people might say "we're leaving it up to god" but they are doing things to increase the odds of a pregnancy where run of the mill fundies just aren't using any birth control. Correct me if I'm wrong (and I very well may be) but didn't Michelle track her fertile windows and stop cheast feeding at six months so as to increase the odds of a pregnancy? 

Also re; all "Lauren's" Posts being deleted could it be due to Lauren in general receiving more backlash/negative comments/nitpicky/criticism vs. what Josiah's posts got?

Quiverful does not equal actively trying for kids, weaning babies early or tracking cycles etc... It just means leave it up to God. Many quiverful families have 8-10, not 19! 

 

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2 hours ago, Peaches-n-Beans said:

So I may be wrong about this but my understanding of the separation between Quiverfull and Fundie was that 1) you can be fundie but not quiverfull and 2) quiverfull was actively trying to have as many children as possible by things like not doing extended cheastfeeding and tracking fertility for things like the best time to have sex. Quiverfull people might say "we're leaving it up to god" but they are doing things to increase the odds of a pregnancy where run of the mill fundies just aren't using any birth control. Correct me if I'm wrong (and I very well may be) but didn't Michelle track her fertile windows and stop cheast feeding at six months so as to increase the odds of a pregnancy? 

Also re; all "Lauren's" Posts being deleted could it be due to Lauren in general receiving more backlash/negative comments/nitpicky/criticism vs. what Josiah's posts got?

My understanding is that quiverfull just means leaving the number of children up to God - so not doing anything to prevent pregnancy, including natural family planning. It does not necessarily mean trying to have sex more often when you might be fertile, although I suppose it could. Michelle never stated that she weaned at six months to get pregnant, but did say that many of her babies stopped nursing when she became pregnant (really common due to a supply drop or a change in taste) . Her births were mostly 13-18 months apart, with quite a few in the 13-15 mo range - so probably she was just very fertile even when nursing. 6 months is a common age to wean regardless- if you aren’t trying for the whole year, it’s when they are eating solids, hopefully sleeping at night, can hold a bottle, etc…

I’d also think for most quiverfull families that there’s a fair amount of “not preventing” that includes just not having lots of sex because you have a shit ton of little kids who are always sick/crying/exhausting (hence the poor sister moms and harsh training) but still, if you aren’t hyper fertile like Michelle, you aren’t likely to end up with a super mega family between living a busy  life and not having fertility return so consistently and quickly.

My understanding, in reading here, is  fundamentalists who aren’t quiverfull, are ok with birth control and family planning. Including natural family planning and barrier methods, but often draw the line at hormonal birth control. I don’t know what the common stance is on sterilization.

I also have a really hard time telling the difference between what is a fundamentalist and what is a conservative Christian. No sex before marriage? Extreme sheltering? Extremely literal Bible views? Definitely super male led?  I’m not sure. It seems like a spectrum once you get past the stand-out extremists.

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@Peaches-n-Beans You are correct about Michelle tracking her fertility. The podcast Leaving Eden discusses that as a distinction between IFB and IFBL. In the IFBL, all females must track their cycles on the family calendar as soon as they reach the menarche. 

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46 minutes ago, Expectopatronus said:

@Peaches-n-Beans You are correct about Michelle tracking her fertility. The podcast Leaving Eden discusses that as a distinction between IFB and IFBL. In the IFBL, all females must track their cycles on the family calendar as soon as they reach the menarche. 

Do you know the reasoning? It obviously isn’t to track fertile times to conceive for the unmarried daughters ? PMS? Cramps? When to stock up on supplies? 

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@Mama Mia I can only go by the podcast but they stated it was training both the boys and girls for marriage. IBLP follows Jewish law regarding abstinence during a woman’s period. It also allows for tracking the most fertile days and thereby out breeding the Muslims. Lovely man, that Gothard. 

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Historically in the time before birth control women did not have fundy sized mega families.   Fertility rates were were 4.5-7 babies per woman (and many babies wouldn't survive).  Women weren't looking after 10+ kids at home.

Some of the reasons why its easier to have larger families now, is better nutrition which helps fertility.  And also healthcare, so less dying in childbirth.  But even so a normal family isn't Duggar sized.

You can be quivverful and still only have 6 kids.

 

Lots of interesting figures here:

https://ourworldindata.org/fertility-rate

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I think there is another distinction that sets Quiverfull apart from families that have lots of babies. Quiverfull have lots of babies for the purpose of building an “Army of God.” They are literally having as many babies as possible in hopes of shifting the electorate towards Christian theocracy. That’s very different than liking kids and wanting a big family, or even choosing not to use birth control for whatever religious/cultural reason. 

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Quiverful as others have mentioned can overlap with Dominionism, trying to take over the government for Christ. Now, not all Dominionists are quiverful and some people have large families who just like kids. However, Quiverful is one especially nasty facet of a Dominionist mindset.  

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1 hour ago, imokit said:

Historically in the time before birth control women did not have fundy sized mega families.   Fertility rates were were 4.5-7 babies per woman (and many babies wouldn't survive).  Women weren't looking after 10+ kids at home.

Some of the reasons why its easier to have larger families now, is better nutrition which helps fertility.  And also healthcare, so less dying in childbirth.  But even so a normal family isn't Duggar sized.

You can be quivverful and still only have 6 kids.

 

Lots of interesting figures here:

https://ourworldindata.org/fertility-rate

Oooooohhhh charts and statistics! I love charts and statistics! Man, you can REALLY tell when the pill came about! Interesting that the US and a few other countries had a lower birth rate in the seventies- eighties - then it went back up again….. so many charts, nice rabbit hole to dive into, thanks for sharing it.

In my own family prior to the 20th century there were a few huge  families (15+ kids) with surprisingly few child or maternal deaths.  Most of them lived to very old ages. Some of the women were well-known healers though, and it’s a very temperate climate, so that likely helped.

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8 hours ago, imokit said:

Historically in the time before birth control women did not have fundy sized mega families.   Fertility rates were were 4.5-7 babies per woman (and many babies wouldn't survive).  Women weren't looking after 10+ kids at home.

Some of the reasons why its easier to have larger families now, is better nutrition which helps fertility.  And also healthcare, so less dying in childbirth.  But even so a normal family isn't Duggar sized.

You can be quivverful and still only have 6 kids.

 

Lots of interesting figures here:

https://ourworldindata.org/fertility-rate

Does the fertility rate take into account stillbirths? Those were so very common. I have done my family history back to the 1700s, and all my ancestors are Danish farmers, and the amount of children born to a woman was more like 7-9, with a couple of those being stillborn, a couple of those dying as kids (usually in the first few months), so you could expect about half to make it to adulthood. 

Having only 5 kids would be on the lower side, unless the mum died in childbirth. Somewhat common, but not ridiculously so. 

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14 hours ago, Mama Mia said:

Do you know the reasoning? It obviously isn’t to track fertile times to conceive for the unmarried daughters ? PMS? Cramps? When to stock up on supplies? 

Check for out of wedlock conceptions…. 

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But Quiverfull is definitely a Christian Concept isn’t it? A Muslim or Jewish or Astheist or Hindu ot whatever else family with 6+ kids not using birth control wouldn’t be called Quiverfull would they? So I think the easiest definition would be that a couple that sees children as a blessing from God (the man with the full quiver) and therefore abstain from all form of birth control. I think obedience to Gods word is the biggest fundamental base here. But realistically it mixes with other (unpleasant) motives in most cases. But this concept of obedience is most definitely so deep into Fundie thought patterns you can (in my POV) not find a Quiverfull family that isn’t hardcore Fundie and therefore very often subscribe to other horrific ideas. And many of the Quiverfull principle authors have explicitly described the missionary reason of having more Christians (arrows for Jesus) and to grow a (white) Christian population. So it’s not that easy to distinctly between both concepts as they were pretty intertwined from the beginning. 
The giant families some built are definitely outliers though and you could theoretically be Quiverfull and have no children at all.

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I can only speak for Jews, but no, Orthodox Jews don’t call themselves Quiverfull. And, actually, most of them do use birth control, including hormonal. It’s rare for Jews to have spacing like say Chelsy or Courtney—they almost always use birth control for the first six months at least, and standard spacing seems to he 18-24 months between kid. And a Jewish woman might stop altogether at 35 or 38 or 40 for fear of things like Down’s syndrome (plus already having 6-8 kids).

The reason Orthodox Jews have a lot of kids is the verse “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” They are actually considered to have fulfilled the commandment to be fruitful and multiply once they have had one boy and one girl, and after that there may be even bigger spaces between kids/less reluctance to use birth control. And I actually know families with only one boy and one girl and no other kids or plans to have any more. But most don’t stop at two because of the “fill the earth” part.

I hope that explanation makes sense.

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Additionally to what @meee said, even Orthodox Jews believe in not having more than you can handle (that's been my experience at least), and so for instances of financial stability, as an example, it would NOT be encouraged to have more children just for the sake of being fruitful.

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Speaking as a Muslim, in Islam family planning is highly encouraged as long as it's not permanent (so, no hysterectomy). Several hadiths said it's best to avoid getting pregnant if you're still breastfeeding your child. And yes, not having more than you can handle.

But, in my country, a lot of Muslim fundies can be categorized as quiverfull. I think it's a mixture of false religious teaching combined with traditional belief of "more kids means more prosperity" plus lack of access to birth control that made them quiverfull. 

My family is not fundie but I have 8 siblings (6 half siblings and 2 full-blood siblings), although my youngest brother was a result of a failed IUD. 😂😂😂

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