America's largest family, the Bates, on miracle 19th child who survived after failing to breathe on his own at birth
The Bates, from Lake City, Tennessee, have 19 children in total after Jeb Colton Bates was born in February, 2012
They are the stars of a new reality TV show called United Bates Of America
Gil and Kelly Bates of Lake City, Tennessee, have spoken in detail about the complications that came with the birth of their 19th child Jeb Colton Bates.
The super-sized Christian family, who recently received their own reality TV series United Bates Of America, have revealed that Jeb struggled to breathe on his own when he was born in February.
The tiny tot, who is now healthy and appears in the TLC series as it premieres tonight, was sent to an Intensive Care Unit not long after he was born premature by two weeks.
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Precious: The Bates family, who boast 19 children, have revealed the complications of their youngest's birth
Frightened: Gil (right), the father, Kelly (middle), the mother, and one of their daughters feared for the baby's life
The family, who are the best friends of the infamous Duggar clan who have 19 children of their own, are seen in tears in a new teaser clip for an upcoming episode of the series.
Gil, the father, tells the camera: 'He [Jeb] was kind of blue like every baby that comes out kind of blue… but I noticed he wasn't crying. It set off a red flag in my heart.'
One of the his daughters, Tori, then says, 'He had a hard time breathing' before her sister, Erin, says: 'We thought that it was just normal because babies normally, it takes them a minute to get their breath and cry or something'.
Their father then explains what had in fact occurred which resulted in Jeb being transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Tiny: The baby, seen above, was born two weeks premature and was transferred to Intensive Care quickly
He says: 'Basically, he'd come through the canal so fast that he
didn't really get everything squeezed out of him, like fluids, and so his
body obtained a lot of that and had not been able to dissipate it.'
He explains further that his son had air trapped outside of the lungs, in the chest cavity.
Fortunately, doctors were able to nurse Jeb, who weighed a healthy 7lbs 8oz, back to health after several days.
Kelly, 45, further explains how she had simply gone into the doctor's office that day for a routine check up.
'They sent me straight to the hospital,' she says. 'The delivery was kind of an unexpected rush.'
The Bates roll call now stands at:
Michaella, Erin, Lawson, Nathan, Alyssa, Tori, Trace, Carlin, Josie,
Katie, Jackson, Warden, Isaiah, Addallee, Ellie, Callie, Judson and Jeb.
Supersized: The 21-member Bates family of Tennessee, pictured, were given a reality show by TLC. The show, which premieres tonight on the network, will follow Jeb's arrival as well as the other children
Birthday: Jeb Colton Bates (middle) was Kelly and Gil's nineteenth baby. The evangelical Christians said that the boy's name means 'beloved friend of God from Coal Town'
According to the evangelical Christians, Jeb's name means 'beloved friend of God from Coal Town'.
The network said in a press statement
about the new series that each 30-minute episode will focus on 'a new
adventure with the Bates family as they manage everyday life… and the
inevitable chaos that ensues with 10 girls and 9 boys running around
under one roof'.
In an earlier teaser clip, the family are seen welcoming Jeb into the family home.
One of the young girls tells the camera: 'When Jeb got home, it was just like a family reunion'.
One of the smallest, and most adorable, children exclaims: 'He's so tiny!'
clip also shows how important Valentine's Day is to the family, who are
seen treated to a special dinner with waiter service.
New addition: Jeb's arrival took the family's size to 21 and became one of the largest in America. Their rival is the Duggar family, who have their own reality TV show and, of course, are best friends with the Bates
Big sister: The Bates' third oldest child, Erin (pictured), is a musician and, according to the family blog, 'a devoted organizer [who] helps us maintain order'
The mother has had no twins, no C-sections and 14 drug-free births and has spent more of her adult life pregnant than not.
Despite making the faith-led decision to avoid contraception, in keeping with their evangelical beliefs, the family have not been entirely without controversy.
Gil and Kelly see no contradiction in wanting medical help to add to their already enormous family – but not to limit its size.
They have been at the receiving end of criticism for failing to secure health insurance for their 11 youngest children.
It was never the Bates' intention to produce a family that, according to 2010 Census data, is over seven times larger than the average Tennessee household size, they told ABC last year.
'We both came to the conclusion that we just want to trust God with how many children we have. We never really thought we'd have 18. We thought we'd have maybe one or two – maybe three,' said Gil, a 45-year-old tree surgeon.
The Bates family does everything on a grand scale. Their 4,000-square-feet home in Lake City, Tennessee, has five enormous bedrooms.
The family's laundry has five washers
and three driers and rails of clothes that stretch the length of the
loft room, holding hundreds and hundreds of shirts, pants and T-shirts –
not to mention an eye-wateringly large mountain of underwear and socks.