Human Interest

‘An empty spot in our hearts’: Josie Balka of ‘Bringing Up Bates’ tells of miscarriage


Josie Bates Balka, the sixth daughter and tenth child overall of 19 children in the family featured on the popular reality TV show, “Bringing Up Bates,” recently shared devastating news on social media. The 21-year-old and her husband Kelton Balka are parents to 13-month-old Willow, and according to Josie’s Instagram post had recently shared news that they were expecting again with their extended families. Then, they lost the baby.

Josie wrote on Instagram, “Sometimes you have to walk through experiences you never thought you would have to. This has been a very difficult time for our little family. Kelton and I were over the moon excited to be expecting a sweet baby in March, 2021! We were filled with anticipation as we began to dream of what it would be like as a family of four and for Willow to have a little playmate. We surprised our family and friends with the news at Willow’s one year old birthday party!” Josie shared, “Already, my heart felt an unexplainable amount of excitement!”

She continued, “Sadly, when I went for a recent ultrasound, we were heartbroken to hear our precious baby had gone to be with Jesus. Our hearts have been completely broken. I’ve never experienced the type of pain and loss that I’ve had these past weeks. There is an empty spot in our hearts and in our home.”

Josie noted that their faith in Jesus Christ and His ability to turn all things to His glory is sustaining their family as they process the loss of their child, grieve, and eventually heal. “Even though we never got to see our baby face to face or hold its tiny hand, we know that God has a purpose for its short life.”

She referenced the devastating loss of husband Kelton’s own mother Kristy due to an amniotic fluid embolism developed shortly after she gave birth to his younger sister, writing, “In spite of our grieving, we have peace in knowing that our little baby is in heaven with Kelton’s sweet mom. I added a charm to my necklace, next to Willow’s, to help us never forget the memories of how this little one made us feel and how much love and joy it brought to our family. We are grateful for the love and prayers from so many during this time.” These charms can be seen in the second photo of Josie’s Instagram post.

READ: Jinger Duggar Vuolo shares news of heartbreaking miscarriage suffered last year

Bringing Up Bates is currently airing its ninth season. According to People, the September 24th episode of “Bringing Up Bates” will feature Josie telling Kelton about their second pregnancy. People notes, “While UPtv offered to edit this portion of the episode out, the footage will remain, as the couple want to preserve the memory of learning the happy news and cement their unborn child’s place in their family.”

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