updated 11/09/2011 AT 6:00 AM ET
•originally published 11/08/2011 AT 2:30 PM ET
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar have something to say to their critics.
“Every child deserves to be excited they are a part of life,” Michelle tells PEOPLE after just revealing that she is pregnant with her 20th child. “Even when we were having our 5th and 6th [kid] … we would celebrate each pregnancy.”
The reality stars have faced mounting criticism over the size of their family and the risks of Michelle’s new pregnancy following the premature birth of their daughter, Josie, in Dec. 2009. But the couple insists that Josie’s frightening premature birth and Michelle’s life-threatening preeclampsia were not enough to convince them that 19 kids were enough.
“If we felt that way, we would have stopped back with our second birth,” insists Michelle, 45, who experienced preeclampsia during her second pregnancy with twins John David and Jana, now 21. “There are many women who have experienced preeclampsia and have gone on to have more children.”