Setting the record straight! Josie Bates clarified on Wednesday, December 8, that she is not pregnant with her third child.
“It’s gonna be awhile,” the Bringing Up Bates star, 22, said during an Instagram Story Q&A. “So for all y’all asking if I am pregnant already, I am not. And if you think you see a baby bump, you don’t. It’s just a food baby.”
After telling her followers not to get their “hopes up,” the reality star went on to answer questions about her postpartum experience after welcoming daughter Hazel, now 5 months, in June. (The UPtv personality and her husband, Kelton Balka, are also the parents of daughter Willow, 2.)
“[It’s] going really good,” the Tennessee native said. “I feel like we’re at a really good place. We’re on a great routine. I feel like I have a handle on the girls’ schedules. … We’re hitting such a sweet spot with the girls, and I’m honestly so thrilled about it.”
Bates noted, however, that her first two months as a mother of two were “really hard,” explaining, “I was not prepared for how tough they were gonna be. With Willow, I feel like I snapped back quickly. With Hazel after a really tough pregnancy and then being in the NICU, it was just really hard. I don’t think I’ve ever been that sleep-deprived on top of all the hormones. I was a total mess. I ended up reaching out to some people and taking some postpartum mood supports and that helped a ton. If you’re in the early stages of postpartum and you’re not feeling like yourself, don’t be afraid to talk about it. It’s totally normal. I promise it gets easier.”
The stylist’s youngest child was born with an “exceedingly rare blood condition,” and Bates documented her NICU stay via Instagram in June.
“She developed a type of jaundice unique to her situation, and we transported [her] to the Children’s Hospital NICU in the early hours of the morning, where she is being monitored by teams of highly skilled doctors and nurses,” Bates captioned hospital photos at the time. “She is stable in every other way, and right now is just requiring supportive care to help bring down her bilirubin levels, while her body slowly removes the antibodies fighting against her blood. We praise God for his mercies and pray that her condition remains stable and continues to improve.”
The little one went home with her parents one week later.
Bates and Balka, 26, got engaged in June 2018 in Utah, and the couple wed four months later in Tennessee. They became parents in July 2019 when Willow arrived.