It’s shocking to many, but it remains true: Anna Duggar is pregnant with her fifth child with husband Josh Duggar.
On Friday night, the controversial couple used their family’s official blog to deliver the following announcement:
“For nearly the last two years, we have quietly worked to save our marriage, focus on our children, and rebuild our lives as a family.
“Doing so is never easy after a breach of trust.”
From there, Josh and Anna focused on the future… and who it will include.
“As we continue our journey as a family and rebuild our lives, we are delighted to share with you that we are expecting a new baby boy later this year.”
“Beauty comes from ashes and we cannot wait to see and kiss the face of this sweet new boy!”
This will be the fifth child for this pair of Duggars, who are already parents to Mackynzie, 7, Michael, 5, Marcus, 3, and Meredith, 19 months.
But it’s one that very few fans saw coming.
Considering that less than two years ago, Josh was admitting to the world that he molested multiple young girls when he was a teenager, it’s a bit of a shocker.
At least two of these victims were his sisters, Jessa and Jill Duggar; Jinger and Joy-Anna are rumored, but not confirmed, to have been victims.
A few months after that, Josh confessed that he was addicted to porn and had cheated on Anna after being exposed in the Ashley Madison hacking.
Why didn’t Anna divorce him, more than a few fans wondered?
Because such an action is antithetical to their religious beliefs.
That said, how did the couple move past this scandal and get to a place where they’ll excited to welcome another baby to their already-packed household?
It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure.
A week after Josh issued a lengthy statement over his infidelity, he sought treatment at a faith-based rehabilitation center in Rockford, Illinois.
Said saddened parents Jim Bob and Michelle at the time, reeling from the shocking actions of the first of their 19 children:
“We pray that in this he comes to complete repentance and sincere change.”
“In the meantime, we will be offering our love, care and devoted support to Anna and our grandchildren as she also receives counsel and help for her own heart and future.”
“During this time we continue to look to God. He is our rock and comfort. We ask for your continued prayers for our entire family.”
From there, in January of 2016, Anna released a statement of her own, speaking out about her experience with Josh in a rare moment of openness.
Anna Duggar referred to his rehab stint as “an important step on a long difficult road” to repairing their relationship and added:
“Please continue to pray for me, Josh and our children.”
In March of last year, Josh quietly finished his six-month stay in the facility and returned to Arkansas, staying under the radar since.
Once back home, he continued to receive “professional counseling and focus on rebuilding relationships with his family.”
It was then off to marriage counseling in May.
“As we enter into a long family weekend together, we want to thank each of you for the prayers, love and encouragement you’ve sent our way,” these Duggars said last year.
The couple explained that they had “working with a professional marriage and family counselor to take important steps toward healing” since Josh had left rehab.
Josh, now 29, and Anna, 28 continued at the time:
“It isn’t easy and some days are very difficult. It is a long road to rebuild trust and a truly healthy relationship.
“We are very thankful for God’s forgiveness, grace and help, as it is our strength and guide to rebuilding our lives.
“As the future unfolds, we are taking one day at a time and we are grateful for your continued prayers for both of us and our sweet children.”
We heard very little from Josh and Anna after that.
In September, Josh was seen at a family gathering for a close friend’s birthday, at which he posed for a group picture alongside his wife.
The reality stars then celebrated their eight-year wedding anniversary a few weeks later, receiving some well wishes from their relatives.
“Happy Anniversary, Josh and Anna,” the Duggar family wrote alongside a photo of the couple, whose appearances online have been sparse.
“We are so thankful for God’s redemptive love in your lives.”
In November, Anna and Josh enjoyed an evening out with the former’s sister, Priscilla, and her husband, David Waller, after Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo’s wedding.
“Thank you, Josh & Anna, for a wonderful weekend together topped off with a fun #doubledate this evening!” the Wallers captioned a social media photo soon after the double date, adding:
“You’ll are doing great! #sistertime #familytime.”
Of course, Josh is still so radioactive to Duggar fans that he was scrubbed out of all TLC footage of the wedding, as seen in the gallery below.
Then, just two weeks ago, the Duggars posted a rare family photo of Josh and Anna with their quartet of kids (above) in honor of their Josh turning 29 years old.
“Happy birthday, Josh. We love you, your amazing wife and sweet children,” the parents wrote as an affiliated message.
“We pray that you diligently follow and serve the Lord with your whole heart all the days of your life and that this year is a wonderful year for you and your family.”
So… yeah. It has been QUITE the journey for Anna and Josh Duggar.
Many people have many feelings about the couple.
But with a baby on the way, even the harshest Josh Duggar critics must now be in his corner.
For the sake of this impending child, and the four who have come before him, we must all hope Josh and Anna are able to maintain a safe, happy and healthy home environment.