Earlier this week, the world learned that Kendra Caldwell is pregnant with Joseph Duggar’s baby.
As is always the case with Duggar baby news, the announcement was greeted with enthusiasm from the family’s devoted fan base–but it also reminded many of a mystery that continues to grow with the passage of time:
It’s been over a year since Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo got married, and yet the couple remains childless.
As the pregnancies of Kendra Caldwell and Joy-Anna Duggar have recently reminded us, this is highly unusual in Jinger’s family.
(Kendra and Joy both announced that they’re expecting within a few months of tying the knot. Some believe that Joy didn’t even wait until she was married.)
Thus far, all of Jinger’s sisters have gotten pregnant within a year of getting married, and some have even given birth prior to their one-year anniversary.
So it’s not hard to see why fans are growing increasingly curious about Jinger and Jeremy’s apparent reluctance to start a family.
Some have even gone so far as to suggest that Jinger is on birth control.
Like wearing pants as a woman or marrying a man whose religious beliefs don’t perfectly coincide with your father’s, using birth control is no big deal throughout most of the civilized world, but these are the Duggars we’re talking about.
They’re civilized in the sense that they sleep indoors and use silverware, but they’d be the first to tell you that their belief system bears little in common with the average American’s code of conduct.
Birth control is strictly forbidden in the Duggars’ world, and Jim Bob and Michelle have even recorded videos in which they preach about its evils.
Jinger may rebel against her parents’ teachings in small, mostly inconsequential ways (see the aforementioned wearing of pants), but finding out that she’s using birth control would likely push Jim Bob and Michelle over the edge.
Fortunately, for the most part, Duggar fans have proven to be uncharacteristically level-headed with regard to this issue.
Recently, the Duggars posted a photo of Jeremy and Jinger on their Facebook page, and the comments section quickly devolved into the usual flurry of uterine speculation.
But for every “fan” throwing shade, there were three getting Jinger’s back:
“Jinger raised kids all her life, she might not want kids or she just wants to wait,” one commenter wrote.
“Maybe they’re not waiting, maybe she’s having trouble conceiving. Give the poor girl a break, when she’s pregnant they’ll announce it,” remarked another.
“I think these two are being smart and will choose to have children on their own timetable,” a third wrote.
Is it possible that Duggar fans are beginning to let go of their judgmental tendencies a bit?
Maybe, but many of these same people will likely lose it if 2018 passes without any baby news from Jinger.
Watch Counting On online for more on reality TV’s most controversial family.