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Joy-Anna Duggar Finally Gives Birth, Ending A Long Pregnancy Full Of Controversy

Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth are considered the most "rebellious" of the Duggar couples, after Jinger and Jeremy of course.

The couple admitted to breaking some courtship rules set out by Jim Bob Duggar, which if you're unfamiliar, as as follows:

  • It's not "casual," the Duggars call courting "dating with a purpose.
  • Group dates only, no one on one time until marriage
  • There always has to be a chaperone, and it's usually one of the brothers
  • Group texts only, and they have to involve mom and dad
  • No kissing or hand holding in order to avoid "regrets" should the relationship fall apart

Another big part of courting is filling out a 50 -page questionnaire by Jim Bob. People weren't supposed to find out about it, but Jim Bob let it slip during an episode of the show. The producer instantly interrupted the daddy Duggar to have him clarify.

"I'm sorry, wait a second Jim Bob made you guys fill out questionnaires?" he asked.

It was confirmed by his daughters Jill and Jessa that the document does, indeed, exist. Jill even let everyone know that the document used to be 30 pages long, but was recently expanded to 50. The questionnaire focuses mainly on the potential suitor's religious beliefs and how they pertain to their lifestyle.

Joy-Anna and Austin ForsythToday

But even though Austin passed the literal test, he admitted to breaking courtship rules in a super scandalous way. Okay, so not really. But in the Duggar world, it's a big deal.

“The only time that I can think of when I overstepped my bounds with my future father-in-law was probably staying up talking past curfew," Forsyth lamented in an interview. "Just letting time slip past you and being in a good conversation...it’s really easy to do. That and probably going over the three-second hug. That’s easy to do.”

Chatting and hugging longer than three seconds? What SCANDAL. Alright, alright, that may not be a huge issue. But once Joy-Anna and Austin moved up their wedding, people wondered if maybe something else was broken as well.

Joy-Anna married Austin in May 2017, just four months after they announced their engagement. While the timing may not seem too suspect, people began to speculate. The original date of the wedding was October 28th, so why feel the need to move it up? Just three months after her wedding, Joy-Anna announced she and Austin were expecting their first child. People were thrilled, but the picture she posted did not quell any rumors at all.  

Joy-Anna's bump was pretty large, and fans began to wonder if the young couple perhaps conceived before their wedding.

"I did the math and they have been married 15 weeks," one fan wrote. "If she is not carrying twins then I would say it's a safe bet that baby Forsyth was conceived out of wedlock."

Then, another photo of Joy-Anna surfaced when she was believed to be five months (20 weeks) pregnant.

Dr. Sean Henry, a gynecologist, said something doesn't add up with the picture.

"She looks around 24 weeks pregnant," he said. People were quick to discount his opinion, as he's not Joy-Anna's actual doctor.

The pictures kept coming, as did the speculation. One of the final pictures of Joy-Anna before she gave birth came in November when she was believed to be six months pregnant.

"If she got pregnant on her wedding night she would be 25 weeks pregnant," one user noted. "That does not look like a woman 25 weeks pregnant with her first child. I would wager we're going to hear about a premature baby who is miraculously 8+ lbs at birth."

All the speculation can stop, however, as Joy-Anna has finally given birth to her first child with Austin Forsyth.

“We are blessed beyond measure with the arrival of our son, Gideon Martyn Forsyth,” the couple told People. “Looking at our child for the first time was such an incredible moment! God is so good, and we are so thankful.”

PEOPLE

The baby was born on February 23, weighing 10lbs 3oz.

"We are so thrilled for Joy and Austin! Children are a blessing from the Lord and we know that will be such great parents," Jim Bob and Michelle wrote on their family website. "We can’t wait for this little one to grow up around all of these other grandbabies. We are so blessed and our hearts are overflowing!"

"Joy and Gideon are doing very well and we are just in love with this new little addition!!" the new family-of-three said.

We are so happy for Joy-Anna and Austin! What do you think of the name Gideon?

Meagan has been a writer with Shared for two years and has an intense love for Netflix, napping, and carbohydrates. Please feel free to contact me with questions or story ideas! meagan@shared.com