Earlier today, the world learned Joy-Anna Duggar has welcomed her first child, a boy named Gideon.
Fans were mostly congratulatory in their response to the news, but perhaps inevitably, a scandal that the Duggars would prefer to forget about reared its ugly head in the wake of the announcement.
As you may recall, when Joy first announced that she was expecting her first child, many questioned her claims about her date of conception.
Joy claimed that she got pregnant during her honeymoon, but fans had their doubts.
Rumors of a "shotgun wedding" were everywhere during Joy’s pregnancy, and many believed the truth would come out when the child arrived.
But now, little Gideon has entered the world, and the debate rages on:
Did Joy-Anna and Austin Forsyth violate her family’s strict courtship rules?
As you probably know, Duggars are permitted virtually zero physical contact with the opposite sex prior to marriage.
At this point, Jim Bob and Michelle are almost as well-known for their hard-line stance against premarital sex as for the massive size of their brood.
Duggars who have yet to say "I do" are not allowed to kiss, be alone together, or hold hands for more than a few seconds.
Needless to say, the family’s wholesome reputation would take quite a hit if it turned out that Joy and Austin went so far beyond the guidelines as to sire a child before their wedding.
So while the idea of Joy-Anna lying about the date of her conception may sound absurd, it’s not hard to see why she might be motivated to do so.
Conspiracy theorists were convinced that Joy’s lie would be exposed when her baby arrived well ahead of schedule.
Tabloids went so far as to consult with doctors, many of whom examined photos and concluded that Joy was further along than she claimed to be.
And yet, today, little Gideon entered the world 39 weeks after his parents were married.
Which means in all likelihood, Joy got pregnant in late May or early June of 2016.
Her wedding was held on May 26.
So why aren’t the Duggars doing an online victory lap today?
Well, there are several reasons for that.
The first, and most obvious is that it would be coarse and crass to use the birth of a child as a "told you so moment."
They deserve credit for taking the high road in not doing so.
On top of that, the family policy toward gossip is simply not to address it publicly.
Whether the news is good, bad, or neutral, if the announcement didn’t come directly from the Duggars, it’s a safe bet the Duggars won’t talk about it.
The third reason why you’ll likely never hear a word from the Duggars on the issue of Joy’s conception date is simple:
According to those who know them best, the Duggars simply want this mess to go away.
The fact remains that Joy-Anna and Austin did confess to breaking courtship rules, and Joy-Anna giving birth near her due date doesn’t definitively prove that she didn’t get pregnant a few days earlier than she would have us believe.
Despite all of that, the Duggars are no doubt conscious of the fact that they scored a minor victory over their detractors today,
But they’re probably also aware that to gloat would be to tempt their critics to do some digging.
Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV’s most controversial family.