There’s been a whole lot of bad news for the Duggar family in recent months.
In fact, 2021 pretty much consisted of one scandal after another for Jim Bob and company.
But 2022 appears to be off to a better start thanks to two recent developments that are likely serving as a welcome distraction for Duggars who are looking forward to a brighter future:
Jeremiah Duggar is now engaged to Hannah Wissmann, and Josiah Duggar’s wife, Lauren Swanson, might be pregnant with her second child.
We should emphasize the word "might" on that latter development.
Fans are convinced that Lauren and Josiah are expecting, but there’s been no formal announcement as of yet.
In fact, the rumor seems to be based on about three seconds of footage that appeared on YouTube this week.
Over the weekend, Jed Duggar and Katey Nakatsu hosted a gender reveal party for their first child.
The couple is expecting a baby boy, and eagle-eyed fans who played close attention to video shot at the party believe that those two are not the only ones who are anticipating a bundle of joy.
Lauren only appeared in the clip only briefly, but the sight of her rocking a chunky cardigan on what appeared to be a warm day was enough to convince some viewers that she’s got a bun in the oven.
On the always-entertaining r/DuggarSnark subreddit commenters are convinced that Lauren is expecting.
Some have even gone so far as to speculate that she’s further along than Lauren.
“I think Lauren looks more pregnant than Katey," one user wrote.
“Pretty sure she is pregnant, maybe both sisters-in-love are due almost at the same time!” another remarked.
“She totally looks pregnant. It’s not all over weight gain.” a third chimed in.
Of course, the Duggars are of the belief that women are put on earth for the purpose of procreation.
Having as many babies as humanly possible is literally part of their religion.
The Quiverfull move, to which the Duggars belong, teaches its adherents that it’s their sacred duty to populate the earth with evangelical Christians.
In other words, the Duggars aren’t exactly ambivalent on the topic of pregnancy — they’re very, very much in favor of it.
So why would Lauren keep her pregnancy a secret while living in such a pro-pregnancy culture?
The answer might be found in a tragedy from which Josiah and Lauren are still recovering.
In 2019, Lauren suffered a miscarriage.
"A couple months ago, we found out that we were expecting, but suddenly thereafter, we lost our baby,” Swanson explained to fans on an episode of Counting On.
“It really was a hard time for our family going through this right after we got married," Josiah added.
"And all the dreams of getting to see our little one and hold it in our hands dashed before our eyes."
After enduring an ordeal like that in the public eye, it makes sense that Lauren and Josiah might prefer to keep any future pregnancy news to themselves.
We just hope that if Lauren is expecting — which is a very big if — that both mother and child are healthy and well cared-for.