On Monday, fans of TLC's Counting On were treated to the wedding special they've been waiting for all year: Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth. While the couple wed this past May, their original wedding was supposed to take place this month, but had mysteriously been moved forward six months with no explanation for the sudden rush to get married sooner rather than later. But Joy-Anna and Austin's pregnancy announcement three months later has definitely raised eyebrows about the timing of it all. Now, fans are scouring Joy-Anna Duggar's Instagram for clues about just how far along she is in her pregnancy, but really — should they?
Here's what has fans in such a tizzy: A recent photo from Oct. 2 on Joy-Anna and Austin's official shared Instagram account shows the fifth-oldest Duggar daughter sporting an obvious pregnant belly shot with the caption, "Can't wait to meet our baby!" Duggar also added in her Instagram post that she got to feel her baby kick for the first time, that it's the size of a bell pepper, and that it weighs half a pound already. According to BabyCenter's baby size fruit and veggie comparison chart, Duggar seems to have confirmed she's at least 18 weeks along.
But here's where things start to get a little... odd, for a variety of reasons.
As some fans have speculated, Joy-Anna appears to be much further along than she looks. In the Instagram photo's caption, Joy-Anna wrote she had just started to feel her baby kick a few days prior to that post. According to The Bump, first-time moms can feel their baby kick between 16 and 22 weeks. So, it's entirely possible that yes, she's probably around the 18-week mark.
But when fans compared this latest belly shot to one she posted just days after their pregnancy announcement in August at her own personal Instagram account, some are questioning her entire pregnancy timeline. Fans argue she looks much just as pregnant in her August belly shot compared to her October belly shot — which has fans questioning just when these photos were actually taken. It also doesn't help that it looks like something was blurred out in the lower left corner of the photo — perhaps something date-related? Representatives for the Duggars did not immediately respond to Romper's request for comment.
Editor’s Note: The Instagram post has since been deleted.
Between the wedding date move, Joy-Anna's pregnancy announcement, and the "just how far along is she" debate happening on Instagram, it's easy to understand just how Joy-Anna and Austin shotgun wedding rumors have gained popularity. And considering just how über-religious she and the Duggar family are, it would be a pretty huge deal if, in fact, that Joy-Anna was actually pregnant before she got married. Remember — this is the family that has strict rules for courtship that include prohibitions on hand-holding.
But here's the bigger issue with which some Counting On fans are taking serious umbrage. In that October pregnancy update post to her and Austin's shared Instagram account, her belly shot was just one of three photos included in their Instagram Story. The other two photos were espousing Joy-Anna and Austin's anti-choice views. The second photo in their Instagram Story was a stock photo of a baby, with the following controversial opinion in a text overlay: "Life offers no guarantees but abortion offers no chances so every child makes their mark." The third photo was of Austin standing by a road holding a sign that read simply, "Abortion kills children."
No matter what your views are on reproductive choice, fans came down hard on Joy-Anna and Austin for using a pregnancy update Instagram post to lay on the anti-choice rhetoric. Not that fans should be surprised: Plenty of the Duggar children use their social media accounts to share their religious and political views.
Some fans think that the move feels at least slightly hypocritical because they aren't entirely convinced of Joy-Anna's adherence to her own religious principles. If she did indeed get pregnant before marriage (there's limited evidence for it, and no comment from her or the family yet), it would fly in the face of her religious values — and would make her anti-abortion pregnancy Instagram update feel pretty self-righteous. Fans will just have to wait and see once the latest Duggar grandchild finally arrives, which officially won't be until next year.