Last week, several media outlets speculated that Josh Duggar’s long-suffering wife Anna Duggar may have secretly given birth.
As fans know, Anna is pregnant with her fifth child, and she hadn’t been seen in public or on social media for several weeks.
That led many fans to the conclusion that she may have something to hide … or at least be trying to keep things under wraps.
If nothing else, many fans assumed that the Duggars had an interest in keeping the birth of Josh and Anna’s fifth child a secret.
The presumed motives varied, with some suggesting Josh’s parents were hoping to score a ratings boost by surprising fans.
Let’s face it, withholding information about their family’s new addition until the season premiere of Counting On? Not a big stretch.
Others hypothesized that the family was hoping to capitalize on the birth as the first step in an effort to rebuild Josh’s public image.
Even if there isn’t a wide-ranging conspiracy, they could be carefully coordinating the release of all related information as a result.
These theories would sound ridiculous, but this is family known for exploiting the events of their personal lives for professional gain.
The Duggars have demonstrated in the past that they’ll go to ridiculous lengths to keep audiences tuning into their reality series.
While they’ve never gone so far as to conceal a birth, they basically did so with a wedding, so we certainly wouldn’t put it past them.
Fortunately, we now know that no such steps were taken, as video evidence has emerged showing that Anna is very much still pregnant.
Of course, that’s not the end of the controversy.
To the chagrin of some fans, the 29-year-old has been taking to the skies in her third trimester, as seen in the raw video above.
Published by the Rockford Scanner website over the weekend, it shows a very pregnant Anna deplaning on a runway in Rockford, Illinois.
Some members of Duggar Nation are upset over the footage, as flying so late in a pregnancy is generally frowned upon.
Of course, the reason is primarily that going into labor would force an emergency landing, which is much less of an ordeal on a private jet.
“If you have a normal, healthy pregnancy, it can be safe to fly during most of it,” says an expert from the Baby Center website.
The site adds:
“But don’t fly after 36 weeks,” so either Anna is throwing caution to the wind, or she’s not as far along as we originally thought.
As for why the Anna and Josh made the trip to Illinois, there are several theories, most centering around his past “issues.”
Rockford, fans may recall, is where Josh was treated for sex addiction after he was caught seeking cheating partners online.
Some have speculated that Josh is seeking further rehabilitation, but it seems unlikely that he’d bring his pregnant wife along for that.
The Rockford Scanner reports on another explanation that seems to make more sense than him seeking ongoing treatment out of state.
Writes the website:
“Other rumors have said the Duggars choose Rockford as the place to have their child because of their family ties to the local churches and religion.”
Others have claimed that the Duggars made the trip to Illinois in order to view today’s solar eclipse, which will cover a wide swatch of the U.S.
Rockford is no closer to the path of totality than their home in Arkansas, however, so there may be a giant black hole in that theory (sorry).
We’ll have updates on this developing story as more information becomes available, which could be any day or minute now.
In the meantime, watch Counting On online for more on reality TV’s most controversial family as we await news of Anna’s birth.