“Mackynzie wanted a girl, Michael wanted a boy,” Anna says. Marcus remained mum.
But after an ultrasound visit (where Josh and Anna turned their heads and the technician put the results in an envelope) – and as the frosting on cupcakes supplied by TLC’s DC Cupcakes helped reveal – the Duggars will be welcoming a girl to their family this summer, evening the boy-girl ratio in their family.
Josh, 26, is the oldest child born to Jim Bob, 49, and Michelle Duggar, 48 – stars of TLC’s hit reality show 19 Kids & Counting, airing Tuesdays at 9 p.m. Josh and Anna moved from the family’s location in Arkansas to Washington, D.C., where Josh works as the executive director of the nonprofit lobbying organization Family Research Council.
“It’s different being away from our family than during our other pregnancies,” Josh says. “We have to learn to be on our own up here, being so far away. We are close in our hearts and get to see our family often and we are glad about that.”
Josh’s sister Jessa, 22, and her husband, Ben Seewald, 19, shared their newlywed lives in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE, talking about their relationship secrets and hosting a tour of their Springdale, Arkansas, home. Their cover story featured a picture with the headline “Sexiest Duggar Alive” referring to Jessa.
“I had an issue with that,” Josh says with a laugh. “Everyone knows who holds the title of ‘Sexiest Duggar Alive’ and that’s me.”
Will Josh and Anna Have 19 Kids?
While Josh and Anna say they remain open to having “as many children as God will give them,” they’re pretty sure it won’t be as many as Josh’s parents have.
“I’ve done the math, and there is no way we can have 20 kids that I can figure,” Josh says. “But the reason most people don’t have a large family is because they feel the financial pressures. It’s tough to have so many kids in today’s world.
“Is there pressure? Sure, there is. But one of the biggest blessings is to have kids and teach them to serve God and others and be the best they can be. You can have a career, and be famous and have lots of money, but that will fade. Children will be there. When we were young, we would visit nursing homes with my family and when I talked to people there, the number one joy they wanted to share was their children and family. And those who didn’t have children expressed the greatest regret. We want to be the best parents we can be.”
Preparing for Baby
Since the couple are many miles away from family, they say they looked closely at their options for childbirth.
“We have talked a lot about what we feel comfortable with,” says Anna. “We definitely prefer a home birth, and we found a midwifery group who can deliver in the area. They also have a birthing center and we could go there. Josh and I would definitely like to take it one step at a time. We want to make sure the baby is developing normally, we want to make sure it is a safe situation, and we are really glad the birth center we have chosen has a great network of doctors. It has put our hearts at ease as parents.”
And what are the kids thinking about this new addition?
“Mackynzie made a recording saying, ‘Hi, little sister, it is so great to meet you, you are already my best friend,’ ” Anna says. And while Marcus, at just 1, has had little to say about his new sister, 3-year-old Michael is now accepting he’s having a sister and not another brother.
“I am happy the baby is a girl,” Michael says.
Another M Name for the Family?
Josh is one of 19 kids born to Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar – all with names beginning with the letter J. So far, Josh and Anna have chosen names for all their children starting with the letter M.
“We are close to announcing a name, but haven’t yet,” Josh says. “We are likely going down the same path, but we’ll just have to see.”
Anna says she’s just happy that at 21 weeks into her pregnancy, her morning sickness is finally beginning to subside.
“I feel so good right now,” she says. “And we can feel the baby move now, which is fun for the kids to get to feel their little sister moving around.”
Will Josh and Anna Adopt?
Since Josh’s sister Jessa and her husband revealed their adoption hopes, and his sister Jill, 23, and her husband Derick, 25 – who are expecting a baby boy in weeks – also said they were interested in adoption, will Josh and Anna go down the adoption path as well?
“We’ve been married long enough,” says Josh, who married Anna in 2008. “We have talked about it, and we’ve discussed it with Jessa and Ben and Jill and Derick. But it’s not something we are planning right now.”
But he says that he believes adoption is important and not something he and Anna would rule out.
“Every person has to make the decision for themselves and adoption is the loving option,” he says.
For now, the couple are grateful for the children they have – and the one they’re going to have, Anna says.
“Some people think I’m not happy unless I’m pregnant,” Anna says. “Marcus just celebrated his first birthday and I was thinking, ‘My baby is growing up.’ There is a desire to have more children, but also keep the balance of enjoying what God has given you and enjoy the children we have.”
For Josh, his growing family is teaching him about patience and grace, he says.
“If someone told me when we got married, I’d have three kids and one on the way, I’d have been overwhelmed,” he says. “As you go along and have more children, there is just enough patience and grace.”
Says Anna, “It’s definitely busier the more you have. But it is a happy busy. There is no better way to invest my life, my body and my time than to my children. They are a huge responsibility and a blessing. And all good things in life require work.”