Josie Bates and Kelton Balka's name for their daughter on the way will include a nod to Balka's mother, who died when he was 13 years old

By Jen Juneau
March 28, 2019 02:30 PM
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Josie Bates is getting a mini-me!

The Bringing Up Bates star, 19, and husband Kelton Balka‘s first child on the way will be a girl, UPtv confirms in a press release obtained by PEOPLE.

Their daughter will be named Willow Kristy, the release reveals — a nod to Balka’s mother, who died when he was 13 while giving birth to her fifth child, his sister Kierstin.

“That was a really, really difficult time for our family, the hardest thing I’ve ever been through,” the dad-to-be, 23, previously said on the Bates family’s reality show.

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Kelton Balka and Josie Bates
| Credit: Taryn Yager
Kelton Balka and Josie Bates
| Credit: Taryn Yager
Kelton Balka and Josie Bates
| Credit: Taryn Yager

Balka and Bates first revealed their baby news in February, four months after tying the knot following a courtship that traced back to July 2017, per social media.

“We couldn’t be happier to announce that we’re having a baby!” the mom-to-be told PEOPLE exclusively. “We are a little nervous but totally flooded with joy as we’re starting this new journey of love and parenting together!”

Bates teased the sex of her baby girl on the way ahead of the confirmation, posting a black-and-white snapshot of the couple following their confetti-filled reveal and asking her followers to put their guesses in.

Josie Bates and Kelton Balka
| Credit: Taryn Yager

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Bates and Balka tied the knot in October during a romantic outdoor ceremony overlooking the Tennessee mountains, where the bride wore an A-line, long-sleeve white gown featuring a high-necked lace bodice and flowing skirt with a long train.

“I cannot wait to marry the love of my life,” Bates wrote on Instagram following the couple’s engagement the previous June.

Balka echoed the sentiment, penning, “Cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you, Baby Girl.”

Bringing Up Bates, currently in its eighth season, airs Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on UPtv.