It’ll be a girl!
After months of mounting anticipation, parents-to-be Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo and her husband Jeremy Vuolo learned the sex of their baby through a relay race completed by friends and family in Laredo, Texas, on Saturday, they tell PEOPLE exclusively.
The couple set up an obstacle course and split their family into a pink team and a blue team. One by one, a member of each team had to eat a single serve container of ice cream before running an obstacle course. The captain of the first team to finish the race had the honor of flipping the switch on a “Baby” neon light, revealing the sex, and Jinger, 24, and Jeremy, 30, sprayed everyone with pink silly string.
Jeremy Vuolo and Jinger Duggar
“We are so happy to announce that we are having a little baby girl!” they tell PEOPLE. “We could not be more excited and are eagerly anticipating meeting our little lady this summer. We especially love thinking forward and realizing that she will have excellent role models in both of her grandmothers, who cannot wait to shower her with love.”
But the surprises didn’t stop there! A day after Jinger and Jeremy learned the sex of their little bundle of joy — due in July — friends Margarita & Juan Manuel Johnson threw the mama-to-be a baby shower. The girls took Jinger out to shop for baby clothes, and Jeremy got a call from the Johnsons, asking if they could will they drop by and pick it up a gender reveal cake they’d baked for her. At the Johnson home, Jinger and Jeremy were surprised by the party, complete with a Mexican food truck and polenta cart.
“The shower was an amazing time of celebrating our new arrival with loved ones,” they tell PEOPLE. “Our friends, Juan and Margarita, were so generous to organize and host the shower and we were overwhelmed by the kindness and thoughtful generosity of everyone.”
“The past fourteen months have been the best of our lives as we have had the wonderful privilege of beginning our journey through life together in marriage. We both looked forward to the joys of marriage but neither one of us fully understood just how amazing the start of this journey would be. Truly, the Lord’s mercies are new every morning!” the couple wrote.
Jeremy Vuolo and Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo
“Now, the journey has taken an exciting turn: we are expecting our first child!” they continued. “We are praising God for this beautiful gift and ask that you join us in praying for a safe and healthy pregnancy.”
“Psalm 139:13-14 13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well,” they shared.
While the pair had yet to find out the sex of their child at the time of the announcement, they admitted in a TLC video that they had an inkling it’d be a boy. Still, they would be “happy either way,” according to Jinger, who has since been documenting her pregnancy journey on Instagram with photos of her growing baby bump.
Jinger (Duggar) Vuolo at 22 weeks
When the pair welcomes their baby into the world, Jeremy is hopeful that their firstborn will be just like his bride.
“I am praying that the baby will look like, act like, talk like, be like Jinger, and so I’ve asked everyone else to pray as well,” he said in the video with a smile. “I was a little terror as a child, so I’m hoping that the little one will be as much like Jinger as possible.”
But if Jinger could choose, the babe will have a personality like her former soccer player husband. “I hope that the baby will be like Jeremy,” said Jinger, who added, “He’s just very kind and gracious.”
Counting On returns to TLC on Monday, July 30, at 9 p.m. ET.