Congratulations are in order for Ashley Darby! The Real Housewives of Potomac restaurateur is expecting her first child with husband Michael Darby, The Daily Dish has confirmed. "I've always wondered what this would feel like - carrying a being inside of my body - but actually being pregnant is more incredible than I could have imagined,” Ashley said in a statement to The Daily Dish. “Through all of our past heartbreak, this is the most incredible gift we could ever receive."
Ashley gave The Daily Dish an exclusive first look at her baby bump, which you can check out in the above video. The clip features Ashley and Michael embracing, looking lovingly into each other's eyes, and kissing before revealing her beautiful baby bump. We also learn that Ashley and Michael's baby is due in July 2019.
The RHOP mom-to-be told PEOPLE that she and Michael are keeping the gender of their baby a surprise for now. “We have the results in Michael’s desk drawer at work, but we might do a sex reveal, that’s still a toss up in the air,” she said. “But for now, it’s just really hypothesizing if it’s going to be a boy or a girl based on the heartbeat, the shape of the belly, the condition of my skin — all those things that are supposed to be predictors of the baby’s sex.”
Although Ashley has long referred to her and Michael's future child as "Mickshley," a combination of both of their first names, she told PEOPLE that they're currently “going back and forth with names.” “With an Australian man who tends to lean more towards the English side with his name choices, it’s very interesting,” she joked about Michael. “He wants it to be a Phillip or an Elizabeth or something very regal. It needs a little bit of culture in there!”
This will be Ashley’s first child. Michael has two adult children (ages 27 and 24) from his first marriage.
Ashley has long expressed her desire to start a family with her husband since the two wed in 2014. However, she faced several hurdles on the road to motherhood. First, that Michael said they could not try for a baby until they broke even on their Arlington, Virginia restaurant, Oz. He also expressed some concerns about starting a family with Ashley last season of RHOP.
But Ashley and Michael surprised the Potomac Housewives and fans of the show alike when they revealed that they had begun trying for a baby at the RHOP Season 3 reunion. Unfortunately, Ashley and Michael also had some tragic news to share: They were able to conceive, but they ended up suffering a miscarriage and losing the baby two weeks into the pregnancy. "When I had the tragic miscarriage, Michael was very upset and I think he realized that he wanted to have a baby more than he originally thought," Ashley shared in her blog on Bravotv.com in August 2018. "That was a very special moment for me because now I know that we are really making the right choice to have a family together."
Just as the RHOP couple said during the Season 3 reunion, Ashley and Michael reaffirmed their desire to start a family while speaking on Instagram Live last August. "Michael and I are readily fertilizing and hoping that a little Mickshley will be here," Ashley said. "Still hoping for a Gemini or Leo baby."
Despite the challenges in their marriage, as we saw on RHOP, Michael showed his commitment to having a baby with his wife at the Season 3 reunion. "It wasn't about having a child or a family; it was about having a relationship that was a good, strong relationship so we could have a child," he explained with tears in his eyes. "So yeah, that was always part of it. Plus, I want to have a child with her... It's very emotional."
Ashley opened up about moving on from her miscarriage to Bravotv.com backstage at the Season 3 reunion last summer. Find out more about the steps she took to have a healthy pregnancy, below.