Sonia and Whitney anxiously wait for news (Picture: BBC)
As 2024 approaches, there are big changes on the horizon for two EastEnders women.
As Sonia Fowler (Natalie Cassidy) is left hopeful as her IVF journey continues, Whitney Dean (Shona McGarty) is knocked for six when she learns she is pregnant.
Earlier this year, the mum-to-be was left absolutely shattered when she and partner Zack Hudson (James Farrar) lost their baby, Peach.
In harrowing scenes, Whitney struggled to pick up the pieces of her life, and it seemed that she was certain that she could never go through a pregnancy again after the tragedy.
So how will she react to the bombshell ahead of her?
Ahead of this, Zack and Whitney are devastated as they break the news to Ashton that he’s moving to a new foster home.
While Whitney struggles to cope, Zack drowns his sorrows at Peggy’s with Martin (James Bye).
Sonia attempts to cheer Whitney up at their small NYE bash, but she remains understandably gloomy. But later, she takes a pregnancy test and discovers she’s expecting again.
Whitney and Zack struggle to say goodbye to Ashton (Picture: BBC)
Remembering Peach, Whitney doesn’t know how to feel about her pregnancy (Picture: BBC)
A guilty Zack arrives home following a night of heavy drinking, but he’s shocked when Whitney reveals the big news.
A day of mixed emotions, their focus soon shifts when a social worker comes to pick up Ashton and they have to say goodbye.
Through all this, Whit doesn’t know how she feels about her pregnancy, and heads to the allotment to visit Peach’s tree.
She is interrupted by Yolande (Angela Wynter), who shares her own experience on fostering, but Whitney breaks down and reveals that she’s pregnant.
After their heart-to-heart, Whitney makes a decision and heads back to No.3 – will she decide to keep the baby?
As the week goes on, it’s not just Whitney and Zack who may be in the family way.
Zack is knocked for six by Whitney’s news (Picture: BBC)
Will Sonia’s baby dream come true? (Picture: BBC)
On the market, Whitney shows Sonia a picture of Ashton settled in his new foster family as she tries to come to terms with his premature departure.
Unable to contain her excitement, Sonia reveals to Whitney that she might be pregnant. Sonia and Whitney head to No.25 to take the test – but what will it show?
The latest emotional development for Whitney builds up to an exit story, with Shona McGarty set to leave after an eventful – and largely painful for the character – 15 years in Walford.
Show boss Chris Clenshaw has pretty much confirmed that her ending will be much happier than her general tenure, which has included ordeals such as childhood abuse, pimping, domestic abuse and stalking.
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Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, the producer teased: ‘There’s a lot left to come for her. I can confirm that she will be leaving next year, into 2024.
‘She and Zack have a big story, and they kind of get a little Christmas/New Year miracle.’
However, there is one obvious setback – Zack isn’t leaving the show, which can only mean curtains for the couple.
As Whitney gets all she ever wanted, what causes the breakdown for them?
It seems like the time will be ripe after this inevitable split for Whitney to look to the future and put the anguish of Albert Square behind her.
Hopefully with an expected baby in tow.