The very best Christmas present I may ever give.

I remember it was a Friday morning when I found I was pregnant. Tim and I had recently discussed waiting a while longer before deciding if we wanted to have another baby or if we felt our family was complete as is with four girls. I leaned toward having another baby; Tim leaned towards the latter. I pushed thoughts of growing our family out of my head until one morning a few weeks later when I felt rather sickish after a morning run. I waited for Tim to drive off to work before scouring my bathroom cupboards for a pregnancy test. Tim barred me from buying tests because he said I had already spent an exuberant amount on pregnancy tests over the years so I was crossing my fingers I'd find one lonely test sitting at the back of the cupboard. After two cupboards, I nearly gave up. I shook my head about a million times and whispered to myself, "How can this be? I must be wrong." But the feeling would not go away; I knew I needed confirmation. Just before giving up, I switched bathrooms and found one cheap test shoved way back behind the toilet paper rolls. Apparently, I wanted to hide it from Tim. 

I waited all of 3 seconds before I took the test. Knowing Tim would never know about the event, I figured no harm, no foul. Except...the test was positive. My head and heart spun. How in the world was I supposed to tell Tim? I waited a couple of hours before phoning him at work. I rarely call him during the day except for lunchtime so I knew this unexpected phone call would make him suspicious. I think the conversation went something like this: "Hey bun. How's your morning? Oh me, I'm fine. Just finished some chores and dropped the kids off at a friends. Oh yeah. Uh-huh. Well, I actually called about something. Remember how I calculated ovulation last month. Uh-huh. Well, I miscalculated somehow. SILENCE. You okay? Okay, we'll just talk about this when you get home. Hey bun...I know it's going to be okay. Okay. Love you. Bye.

I drove home in silence. I tried to figure out how I miscalculated but couldn't. My math was right, except I'm really bad at math so I figured I must've been wrong somehow. I remember looking at Tim's face when he walked through the garage door that day; it was not the same face that kissed me on the way out the door. The news had really rocked his world. Perhaps more than mine. The thing is that Tim and I love having a bigger family; we really do. I'd have a dozen kids if pregnancy and money weren't factors, but they are HUGE factors. And we really didn't feel ready to take this huge jump again. I the time...Felicity was barely 9 months old. She and the new baby will be exactly 18 months apart. 

Tim and I talked a lot that weekend, and the only resolve we could come to is that our lives may never go as planned. We continue to make small plans, only to have them change for one reason or another. The news came at a particularly tricky time because Tim had been offered another job out of state, which was very appealing to both of us, but we had to turn it down because I was severely sick with nausea and migraines. I couldn't even take care of my girls so I had no idea how to get enough courage to move in the middle of a pregnancy to a new area where I wouldn't have friends or help. My friends and neighbors here have really been amazing. They picked up every broken piece of my life and glued them back together. Recognizing this, Tim said no to the job. We're both still sad about it, but we know it was the right thing for us at the time. 

Weeks 17 and 18 passed, and although we mentioned the pregnancy here or there, I could tell there was a looming sadness inside of Tim. I totally understood; 5 girls is A LOT to handle, and we both had very little hope for the opposite gender. The Monday before Christmas I drove myself to the ultrasound and sat peacefully in the office while they readied the room. I had been so preoccupied with the baby's health that truly, I didn't even really think about gender. The ultrasound technician and I laughed about the idea of 5 girls. Minute by minute, my concerns about the baby's health were put to ease, but near the end of the appointment the tech got very quiet. After a minute or two of her checking different images, she whispered, "It's just too bad your husband didn't come with you this time." I turned and looked at her. "Because it's a boy!!" She squealed. I think she expected me to do the same, but I'm not so much the squealing type. I just smiled the biggest smile. This news, as exciting as it was for me, was going to change Tim's life. I asked the tech to cut the gender pictures off the long strand of pictures, and I tucked them away in an envelope to surprise Tim on Christmas morning. 

Just after the appointment, I met Tim for lunch and kept a very straight face as I told him what he already knew: we were having a 5th girl. He reacted differently than I expected; he was calm and peaceful about the whole thing. I was very proud of him. We both began calling our families, and he even posted the news to social media. All the while, my little heart was bursting for him. 

I'm a fairly good liar, and I knew I only had to keep the secret for 4 days, but they seemed like the longest 4 days of my life. Whenever I wanted to break down and tell the truth, I remembered my friend's advice to think of dying puppies, and the thoughts went right away. I knew the surprise would be worth it. And man, was it ever?!! I tricked Tim all week about my gift. He knew we couldn't afford much for each other so I think he was really confused by all my hints. I stuffed a few boy Michigan onesies, a newborn airplane outfit and a blue blanket in a box, with the ultrasound pictures on top, and I stayed very quiet as he popped through the tape. My heart was beating out of my chest. His face after reading the ultrasound was so happy; his smile was so big. 

It was and probably will always be the best gift I could ever give Tim. And although this baby boy was not anticipated in the least bit, we are all so excited to meet him, squeeze him, squish him, and love him. Hooray for our fifth and final baby! He is now highly anticipated. 


  1. This is the best! So happy for your family!

  2. This is just so great. That is a happy smile right there. This is the year of the boy oops babies :)


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