I knew the gender of our first two beautiful girls. With Norah we waited to be surprised at her birth. I was so focused on getting her out and into my arms, it didn’t even occur to me to check to see is she was a boy or girl. The midwives had to ask me and I picked her up off my chest and yelled out GIRL! We already had a name picked out for either gender. Since that was my first midwife experience I thought having a surprise would help me focus on the baby rather than the pain of labor. It was an absolutely amazing experience. The midwives loved being surprised too.

After having Norah, we just found out she was a girl.

When we found out we were expecting our fourth child, Ryan and I agreed that we would love to have another surprise at the birth. When we went for our 20 week ultrasound the tech handed my husband a blank envelope with our baby’s gender inside. Ryan wrote on the outside “Do Not Open” and handed it to me. When I was pregnant with Norah, the ultrasound tech did not give us a mysterious envelope with the gender of our baby. That made not finding out much easier.

Now my husband and anyone who really knows me, knows that handing me that envelope is like telling Dennis the Menace to not push that big, red, shiny button on the wall. I placed the envelope in the Bible so Jesus could keep me honest. I wrestled with opening up the envelope for five whole days. My husband is so patient. My husband loves surprises. My husband married his polar opposite. Why did he hand me that envelope when he was adamant on keeping our baby’s gender a surprise I will never know.

We received the ultrasound on a Saturday and on Thursday night I convinced myself that I was mad at Ryan to justify my opening of the envelope. My sweet husband had the audacity to fall asleep on the couch after a long day’s work as I scratched his back during a very boring episode of something I wasn’t watching either. So I left him on the couch, stormed into the bedroom, not before covering him up and placing a pillow under his head, ripped open the envelope and found out that our baby was not at all what I was expecting!

Every night, when we are snuggled in bed, before we go to sleep Ryan whispers “I was 100% faithful to you today.” After he says it, I usually say it back. I hesitated with my reply and confessed that I was not faithful to him today. Although dark I could tell his head jerked back and his eyes sprung open wondering what I could mean. So I told him my act of betrayal. He was so disappointed and didn’t even ask me the gender. I didn’t even tell him until the following evening around midnight.

I asked him why he trusted me with the envelope to which he replied, “ I was testing you.” Well who are you? Satan?! Tempting Jesus in the dessert? Ryan looked at me disappointed and said, “Jesus spent 40 days starving in a dessert, you had an envelope for five days.” I was pretty humbled and deserved his less than enthusiastic reaction that he gave me when I told him what we were having.

He definitely made up for it the next morning and in true Ryan fashion has not once made me feel bad for it….. well after the initial guilt trip. The girls were not thrilled. They wanted another sister. Yes folks the ultrasound said BOY! The girls were glad to find out. We surprised them the next day. The girls want to name their brother with a name starting with an “N” because we have a Mia, Madelyn, Norah and they want Nicholas or Nathan.

We are deciding to name the baby when he is born so we can choose what feels right. We have a few ideas in mind. Fulton will definitely be his middle if not first name, after the venerable bishop Fulton Sheen. I know that whatever we name him, he will be loved and spoiled by us all.

Ready for baby

Sorry not sorry for the extra dramatic gender reveal. This is almost verbatim how we told our friends and family. It was fun being able to share the news in person and watch them squirm when we would go on and on about how we found out without sharing what the baby was. I guess it was my way of making up for the lack of socializing in 2020.

When people at church would ask if we knew the gender I would reply, “yes” and smile. Watching them nearly fall forward waiting on an answer was priceless. “Oh did you want to know?” I would laugh and share the story. I am surprised most didn’t pass out since it seemed like they held their breath the entire time I was talking and would finally interrupt me saying “WHAT IS IT?!?”

I thought I would go ahead and share the baby news since I have a few baby showers coming up and I’ll want to share all the little boy outfits and the nursery upgrade. Thanks for reading!



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