the best secret we’ve ever kept

Dear world:

He’s here!

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And he’s beautiful.

And we knew it was him all along.

For 20 long weeks we kept the secret. From family. From friends. From every perfect stranger who would stop us in the grocery store and ask if we knew what we were having.

No matter who inquired whether this baby was a boy or a girl, my response was always the same.

We’re keeping it a surprise, I’d say.

My hunch is it’s a boy, I’d offer.

And if you listened carefully to my phrasing, I never told a lie.

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I always swallowed back the smile when people would assure me it was a girl. I can tell by how you’re carrying. I knew from the moment you told me you were pregnant. It’s got to be a girl this time.

I’d nod and chat about how it would be fun to have a daughter – because I always entertained a healthy dose of doubt, even with ultrasound techs and crystal clear pictures that claim to be “99% accurate.”

I wouldn’t know for sure until I held that baby in my arms.

But still we knew. And it was the loveliest secret we’ve ever kept, just the two of us calling him by name, delighting in the prospect of three boys, imagining what new personality might be added to the bunch.

We’d always loved the surprise before. Turned our heads away with resolve at the ultrasound tech’s instructions. Marveled at the discovery in the delivery room. Loved sharing the news with each family member and friend we called in the hours after delivery.

But after our miscarriage last year, my perspective changed. The loss of the unknown and the possibility was the hardest grief to bear. I wanted to know as much as I could about our baby.

So I wore him down, my dear husband who can be as stubborn as I. After a few months of convincing, he agreed to find out – as long as we kept the surprise to share with friends and family once baby arrived.

(And of course we never whispered a word of our secret to the two biggest blabber-mouths we know: Brothers #1 and #2, who openly had their hearts set on a little sister. “Mama, we already have a little brother!” our oldest would remind us exasperatedly.)

So on that freezing cold Epiphany day, we found out. And we both loved it. I will never forget the grin we shared in that dimly lit ultrasound room. Three boys!

Knowing made the waiting that much sweeter, that much more eager, that much more impatient. And now he’s here in our arms.

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So it’s a story of revelation – of secret and surprise. And a story of change and conversion. The choices we made for one child don’t have to be the choices we make for another.

But what a joy to share the news we’ve known for so long. Our boy.

Not simply a third variation on a theme. Far from any disappointed attempt to “try for a girl.” Nothing but a beautiful boy and brother and son and child of God all his own.

Sometimes I wondered, in that abstracted telescopic view we sometimes try to sneak on our own lives, whether I wished this baby had been a girl. After all, everyone around me was sure I wanted a daughter. Some of the bold ones went so far as to declare that they hoped I’d “get my girl” this time. Once or twice I felt that twinge of ohhhh when I saw an adorable dress in the baby department.

But when I wrote that I was smitten with this baby the second I saw him, it was no exaggeration.

Every time I thought of him – him – a goofy grin snuck across my face that I can only compare to that feeling of falling in love for the first time. He is exactly the baby I dreamed of.

So there you have it, world. From the girl who can’t keep a poker face, who always bursts to let loose the secret, who can barely hide a joke’s punch line.

Nearly half a year spent waiting to spill the beans.

He’s the best secret I’ve ever kept.

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16 thoughts on “the best secret we’ve ever kept

    • Laura says:

      Thank you, Peg!! I was thinking of you last weekend when I finally got a chance to jot down his birth story in the journal we started at your retreat – what a beautiful keepsake of this pregnancy and birth! And I wanted to tell you that the painting of “Mary and the Midwives” was something I thought a lot about in the days and weeks of early labor, too, how at peace Mary looks amidst her pain.

  1. Bev says:

    OH…with tears running down my face I rejoice with you as you welcome your beautiful son! Congratulations and many blessings as you blend that precious new life into your family. That is one lucky baby!! God is good!

  2. onetuffmama says:

    Congratulations! This made me smile. I love how you kept your secret to yourselves. We don’t know whether we’re having a boy or girl. I love being surprised but the second best thing would be to do what you did!

    • Laura says:

      Thanks, onetuffmama! I agree that the pure surprise is so much fun – we loved it with our first and second. But now I see why people love finding out, too!

    • Laura says:

      Thank you, Ginny! This work as a mom-of-boys continues – whew! I don’t think there’s enough caffeine in the world for me to keep up with their energy. 😉

  3. Tina @Mamas Like Me says:

    As a mother of 4 boys (with one a little girl on the way), I can say I know all too well about others hoping you have a little girl! Congratulations on your beautiful blessing! We loved having 3 boys…and then 4 boys 🙂

    • Laura says:

      Thank you, Tina! And congratulations to you as well! I am so excited for three boys (although I bet you are delighted to have a girl on the way, too, to spice up the mix!)

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