It was early morning, and the dew covered the dry, winter grass as my husband, our four little boys (five and under) and I piled into our minivan for the appointment I had secretly been dreading since the moment we booked it. My two older stepsons were at school. Yes, that’s right, six boys total.
The appointment had been canceled and rescheduled twice over the previous month. Once because the doctor had some unexpected things come up and the second time because my husband was sick. After each time the appointment was delayed, I quietly thanked God and wondered, could this be Him divinely delaying it? Canceling it? Making it not possible? My heart secretly hoped and delighted. I quietly prayed, “God if this is not Your will, You divinely close the doors. Please . . .”
But appointment day came, the weather was overcast, our schedule was open, nobody was sick, and we were on our way. I was quieter than my usually open, introvert but chatty with my husband self. My husband and I share our hearts about everything. Truly everything. So keeping my feelings inside about this was unusual. But I knew he was resolved, and I didn’t want to stop him.
As he was driving, I looked over at him, searching him with my eyes, “So . . . you feel good about it? Like totally totally sure, right?” I scanned for any wince or sense of doubt or uncertainty.
“Yes, I’m 100 percent sure. There’s no part of me not wanting to do it.” He was resolute. Wow. Completely sure. Okay . . . okay.
He felt my lack of enthusiastic response and gave a quick, intuitive glance over at me while driving and returned the question, “You feel totally good about it too, right?”
I looked out the passenger window to avoid letting him see my eyes. I was silent, then said, “I will support you completely if this is what you feel peace about doing.” I was quietly trying to keep any tears from derailing the plans. It was his body, his choice, not mine.
Oh no. But he could hear it. The pensive uncertainty in my voice. He, somewhat surprised at my response spoke back, “Hun, if you don’t feel total peace about it, we won’t do it. But I just don’t think it’s possible, I mean . . . six boys!? Our team is full. But, if you don’t feel absolute peace about it, I will cancel it, but you need to let me know—we’re five minutes away!”
His heart was resolved but not so staunch to be immovable, soft enough to be moved by mine.
I hemmed and hawed and darted around his question as my brain scanned all the ramifications of canceling—inconveniencing the doctors, still having to pay a copay, the embarrassment of telling family that we were reversing the course. Gah. Am I just being dramatic? Am I being greedy and selfish to want more? Am I chasing a dream that’s just not meant to be?
As we came over the hill of the parking lot to pull in, her name was screaming with piercing clarity in my spirit. The name my husband came up with. I couldn’t forget it. It was a name we had picked out if the he were a she two babies prior. But here we were six boys later, no sign of pink in sight.
“I just remember when I asked you why you always wanted to have a little girl because you thought you would be a good girl dad.” The tears started coming, and we saw the clock ticking, just minutes away from the appointment time.
My husband got out of the car. He went in. I sat in the car, my stomach in knots, handing applesauce pouches and cheese sticks back to the little guys in the back asking, “Where’s Daddy going?”
I sat. And waited.
Less than five minutes later, he came back out with a serene smile on his face and got in the car. “The lady at the front desk gave a funny smile when I told her. She said it happens all the time. We are crazy, you know, by the way, crazy! You know what this means, right?!”
My heart exploded and breathed a deep sigh of relief.
“You didn’t have to do that, you know?”
“I know, but we are one, and if we aren’t in agreement and if we don’t feel total peace about it, it’s not right for me to go through with it.”
We drove home, I poured out my heart to him and shared with him that I kept on seeing her nickname everywhere—in random places, on TV, with people we met. I just couldn’t shake it.
Less than two months later, that faint second line showed up on the pregnancy test— the faint line you hold up to the light and look at from multiple angles to see if it’s for real.
Yes. It was.
As I write this, I’m cuddled up to my little nursling. She’s six months new. Our Zoeyana Belle. Our Zoey. Her name means Life-Grace Beauty. And she is . . . all of those things and more. This little gift we didn’t think was possible. But how much more we cherish a little pink after six baby blues and after almost not having her.
I watch my husband carrying her around as she strokes his beard and hear the sweet, gentler way he talks to her and makes her giggle. She is altogether so lovely and so different from her big brothers, who are equally cherished and adored. They all love to be the closest to her.
We recently upgraded vehicles to a 15-passenger Ford Transit to tote our family of nine around. Carrying around these gifts of unexpected promise. And holding with an open hand whatever He wants to entrust us with. Because He is the giver of life.
And yes, my love, you are, indeed, an amazing girl dad.