After 3 Sons, I Gave Birth to a Surprise Baby Girl & My Husband Became a Big Softy



My husband and I decided not to find out the gender of any of our children when I was pregnant. A friend once told me that there are few real surprises in life, and no matter what the outcome in the delivery room, it is a good surprise. I loved that and adopted it for my journey to motherhood. Our first three children are boys, and every time I heard, “it’s a boy!” my heart was filled with joy.
I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want a daughter, and I think my husband did, too. We just figured it wasn’t in the cards for us. But a surprise fourth pregnancy rocked our world and changed our lives forever. I was thrilled to have a mini-me that I hoped would love bows, dolls, and boy bands like me. But my husband is the one whose heart really melted that March morning. And he has never been the same.
Way back when, he only wanted one child.

When we met almost 20 years ago, my husband told me he didn’t want any kids. After we got married, he was in the one-and-done camp. He was a practical and pragmatic thinker who was excited about the financial benefit of having a child. I actually told him I was pregnant with our first child by handing him a onesie that said “tax deduction.”

After he got to know that first baby, he was no longer looking at the cost of raising a child from birth to 18. He was ready to fill the house with as many kids as possible. Being a dad was his greatest accomplishment.

He is a good boy dad.

Since they were born, my sons have gotten to do all of the typical guy things with their dad. He took them to baseball games and taught them to yell “touchdown” before they were 2. He wanted them to be gentlemen and helped them learn manners and how to treat others kindly.

Our sons learned the importance of giving to others and serving their community from their dad. He has high expectations of his sons and always wants them to work hard. He knows that they have the potential to do great things, and he wants them to live up to that. If that means he has to be tough now and then, he will be.

Life took an unexpected turn seven years ago.

We were not planning to have four children, but we believed God had other plans for us. Our daughter was born in the middle of the night, and everything changed when he laid eyes on that little girl. There was a sparkle in his eyes that I had never seen before. She gave him a chance to experience something brand new as a dad, and he embraced it from day one.

There was a gentleness and a sweetness that I had not seen before. As I said, he was doting, loving, and kind with all of our boys, but this one was different. He went to Target one day and came home with an outfit that said “Daddy’s Little Princess” with crowns and a tutu. I don’t ever remember him stopping in the clothing department for the boys. She was different. She softened him.
And then came cheeseburger Thursday.

My husband worked from home two days a week long before COVID and home offices became the norm. Because he was home, he picked our girl up from preschool one day a week. She was 2, and he had never had the chance to do this with the other kids, so he jumped at the chance. One day at pickup, they went for a cheeseburger after school. They were going to drive-thru, but she asked to go in. That trip inside started a three-year tradition.

Once a week, he picked her up for a standing date. Cheeseburger Thursday was infamous at her school. She was eager to tell her teacher and friends that she was headed on an adventure that day with her dad. This kid has been to every hamburger joint in St. Louis. CBT, as we call it, was an hour just for them. He got out his phone to take a few pictures, but there was no scrolling or texting. They talked about her day, what she wanted to be when she grew up, and what her favorite color and song were. He will undoubtedly tell you that his heart broke when she went to kindergarten.

She is a daddy’s girl.

My daughter and I are BFFs, no doubt, but there are things that dad does better than me. Only he can tuck her in at night. I don’t do it tight enough. He is better at brushing her hair, which he has done since she was an infant. I am not as patient with homework and spelling words, plus dad gives clues, so she studies with him.

e has told her for as long as I remember that he loves her with all of his heart. As she got older, she began saying it back to him. That is their sweet little thing, and sometimes it makes me tear up when I hear them. I know that it’s true.
Having a daughter introduced him to a whole new world.

He would say. without a doubt. that even though he thought we were done having kids, his life is infinitely better because of our caboose. That baby girl made him slow down and appreciate things he may have missed. He was introduced to the delicate sweetness of a little girl caring for a baby doll and the pure joy on her face when she had her nails freshly painted. He is well-versed in JoJo, and I guarantee you he doesn’t even want to think about how much money he’s spent on her bows. But he’d do anything for that baby girl.

There is nothing wrong with a baby coming along and softening some rough edges. Our daughter did that for my husband, and he is a better person because of it. I hope that they will always remain as close as they are today. And I guarantee no matter how old she is, if she’s having a bad day, she can always count on dad to be there with a cheeseburger and fries and a chocolate shake … Because he loves her with all of his heart.




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