I remember when I was pregnant with my first baby, way back in 2004… we were going to wait to find out the sex. It was my first baby and I really wanted it to be a magical surprise at my delivery. We made it through the big sonogram at 20 weeks with flying colors without finding out (even though at that point I was dying to know, especially when the woman said she could determine what it was). We both didn’t care what we were having, we just wanted a healthy pregnancy and baby. The sex of the baby, well… that was just the fun part – girl or boy. But… I will say, if I had to put money on it, I knew my husband was secretly hoping for a little boy. My husband was the last “boy” McClelland, so there was a lot of pressure to carry on the family name… but more so, I knew he would love a son.
At 22 weeks during my pregnancy, I had a slight complication. While we were at the hospital and once we were told all was OK and not to worry, I told the doctor, I want to know what I’m having. He smiled and said, “It’s a boy. A healthy baby boy.”
The look on Matt’s face?
He was going to have a son. Our William.
As you know and as the story has been told on this blog a few times (wink, wink), we went on to have 3 more sons! I guess you can say we’ve officially “saved” the family name.
After we had our Henry, we both kind of thought that our family was complete. There was – of course – a piece of me that wanted to have one more baby, but life was so crazy with the 4 boys, I just wasn’t sure how we could add to the mix at that point. We were content with our family of 4 boys and believe me, they kept us on our toes! I always loved seeing Matt with the 4 boys, I used to joke with him that he’ll be the envy of his friends someday when he’s heading to baseball games and basketball games with these 4 strapping young men! I would always say, “I’ll be at the spa while you’re all at the game!” Matt is the perfect boy dad… he’s into sports, he’s a jack of all trades, he loves to work outside and he always likes to be busy with the boys.
But there was always, always, always, always a part of me that knew Matt would have been a perfect Daddy to a little girl, too.
When I found out I was pregnant with our 5th baby, I genuinely didn’t want to find out the sex. Honestly, I just didn’t want to deal with the comments. As soon as I had announced I was pregnant, it started, “Are you hoping for a girl?” “If this is a boy, will you try again?” “Did you want to try for a girl?” “What will you do if it’s a boy?” I kind of just put my head down and kept quiet about the pregnancy as much as I could because this pregnancy was different for me. It was an emotional one because we decided to have a 5th baby after Matt went through having his GIST Tumor removed. It was such a shock to our family’s system and such a moment in time where we kind of just started looking at life differently… health, family, love and happiness, those are the things life is worth living for… that we wanted to celebrate life with another life.
So boy or girl? It didn’t occur to us. It didn’t matter. It never did.
When we went for our sonogram on February 11th, 2013… I suddenly needed to know what we were having, I didn’t want it to be a surprise. I wanted to get the boys excited and really start putting a little name and “personality” to this little guy. As the woman was doing the sonogram, Matt (who is somewhat of a pro at these sonograms now) said with a shock to his tone, “Is it a girl?”
The woman smiled and said, “Yes, it’s a girl. Definitely a girl.”
The smile on Matt’s face? Well… it’s a smile I’ll never forget. He was going to have a daughter. A little Daddy’s girl.
The messages from him on Facebook over the next 2 days were priceless.
The moment she was born, I knew that her and Matt would have a special connection. She melted in his arms from Day 1, and him right back.
A daughter changes a dad.
I’ve seen it firsthand.
My husband is mush around my daughter. With every smile. With every tear. With every word. With every dance move. With every hand held. He’s mush.
Seeing him with a little girl, it’s been the most beautiful thing in the world to me. I’m so used to seeing him with the boys — throwing footballs, wrestling, playing video games, gardening, raking leaves, watching baseball and football, arm hang contests, etc. The funny thing is, Victoria melds right into all of that, too with them. But it’s seeing him do her hair or play dolls with her, or dance with her… those are the different things.
It’s seeing her light up when he walks into a room with, “DADA!” and run at him with arms open wide.
I got the idea to write this post when I took this innocent photo the other night…
I couldn’t help but see the pure love in both their eyes. It warmed my heart. To capture this moment, to be just like Daddy… it made me smile.
That she is.