As I sit here at 4 AM, just 9 hours after the official reveal of the gender of our first baby, there’s one overwhelming thought in my head: “It couldn’t have been any other way.”

I mentioned in The Pregnancy Story that I was convinced that baby is a girl. Because we speak Spanish in our home, we’d even started talking about “la bebé” quite some time ago. You can’t say “the baby” in Spanish without using a masculine or feminine article, so we’d just decided to use the feminine one because I was so certain. Part of my certainty came from the fact that God laid a girl’s name on my heart in September, the day we were driving into Fayetteville, AR (where we live now) for the first time. I felt like God was confirming to me, “There’s a little girl with this name who will be part of your family.” I clung to that hope as we rode the waves of transition and infertility that I’ve shared here previously.

When our level-2 ultrasound rolled around on April 3, I was 20 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I had started feeling the baby move about a week before and I was ready to see this kid again on screen! We told the ultrasound tech that we didn’t want to know the gender, but that we’d like him to write it in an envelope for us to take with us. It turned out to be a bit of a tough exam that day – this baby wiggles a lot! I wondered if he’d get a clear shot of the gender since many of the required anatomy pics were a challenge. When it came time to officially record the gender, we were informed and we both closed our eyes tightly to maintain the surprise.

Some of you who know me well might be thinking, “But Robbye, you aren’t really big on surprises, are you? Don’t you need to make a plan before this baby arrives?” Partly it might have been my confidence in the gender, but it also had to do with a certain cookie cake. Back in December we had taken a trip to the nearby mall for the first time. We went specifically to get Claire’s gift cards for my nieces for Christmas, but we wandered the mall too. We happened past The Great American Cookie Company and I saw a cake with a cookie button. It said, “He or She – Press here to see.” I understood at a glance that smashing the cookie button would reveal pink or blue icing. Now, knowing that I was there for Christmas presents, I believe that we already knew we were pregnant, but we were perhaps 1 month along. Having experienced loss, I was cautious, but I thought, “If we get to reveal the gender of this baby one day, I want that cake!” Thus, there in that ultrasound, I couldn’t spoil the surprise because I wanted to press that magic gender button!

He or She Cookie Cake

Something clicked at that ultrasound appointment as I sat there with my eyes squeezed shut. The seemingly obvious suddenly became reality for me: this could be a boy. If it’s a boy, did I not hear from God back in September? I wrestled with this, but ultimately concluded that I never heard that my first child would be a girl with the name God gave us. That realization really made me doubt my 20-week stance that I was carrying a girl! And frankly, it took me the two weeks between the ultrasound and the party to emotionally process that I could be having a boy!

So that brings us almost to today, April 17. A sweet friend took the sealed envelope late last week to The Great American Cookie Company to order this awaited cake. She shared with me today that she told the gal at the store that she didn’t want to know the gender and even shielded her eyes when the worker opened the envelope. Being a faithful employee, the lady returned the paper to the envelope and stapled it shut about 20 times! That meant that today, as we were about to press the anticipated cookie button, no one present knew the gender!

There was an air of excitement as we pulled together our closest friends for this moment. It helped that there were some cookie-craving young folks yelling, “Smash it!” in the crowd. As we voted with those present, the overwhelming majority was voting that baby is a boy. I refrained from voting, mostly to preserve my recently-processed emotions and prevent a possible disappointment moment. Praise the Lord that he gave me two weeks to really process and be ready for either outcome today!

As I watched the blue icing squirt out from beneath the cookie we pressed, I was both surprised and not surprised at the same time. I thought, “I wonder where that little girl is and how she’s getting to us? And, oh my word, what am I going to do with a boy?!” I was not and I am not disappointed, I’m just curious what the future looks like. Thankfully I know Who holds and future and I trust Him completely.

And somehow I know, “It couldn’t have been any other way.”

Pressed cookie button with blue icing