Lilia Wanda. I love her name. I love her. She is a girl! What a surprise! What a miracle!
Do you ever feel like God is sitting back, smiling because he's blessing you beyond your wildest dreams? I should know this already, but I am re-learning that God's plans are always better than mine, especially when it comes to my children.
When I found out I was expecting, I was positive I would have another boy. I pictured our family like the 1960s sitcom "My Three Sons," except for the widower part, of course. I chose a name that started with an H, just like my first two sons Harrison and Hugh. I envisioned the three boys sharing a bedroom, their navy blue twin beds lined up next to one another, their pillow shams embroidered with their H names. It was a scene right out of Pottery Barn Kids, and I was thrilled.
Shasta and baby, Lilia Wanda
About halfway through my pregnancy, I was at the ultrasound when you can find out your baby's gender. As the technician moved the wand across my belly, I caught a glimpse of something. "A boy!" I said knowingly. "No," she said. "That's the umbilical cord. Do you want to know what it is?" I hesitated, "Yes."
"It's a girl!" she said. Quiet tears streamed down my cheeks. I can't remember what I said because my mind was buzzing as the technician showed me the baby's anatomy.
I don't deal well with change, so it took me awhile to erase the "My Three Sons" family I had conjured in my imagination and replace it with "Pretty in Pink." Looking back, my thoughts were almost humorous and my husband's thoughts were hysterical. His first words after learning we'd have a daughter were, "A girl! I have to pay for a wedding." My thoughts were more immediate, "How will my rough and tumble little boys handle a sister? What bedroom will she sleep in? What will we name her?"
The only thing I knew for sure, her middle name would be Wanda, after my grandma who had died a decade earlier. My grandma's life impacted so many others that her funeral was standing-room only. Nearly everyone in her small hometown came to show their respects, many standing to describe how she'd introduced them to the Lord.
One day when I was concerned with how a girl will fit into our very boy-oriented family, my husband said something that calmed me for the remainder of my pregnancy. "What if she grows up to be a Wanda?" he asked.
I then spent the next few months anticipating my daughter, decorating her room with pink and brown Pottery Barn Kids crib bedding and a crystal chandelier, and buying pink outfits complete with accessories. (Guess what, honey? The wedding isn't the only expensive thing about having a girl!)
Then I waited ... and waited ... and waited. Six days after my due date, I went to the hospital to be induced. I didn't want to be induced because the drug they use to start contractions, Pitocin, is wicked. It had to be invented by a man because no woman would make such a relentless, painful medication. When the nurse was checking me in, I went into labor on my own. No Pitocin needed!
Five hours later, my 9-pound, 3-ounce daughter was born. I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams, and God is surely smiling.
- Shasta Clark is a St. Clairsville native who lives in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, with her husband, two sons and newborn daughter. Her e-mail address is email@example.com.