I never understood how you could have a feeling either way. The moment I thought this baby was a boy, I immediately felt like he or she could easily be a girl. And we were honestly completely happy either way. Then randomly the morning of our gender ultrasound, I had convinced myself that it was a baby boy. Completely. 100%. And I was so wrong!

Charlotte Gail Jenkins (who will be called Lottie) interrupted D's little Jenkins' family branch full of boys: a grandfather with two brothers, a father with three brothers, and D with two brothers of his own. Lottie Gail will certainly be doted on! And she, of course, continues the McMahone family tradition of girls, girls, and girls. I want my daddy to have a grandson so bad I can taste it, but that's what he gets for being such a good Daddy and Pops to all these girls.

A week later, it's finally sunk in that this child of mine is a little girl. And I am SO EXCITED. D is too, and that daddy/daughter dynamic is one of the things I'm most thrilled about. Let's be honest, he's going to be so wrapped. I can see it now! And, yes, I'm excited about all those precious clothes. Especially the arsenal of hand-me-downs coming from Lottie's two older girl cousins (major little sister perks).

Though the excitement of the actual reveal can hardly be topped, the best part of that morning was a great and reassuring report from our doctor. With a complicated first trimester full of miscarriage scares and partial bed rest and that standard exhaustion and sickness, it was so reassuring to hear that it's ok that I'm feeling like myself again and that all looked just right surrounding baby. Music to a mama's ears. I'm overwhelmed by what the Lord has brought us through so far, how He has loved us through Lottie, how His mighty hands that formed the universe are forming her. Talk about something fueling your worship!

He has been faithful in the moments that I wasn't, when I turned to statistics and message boards for comfort [yea, don't do that]. He was faithful when we weren't always sure what to pray. Sometimes we prayed for this baby to be perfectly healthy and whole and sometimes we prayed for God's will to be done. I cried the most when D prayed that this child would live a healthy life, outliving us as his or her parents. And He was faithful on the most worrisome of days. But no surprise there - He is always faithful!

So now we're picking out paint colors and choosing a few pink registry options and absolutely loving calling her by name. D is spending a little bit of time keeping up with my super random cravings [honeycrisp apples, Fresh Market's lemon orzo pasta, strawberry pop tarts]. We remain thankful for our family and friend's constant excitement and support coming from all directions. Thank you thank you for all the congratulations from the last post. I was so surprised since I thought I was slipping it in there under the radar. I absolutely love everyone's adorable pregnancy announcements, and I, an over-sharer, always dreamed of what we may post one day [what a funny social media world we live in]. But I also know the feeling of seeing a string of announcements when you are so hopeful for a little life yourself. Again, I love them. Not one ounce of anything against them. I just come from a slightly different viewpoint these days.

The sweetest and most surprising part of this sharing process has been the private messages from so many acquaintances and friends telling me about their similar situations - some on the other side and some still waiting. What a privilege to hear their stories, to relate to them on something I would never have been able to this time a year ago. I carry a list of their names with me, praying and hoping for each one.

We love you, Lottie Gail. More than ever, we can't wait to meet you (and this mama can't wait to feel you move). But we do have a few things to do before you get here!