Yesterday I found myself thinking about the fact that all three of our girls were surprises and the boys were not. That sounds weird, what I mean is that we knew the boys were boys before they were born but we didn't know the girls were girls. Maybe it seems weird to write a whole post about this, but it is part of our family's story!
Since Stephen was our first, we really wanted to know if he was a boy or girl and were quite excited to find out he was a boy. It was a lot of fun buying a few baby boy things. We didn't have much money, so we bought a little Moses basket at Walmart for about $15 and I sewed a little mattress and bumper to go around the inside. Mom threw a baby shower for me, and that helped a lot! James had known for a very long time that he wanted to name his first son after his Dad, Stephen James.
Then when I was pregnant with Ellen, we purposely decided not to find out if she was a boy or a girl. We had enjoyed being surprised by Annie so much and wanted to do that again. Luckily, we already had everything we needed for a boy or a girl, so that was not a concern at all. And it was fun again to find out when she was born that we had another little girl. Stephen was not quite so excited about it, but he got over it. With Ellen, we had only been able to agree on a boy name. We had decided, if the baby was a boy, that we would name him after our close friend Russell Osterman. I don't remember having a middle name to go with it though. We had discussed several girl names, but didn't settle on Ellen Margot till an hour or two after she was born.
Next came Naomi. We decided we wanted to know this time. I had an ultrasound, but Naomi was shy and the technician couldn't get a good enough look to see if she was a boy or girl! So we were going to have our third surprise! Stephen really wanted a brother. But he seemed ok with it when she was born and we had girl number three. Annie was quite excited to have another sister. I don't remember if we ever had a specific boys name picked out. Boy names were a little harder for us. I had been sure that we had decided on Naomi Fern for a girl. I was so sure that when she was born and the nurse asked what we were going to name her, I said, "Naomi Fern Mobley". And James promptly said, "We are?" He did not remember choosing that name! But he was gracious and let me name her Naomi Fern. Life after Naomi was born was hard for us. Ellen had just started her treatment for hip displaysia and was in a spica cast. And I struggled with post partum depression for most of Naomi's first year. So we decided that we would be done having kids.
Then, SURPRISE! I found out I was pregnant. I was so nervous that I knew about it for two weeks before I told James. He was very positive and encouraging. But we were still both a bit nervous, so we decided to find out if we were having a boy or a girl. It was a boy! And we were all so excited! Especially Stephen. He was finally getting a brother!! My sweet visiting teachers threw a baby shower for me since it had been so long since our last boy and I had given away quite a bit of our baby clothes. We tried for a while to think of a name we both liked, and couldn't come up with anything. Then one day James suggested Noah and we never looked back. Twelve days after his due date, and after both Nana and Grandma and Grandpa Mobley had come and gone hoping to see the new baby, Noah Vernon was born.
After Noah we again decided that we would be done having children. Every now and then James would say, "Are you sure we shouldn't have another kid?" And I always said, "Yes!" But when Noah was three, I read a quote from Spencer W. Kimball in a talk by Julie B. Beck. He said, "“It is an act of extreme selfishness for a married couple to refuse to have children when they are able to do so.” And that morning I knew that we needed to have another baby. But I wanted to make sure! So we prayed and fasted and went to the temple. And the answer was definitely yes. I was soon pregnant, but after just 7 weeks I had a miscarriage. James and our neighbor, Mike Dixon, gave me a blessing and I felt a lot of comfort and reassurance that everything was ok.
We were all excited when I found out I was pregnant again. And we all really wanted to know if we were having a boy or a girl. I went to the ultrasound by myself then afterwards called James to tell him we were having a boy. I left blue sticky notes on Stephen, Annie, and Ellen's lockers at school telling them they were going to have another brother. Noah and Naomi were at the Dixon's house and were so excited when I told them. James really wanted to name the baby George, after his great-grandpa George Baugh Everton. James and the kids were constantly talking about Baby George. I just couldn't quite get used to that name though. About a month before his due date, I started thinking really hard about other names. James knew how I felt about the name George so he listened, but wasn't convinced to go with a different name yet. Then I remembered the quote from President Kimball and suggested the name Spencer. James wondered who we would be naming him after and I said, "The Prophet from when we were born." and he liked it! Whew! Spencer Everton was born a whole week before his due date.
And there you have the story of how we knew when we were having boys but were surprised by our girls. Plus a little extra.