A Girl

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Weekly column

A few days after the birth of our sweet, wonderful Isabel Annemarie, I was lying in bed feeding her. I stared at her face, the face of my daughter, and I realized this is a face I never thought I’d see.

Isabel was a tremendous surprise all around. Whenever people asked if we were going to “try for a girl” I would always answer that five boys was plenty. And I absolutely believed this. With so many boys in my life, I never had a feeling that anything (or anyone) was missing. Of course I would have loved a daughter, I’d explain, but life with these boys offers plenty of adventure – and also plenty of love.

When we found out last summer that baby number six was on the way, I began to mentally prepare for baby boy number six. I spent the entire pregnancy geared up to join the Half-Dozen Boys Club, which I knew would be pretty cool.

“Six boys will be quite a sight,” Paul and I would tell each other. It would be more of the same – the same wild and crazy life that I have grown to know and love. We would most likely welcome another boy, and bring home another brother to add to the mix.

And then, along came Isabel.

When Isabel was born I was in shock. When we looked to see if the baby was a boy or girl, I thought I saw a girl but figured the lighting was bad. After five boys, birthing a girl was so counter to what I had come to expect. But what a delight, what an unexpected gift!

I am hesitant to talk about how fulfilled I am now that I have a daughter; Paul and I both, after the birth of each of our children, have always felt that if God didn’t send us anymore children he had already been generous enough. I also know that mothers with only boys are a special and very unique group and I still find it strange to no longer be a part of that very exclusive club.

But of course, I would not trade Isabel for anything and she is indeed the answer to so many of my prayers. Our home is now an explosion of pink (even the dryer lint is pink!) and with each new smocked dress and feminine blanket, we all look on in wonder at how much Isabel has changed our lives, even in these few weeks.

In the laundry room the other day, I noticed one of the “It’s a Girl” buttons from the hospital. For a split-second, I wondered where it came from. Then I remembered it belonged to us, and so does Isabel.

Our baby is here! It’s a girl!




  1. TestosteroneMom says:

    I am the mother of three boys and I have loved reading your posts. This post about Isabel made me cry. (and after living with all my men, I've learned not to cry so easily!!)It's beautiful and touching. You were blessed before and now you are truly blessed. I think every mom of all boys secretly wonders what it would be like to finally have someone "on their side" and you summed it up perfectly. Best of luck to you and God Bless!

    Sharon in Maryland

  2. Mat. Emily says:

    So Sweet, Rachel! I am a new reader and have really been enjoying your posts. We have two little ones and another due in August. I was *shocked* when we had our little girl nearly four years ago. I really thought that we would be a family of boys! She has been such a blessing in our life and she is a wonderful big sister to her little brothers:) Enjoy Isabel!!

  3. Amanda M. says:

    I LOVE the picture. Your boys are SO SO SO cute. I am sure Isabel is going to follow in those cuteness footsteps!
    This was a beautiful post! You know, I was thinking while you were expecting that a little girl would be such a perfect addition to your family (not like I know you personally, but I have been a faithful reader of this most fabulous blog for years!). Anyway, I was thinking a girl would be just perfect BECAUSE of your boys. The boys you already have would be the most perfctly wonderful big brothers that a little sister could ever ask for. Of course they are perfect for little brothers, too. But a little girl just seemed to make perfect sense or something. Bless you all! 🙂

  4. What a beautiful picture!! Little Isabel will be so blessed to have the love an attention of her big brothers, and they will be impacted immeasurably by having a little sister. What a wonderful surprise for your family – we will all love hearing about her as she grows up in the Testosterhome!!

  5. Kate Wicker @ Momopoly says:

    That photo gave me chills and tears. What a beautiful family you have. Any child would feel welcome and loved in the Testosterhome!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Rachel– the photo you posted after Henry was born has exactly the same delighted, joyful expressions on your older sons faces… saying everything about how welcome each new baby is in your family, who ever they are! Enjoy the sweet and oh so fleeting moments of this baby moon!

  7. Jen Raiche says:

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing your insights.

  8. Ahhh, great post:) Made me smile.
    What a sweet picture with all the boys! And then Mommy and sister:) God is so good–that would've been funny, half-dozen boys… this is cool, too:)

  9. thatreallytallgirl says:

    I have four boys and two girls. I love them all immensely but in different ways. I am very, very happy for you!

  10. I love how you capture everyone's faces with the birth of a new baby. I remember you posted a similar one after Henry was born. So sweet!

  11. Dr. Maureen says:

    Oh, so many congratulations! I love the picture! You have a beautiful family. I'm a new reader, and very much enjoy your column. But I wonder if I'm the only one who feels a pang of sympathy for Isabel's first boyfriend? 🙂

  12. The Vosslers says:

    You spoke exactly what I felt when we had our girl! Exactly. We never were "waiting" for our girl, nor trying for one either. However, I do feel SO fulfilled by having her here.

    When I walk past a pink laundry pile, I do a double take. When I pull something pink out of the washer, my first thought is to wonder what I ruined. It's SO different compared to what I've done for 11 years! And I love it. I had (am still having) a total identity crisis, though. I was so defined by being a boy mom, that it's taking a while to adjust to also thinking about how to raise a girl.

  13. Colleen says:

    Congrats! Your family is beautiful!

  14. Kristen says:

    This is such a beautiful answer to the question of "are we done?" When my oldest was a girl and we found out our second was a boy, so many people told us we had our perfect match and therefore were "done." I remember clearly the day my husband said, we're done when God says we're done to someone. Which explains why we have a 3rd child, a second son who will be a year old this Friday. And why we feel blessed if God stopped our family here, but also know that God might not have had His final say….yet!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I cannot begin to express how much I enjoy your blog! I feel like your long lost twin sister . I have the same experience with our last baby (Gianna Maria) our 1st girl after a string of 5 boys! Spaced very similar as well. A shared sense of amazement for God's goodness. Having boys has taught me a tremendous deal about myself. I love having my boymob. I have to say though, when our Gigi was born I felt renewed as a feminine creature! I love having a daughter now. I believe God's way of putting his "sugar on top" of my already sweet 5 scoop ice cream sundae! Many Congrats to your beautiful family!
    Dede Grosso

  16. Hi Rachel, I am just checking in here after a few months. I have missed reading your blog, but my own life is so busy. I knew you were expecting baby number 6 and now I see you have had the baby and it's a girl!! I am so happy for you and your family. Congratulations and I know those 5 boys are going to be so protective of her.

  17. LeAnna says:

    This was the sweetest post I have ever read! What a blessed little girl she will be with so many older brothers to watch over her. God is so good!

  18. Agnes Regina says:

    The nice (and at the same time not so nice) thing for her will be that when she gets old enough to be interested in guys and vice versa, she'll be really well-protected! (I know this because I'm at that age and I have one brother close to my age who is really protective! Haha!!)