Sailor Chris Daugherty’s stunned and beaming face said it all. After six months at sea, he returned home to his wife and children to discover ― surprise! ― his family would be growing by one.
“Is that real?” he asked his wife, Natasha, reaching out to prod her swollen belly, just minutes after stepping off the USS Carl Vinson on Friday.
For the entire time her husband was deployed, Natasha Daugherty, who is pregnant with their fourth child, had kept the baby a secret, not wanting to reveal such big news over the phone or email.
“It was really hard because I had to filter my pictures,” she told CBS 8 this week, adding that it’d been particularly tough preventing her 4-year-old daughter from spilling the beans.
Natasha Daugherty, who lives in Temecula, California, told KTLA this week that she had been tempted to blurt out the news when the USS Carl Vinson was deployed to waters around North Korea in April amid mounting U.S-North Korea tensions. The supercarrier had been part of a strike group sent to the Korean peninsula as a show of force.
“I was wondering, ‘Should I tell him? Would I feel guilty if something happens and he doesn’t know?’” she said.
In the end, however, she chose to keep her secret and waited till her husband returned home for the big baby reveal.
Sharing a video of the family’s reunion on Facebook over the weekend, the expectant mother said it had been an emotional day. “Here it is! The moment he sees the baby bump. He’s so confused and in disbelief lol, asked if it was real and poked the belly ... so funny! I cried,” she wrote.
Daugherty said he was delighted ― and shocked ― when he finally realized his wife was pregnant.
“I wasn’t sure if she was playing a trick on me,” he told CBS 8. “It was by far the best Father’s Day gift.”
The baby is reportedly due at the end of August.