By Matt Wotus

A week after Chris Daugherty deployed with the U.S. Navy, his wife, Natasha, found out she was pregnant with the couple’s fourth child. Instead of telling her husband via email, the military wife in Temecula, California, decided to keep the pregnancy a secret and surprise him when he returned home.

Natasha managed to hide her midsection in the family photos she would share with Chris during her first two trimesters, but it wasn’t always easy to keep the pregnancy a secret. It was especially difficult when Chris’ deployment aboard the USS Carl Vinson was extended for a month so the ship could make a show of force near the North Korean coast.

“I got emotional about it and I was wondering, ‘Should I tell him? Would I feel guilty if something happens and he doesn’t know?'” Natasha told KTLA. “I went back and forth about it.”

She held out, though, and was eight months pregnant when Chris returned home on June 23 after a six-month deployment. To hide her belly, Natasha was holding a sign that read “Welcome home baby daddy,” and after Chris was first greeted by his kids in San Diego, she dropped the sign to reveal the secret.

Video of the reveal shows a shocked Chris asking if it was real.

“She said, ‘Surprise!’ and dropped the sign, and I was confused,” Chris said. “And then I actually poked her belly because I wasn’t sure if she was playing a trick on me or not. Clearly, she was not.”

The baby, a girl, is due in late August, and Chris will get to be there for the birth, as he is expected to be home until January.