When a couple discovers that they’re about to have a child, the natural instinct is for them to tell their friends and family and share the good news. This American couple, however, decided not to reveal that they were expecting a baby in the conventional way. In fact, they chose not to reveal it at all. Somehow they kept the news of their imminent arrival to themselves, and then they delivered a baby bombshell to their families in December 2016.
Ben and Hannah Hinders are both 27 years old and live and work in the coastal town of Kailua on Oahu, Hawaii. Both are originally from the East Coast, with Ben hailing from Virginia and Hannah from Florida. With their families and friends still living in the U.S., the couple have seen less of their loved ones since moving to The Aloha State.
Living at least 4,500 miles away from their nearest and dearest, the mischievous Hinders knew they were perfectly placed to give them all the surprise of a lifetime. This story starts back in early 2016, when the then newly married couple first found out that Hannah was pregnant.
But while the Hinders were delighted with the news that their first-born was on its way, they chose not to call their families or tell their closest friends. And the couple didn’t make a grand announcement on social media, either. Yes, Ben and Hannah decided to keep the joyous news to themselves, with a view to blowing the minds of everyone they knew.
Living so far away, the Hinders knew they might not see their families until December that year. So the couple’s secret would be safe until Christmas – the perfect time for glad tidings. But they weren’t sure that they would be able to make it through nine months of pregnancy without letting something slip. But Ben and Hannah decided to give it their very best shot, and it certainly required some hard work to conceal.
The Hinders then went to great lengths to keep the whole thing under cover. And although they were both active on social media, they had to carefully curate their profiles. The crafty couple tried to only upload innocuous shots of the Hawaiian landscape, and – when necessary – artfully cropped any photographs of Hannah displaying a baby bump.
Additionally, they had to make sure that their friends in Hawaii were on board too. Whenever their buddies whipped out their devices, then, the Hinders had to act quickly. “No Hannah in the Snapchat,” soon became a commonly heard phrase of theirs.
Unfortunately, it proved impossible to keep their news from absolutely everyone they knew. Some friends came to visit the couple in Hawaii during the course of 2016, and could immediately tell Hannah was expecting. But the Hinders made them swear to keep it quiet so as not to ruin the surprise for the others back home.
Yes, the couple were ruthlessly determined that the first their families would know about the pregnancy would be seeing the bundle of joy at Christmas. Happily, the pregnancy continued without a glitch, and on September 2, 2016, the couple safely welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world.
The Hinders subsequently named their daughter Ivy Elizabeth, and they couldn’t wait to introduce her to their unsuspecting relatives. But when it was time for Ivy’s first trip to the East Coast, her parents started to feel a bit nervous about their plan. Indeed, the couple became concerned that some of their relatives might be less than pleased that the baby had been kept a secret.
But by this point, it was too late for the Hinders to worry too much, though – what’d been done had been done. Ivy had been born, and all that was left to do was to take her to the mainland U.S. and show her off. What’s more, the couple wanted to document everyone’s reactions, so they hatched a plan to capture all their surprised and delighted expressions.
The proud parents, therefore, decided to film everyone’s first meetings with baby Ivy; that way the couple would have a record of their friends’ and families’ initial responses forever. And before they knew it, the Hinders were on the mainland, and it was time to give people the ultimate Christmas surprise.
As the Hinders had not seen most of their family and friends for ten months, everyone they visited was understandably excited to see them. What was even more exciting, though, was the look on their faces when they saw Hannah holding the tiny baby. Yes, the reactions were priceless, and they were all preserved for posterity on camera.
A video compilation of the Hinders’ relatives meeting Ivy for the first time, and then finding out who she was, got uploaded to YouTube. The footage was titled “Family and Friends React to Amazing Secret!” and quickly gathered more than one million views. And watchers were stunned by the couple’s ability to keep such a big secret.
That being said, viewers were also touched by the emotional reactions from the family members. Some of them burst into tears when they saw baby Ivy, while others tried to rationalize what was happening. Some, understandably, jumped to the conclusion that Ben and Hannah were simply looking after someone else’s baby.
Indeed, it was just too hard for them to fathom how and why the Hinders had managed to keep an entire pregnancy a secret. One relative in the YouTube film simply said, “What in the world?” when she saw the newborn. Then she added in confusion, “You guys… somebody explain this to me.”
One thing’s for sure, though, nobody saw it coming. In fact, it is possibly the very best Christmas surprise that the internet has ever seen. The Hinders’ intimates and extended circle were undoubtably shocked. But once they had figured out what was going on, everyone was of course over the moon for the new family.
Nevertheless, according to Ben, some needed time to get used to the idea. “We had some anger come out after the fact, maybe a week or two later,” he told news website Today.com in December 2016.
But while some family members would have perhaps preferred to have been informed, their anger didn’t last long. Ben added, “It’s pretty hard when you meet Ivy to not fall right in love. Nobody was mad for very long if they were mad.”
“If she has a sibling, they’re going to be so disappointed because we’re definitely not doing this again,” Ben joked. One surprise was enough for the Hinders, but it definitely seemed like it was worth it. And one day Ivy will be able to view the viral video for herself and see just how pleased everyone was to meet her.