Joe Nichols is no doubt exhausted, but elated, this afternoon. His wife Heather gave birth to Dylan River Nichols on Tuesday. The couple just announced the pregnancy in February, but clearly she was further along than they let everyone know.

The birth was an emotional moment for the ‘Brokenheartsville’ singer. “Our prayers have been answered,” Heather Nichols said in a statement at the singer’s website. “We went through years of loss and heartbreak to get to this point and now our little baby girl is here.”

The couple suffered a miscarriage at the beginning of 2008. Heather adds in her blog post, “I want to thank everyone for their well wishes, thoughts and prayers and our doctors and nurses who have walked along side us in this process. I know that we are going to love this little girl, and I am so thankful that she is ours.”

Heather and Joe have been married since 2007. Dylan River is the couple’s first child together, though Joe has a teenage daughter from a previous relationship. As for baby’s name, Heather’s mother Sharon Singleton tells People that both Dylan and River are very significant for her daughter.

“Dylan was inspired by Heather’s childhood friend Dylan who passed away after college. She says she has felt his presence as her guardian angel since,” she explains. “River comes from the song Joe sang to Heather on their wedding day, ‘That Would Be Her,’ which Heather listened to over and over during her fertility treatments.”

The statement on Nichols’ website wasn’t complete without a comment from the proud dad. “As Heather said, we have been trying to have a baby together for many years,” he concluded. “This gift is not something we take for granted. We are going to try to be the best parents possible.”

The little girl weighed in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces and measured just over 21 inches long. Mother and child are happy and healthy.

More From Cat Country 107.3