Courtesy Mehgan Merriott
September 15, 2016 05:00 PM

Mehgan Merriott and boyfriend Robert Cooper’s routine sonogram turned into an unforgettable moment on Monday after their baby surprisingly honored his father’s service.

After trying for nearly 30 minutes to get the 12-week-old baby to wake up for their obstetrician, Dr. Daniel Eikleberry, Merriott tells PEOPLE that their bundle of joy arose with a start.

In a quick second, the baby raised its hand in the air, seemingly saluting Merriott, 22, and Cooper, like a mini soldier.

“It was pretty amazing, because my boyfriend was a Marine for four years, and served two tours – one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan,” the mom-to-be says. “Pretty crazy.”

Mehgan Merriott and Robert Cooper
Courtesy Mehgan Merriott

The Columbus, Georgia, resident and her boyfriend are more than ready for parenthood: “We started trying in March, and found out on July 16,” she says.

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Robert Cooper
Courtesy Mehgan Merriott

And Merriott has already had some practice – her son, Cambden, (from a previous relationship) is 3.

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“We’ll find out the gender on the 23rd [of September], and we’re going to have a gender reveal on the 24th,” Merriott tells PEOPLE, adding, “I am hoping for a girl, because I already have a boy, but really I just want the baby to be happy, healthy and everything to go well.”

Mehgan Merriott and son
Courtesy Mehgan Merriott

Merriott is due on March 24, and, she says, “ready to have a bitty baby again.”

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