Inside the operating room, everyone was quiet as we stood back and allowed the staff the space to do their work. I felt so honored and blessed to be in that room. Not only did this beautiful family allow me to come in and share these sacred, private moments with them, but the hospital staff also welcomed me and generously gave me space to do my work. I'm truly grateful.
Except to give me this brief thumb's up, Dan's hand never left its comforting position on the top of Lyndsay's head.
For several minutes we waited in silence, wondering when baby Charlotte would finally appear. Would she cry when she came out? Would she look like her big sister Maddie? What color hair would she have? Lyndsay joked with Dan, softly telling him, "I'm just afraid she's gonna come out and then they tell us it's a boy." I chuckled softly to myself, remembering those same fears of a gender surprise every time I went in to birth.
At last we heard a tiny gurgle followed by a brief cry. Baby Charlie was out!
The midwife mumbled behind her surgical mask, "Now what did we say this baby was supposed to be?"
"A girl." Lyndsay responded.
I smiled, assuming she was teasing Mom and Dad about baby's gender - trying to keep them guessing in a world where 20 week ultrasounds reveal our babies' gender half-way through pregnancy and take all the guesswork out of preparing. I readied my camera to capture Baby Charlotte's debut over the blue curtain.
She appeared just then, beautifully pink, squishy, wailing, and completely, utterly, without a doubt - a boy!
The entire operating room burst into uproar. We were all shocked and delighted! Mom began laughing and crying simultaneously, while Dad stared in disbelief and kept uttering the word, "Wow!"
One thing is for sure. Girl or boy, this baby is beautiful, absolutely perfect, and absolutely loved.