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What could possibly elicit this look of pure, unadulterated shock on a mom's face during the birth of her child?
No, Koto Nakamura wasn't surprised with the news that there were actually two babies in there, although that might have produced a similar expression.
You see, Koto was expecting a girl. As in, an ultrasound confirmed she was having a girl, she had selected a baby girl name, and most of her registry gifts were pink and frilly. But as Tasmania-based photographer Jessica Jackson, who captured this once-in-a-lifetime photo, explained to our site in an email, Koto's baby was a boy!
"We all initially thought it was a joke, when the doctor announced it's a boy," Jessica said. "I laughed it off, but then when Koto looked at me, I snapped this image, and I knew by the look of utter shock on Koto's face that it was not a joke!"
Still, Koto initially thought she had misheard, or misinterpreted what the doctor said. She kept asking, "Not Hinata?" That was the name she had chosen for her daughter, according to Jessica, who revealed an incredible irony about the gender surprise: "It was made even more funny, because earlier in her labor the midwife had asked if she was expecting a boy or a girl, and Koto replied 'a girl' and the midwife went on to tell a story about a woman giving birth to a boy after thinking she was having a girl. We were all laughing and joking, saying 'Oh gosh imagine if that happened to Koto!'"
Well, it happened. And I can't imagine how shocked she felt, although her expression does a pretty good job of conveying her feelings in that moment.
Here is a closer look at the day Koto and her husband Sina, who immediately began planning camping trips with his new son, fell in love with a baby boy, instead of a baby girl as expected:
Jessica says this birth was truly unique from start to finish. "I have been a birth photographer for four years and never witnessed this before. I don't really expect it to happen again either." She adds that in her experience, "Usually the ultrasound techs and doctors won't say 'girl' or 'boy' if they aren't close to 100 percent sure. I'm really not sure how this happened!"
"The laughter, the excitement and the tears, actually left me with out a voice for a week," Jessica admits, adding "It was an absolute dream to be witness and document the birth of this baby, and how awesome for Taiga to have the exact look on his mum's face to look back on when they are retelling his birth story in years to come!"
That's right; after a few days, the couple settled on the boy name Taiga.
Welcome to the world Taiga! It's pretty clear your mommy loves you immeasurably, even though you came as a total shock! And I'll be honest: After ultrasound technicians assured me I was having a girl ahead of all three of my deliveries, it was always a fear of mine they'd be wrong. What if I gave birth to a boy? What if I was so shocked, that I wouldn't love him? Seeing this image of Koto and Taiga, that fear seems pretty silly now.
Thank you to Koto and Sina for sharing your birth story with BabyCenter. And thank you to Jessica for sharing this truly awesome image. You can learn more about Jessica's photography on her website.
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.