These days so many of us learn the sex of our babies before they are born, but one mom’s viral photo is proving that sometimes a surprise can be so worth it (and that scans aren’t infallible when it comes to predicting whether you’ll have a girl or boy.

The powerful image of Nancy Ray’s third birth was captured by photographer Lauren Jolly and shows the exact moment when she realized she hadn’t given birth to the daughter she was expecting, but to a son!

Her face is a hilarious mixture of joy and shock. She’d delivered her child faster than she’d imagined and had spent a significant amount of time snuggling with her baby girl when she finally realized that he wasn’t a girl at all.

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The photograph is going viral right now, but the first surprise of this story happened last April when Ray got the first surprise of this story. The mom of two girls got a bit of a shock when she learned she was pregnant for the third time. Then in June, after a scan, Ray and her husband Will learned they were expecting their third girl (or so they thought).

Fast forward to December 2018, when, three days overdue, Ray drove to a birthing centre to deliver the baby she thought would be her third daughter. In less time than it takes many of us to do a load of laundry, Ray had gone through labor and delivery and had a baby in her arms.

“Two hours later, my baby was born with me halfway in the tub! 15 minutes later, we went to cut the chord and I said… “WHAT IS THAT?!? Is this a boy baby!!?” Ray recalls in an Instagram post about her son’s birth. “My husband @willrray quickly lifted his leg to check and then proceeded to literally fall on the floor. (The picture above is him checking!) I will forever advocate for birth photography because this is one of my very favorite photos of all time.”

It’s honestly one of our favorite photos, too. Congratulations to Nancy and Will, who are now the proud parents of two girls and a boy, baby Beaufort who is now nearly five months old.

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