“Is that her? Is that her?” Cher Lair anxiously asked her doctor.
“You’ve got a little boy here,” Dr. Vijay Sheshadri teased.
“Oh shut up!” Lair shouted back.
The innocent cries of a newborn broke their exchange.
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“It’s a girl!” a nurse exclaimed.
That was the news they had known for months and anxiously waited to hear. “Here she is,” her husband, Stephen Lair, said, peeking from behind the blue curtain.
The scheduled caesarian at WakeMed Cary had gone as planned. At 8 pounds, 9 ounces, “Lady Baby,” as the Lairs had been calling her, officially became part of their world on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015 at 8:29am. The song “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper was playing in the background.
Time after time, the Lairs have gone to the hospital to have babies. Six times previously they returned home with boys. This time, they were taking home their first girl. Their six sons were waiting anxiously at home in Apex to hear the news.
The Lairs became known to nearly 8 million people when a video of the reveal of the baby’s sex went viral on YouTube this past April. In the video, Cher reeled backward onto the floor after the couple cut into a pink-filled cake. A visit to California and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” followed.
Yet once the swirl of the spotlight faded, the Lairs got back to the business of raising their six boys and readying themselves for number seven: a girl. “We’re not pink people,” said Stephen, “but we’ve got pink in the house now.”
“We’ve had a girl’s name in the vault for 13 years,” he joked. Yet, despite their long agreement, Cher spent three days in the hospital deliberating. “I’m just not sure,” she said, pacing in her room just before being discharged. Even driving away from the hospital, she was still uncertain of her daughter’s name: Ruby Jane Lair. “It’s a great name,” Stephen reassured her. “It’s a beautiful name.”
As they returned home, after spending three nights away from their crew, they went largely unnoticed. The oooohs and ahhhhs were for their little sister.
“I want to hold her first,” Campbell, 10, declared.
“She just opened her eyes,” announced Jackson, 13.
“She’s so cute,” beamed Sawyer, 7.
In the end, Houston, 5, got the honors of being the first to meet her one-on-one.
“Can I go next?” asked Jackson.
“Everybody is going to get a chance,” their dad promised. Shepherd, 4, and Knox, 2, patiently waited at his side.
One by one, they took a seat next to their mother on the couch and Ruby was slid into their waiting arms.
“You can hold her everyday,” she assured her boys. “And you can change her diaper everyday.”
Corey Lowenstein: 919-829-4520, @clowenst