The first time I was hospitalized I had a conversation with one of my nurses one night. I told her that I kept having these lingering fears that I was going to have a homely baby. She said, "Oh, your baby will be beautiful!" I looked at her and said, "Come on. We all know there are homely babies out there, and the law of averages says that someone has to have the homely baby." She paused for a moment and then she said, "Yeah, we call them FLK's. It means 'Funny Lookin Kid."
I laughed really hard at that, and we spent the next several minutes discussing what you say to the proud parent of the homely babies. She said that she usually picks a feature and focuses on it, for example, "Look at those adorable little toes!!"
Matt and I made mental notes to listen carefully for the term FLK when our son was born. When I got sent down to Seattle, I talked with some of my nurses there about the FLK's and picked up on more of their "code." Apparently the "pick a feature" method is quite popular. At my one week checkup, the nurse told us that she can't lie if she doesn't think a baby is cute, so she will simply say, "Congratulations!! You must be so happy!"
So of course I had to pull out my phone and show her a picture of Andrew to see her reaction. We laughed and said that after telling us that, she would have to lie to us if she didn't think Andrew was cute. Thankfully she is either an absolutely fantastic liar, or she really thought Andrew was cute.
In our 4 weeks in the NICU we never heard an "FLK," and believe me, we listened for it. My fears of having the homely baby were allayed rather quickly. Obviously every baby is beautiful to their parents, so I wasn't sure that I wasn't just seeing what I wanted to see. But as the days passed we overheard enough conversations to know that wasn't the case.