I woke up to a text around 7 AM on January 18th. Dave said, “It’s baby time!” and I hopped out of bed and threw day old clothes on and a messy bun. It was a Sunday.
If you’re new here, thanks for dropping by. Dave is one of my older brothers and this is a small slice of Etta’s birth story as told by her Aunt Caity. Etta has an older brother, one of two of my awesome nephews – Noah. I photographed Noah’s birth back in 2011 and it was my first. I admittedly knew little about how a birth could and would go once in the room so to avoid missing his arrival, I rushed to the hospital when Makenzie was induced. And well, we all hurried up and waited. Noah didn’t come until evening at which point I had been at the hospital with everyone for almost twelve hours. With this pregnancy, I knew I didn’t have to get to the hospital as fast but after texting briefly with Dave and learning Makenzie went into active labor on her own and was progressing quickly , it was clear this baby would make his or her appearance soon. The Colts played that day. We all joked this baby wanted out in time to watch the game.
Six hours later, at 1:11 on a chilly January day, Etta arrived. Here are a few moments from that incredible day.
Big brother Noah saying hi.
Dave and Makenzie knew they were having a boy with Noah but waited to find out the sex with this one. Here’s Etta’s grandma Rosy looking through a list of baby names. Etta was at the top of the list and it made the cut.
The energy in the room for Etta’s birth was so different. With Noah, his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and he was face up, complicating the birth more and making it higher risk. Not realizing this at the time, I just thought it all was normal and went about photographing his birth with all of those doctors and nurses in the room. This time around, there were 5 people in the room: Makenzie, David, one doctor, one nurse and myself. Everyone was so calm. So much so, when Makenzie started to push, her doctor just sat at the foot of her bed. At which point I thought to myself, “Well aren’t you going to put something down there to catch that thing?!”
To further demonstrate how relaxed everything felt, between pushing the doctor glanced back and forth between Dave and I and said, “You two are related, right?” I nodded with a smile and he said, ‘Yeah, I can tell because of your eyebrows. You have the same eyebrows.” Then looked just as me and said, “But it’s not because you have manly eyebrows.” I’m laughing out loud typing this. I swear I’ll never forget that.
It’s a GIRL!
But really…. a girl!! We were all in shock!!
Because Noah’s birth was higher risk, they weren’t able to put Noah on Makenzie’s chest immediately following the birth. With Etta, they were able to and if nothing else, I’m so glad I was there to capture these next few moments. Makenzie wanted this so badly and I’m so happy she had the birth she dreamt of with little Etta.
There is nothing in the world like photographing a birth. You walk into the experience one person and walk out a better one. Life is so precious and happiness is so important.
I think one of the coolest things in the world is watching a sibling become a parent. I look at this photo and I’m so proud to be a Sullivan.
To think this girl will be a part of my life forever. What an amazing, amazing, amazing gift.
Things changed forever in the very best way. Etta’s sweet little face reminds me so much of Noah. So tiny and perfect.
Love you guys and so proud of you! Especially you Kenz… 13 minutes of pushing, you are my hero!
Had to stick around and grab just a few photos of my parents meeting their first granddaughter. I love my family so much.
Welcome, little Etta. We’re gonna have so much fun.