My sister Portia texted me early last Thursday morning to say she was having contractions. We had made a tentative plan for me to come up to Providence, RI to be with her as she delivered her first baby and to create a photo birth story for her (birth photography is something I hope to do more of) as she wanted to document her own birth. But we knew the chances that I would make it was slim to none.

Her due date was in the middle of my planned cross-country vacation, and I had other photo jobs scheduled up to her due date that I could not reschedule. I figured our only hope for our plan was if she went into labor past her due date. And since this was her first baby, we had a tiny chance she would deliver late.

Portia had planned to labor and deliver without pain medication or assistance, at Women’s and Infants Hospital in Providence. Her plan was to go without assistance unless it became medically necessary and she had an amazing team of nurses and midwives at her side. Since she is a first time Mom, we all thought she could be in labor for a few days. However, I found a flight Thursday night and was in Providence a littler before midnight.

Thank goodness, because 34 minutes later early on Friday morning June 10, 2016, Christopher “Kit” Edmund Sparling made his way into the world.

Watching my baby sister find the energy and strength to go through labor for over 12 hours and deliver her baby without any pain meds and to bring Kit into the world left me in awe. That was not something I could have done (and didn’t!) Seeing her with her husband Andrew work together, seeing her birth that baby, seeing her so happy and so in love with her baby was truly one of the more sacred and powerful acts of love I have ever been present to witness.

There are a lot of images I will not post simply because may be a bit too graphic for prime time.  However, per Portia’s request, this is the PG version of the birth of Kit.

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Portia was not on Pitocin or pain meds thus, she was able to move around during her labor with the help of her husband Andrew.

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Portia gearing up for a strong contraction.

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Andrew never left her side and tried to comfort her through the pain.

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Kit arrives!

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Portia’s meets her baby boy.

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I have never seen my sister so content and happy as I saw her with her new baby.

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That smile lit up the room!

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A quiet moment as a family of three.

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Portia calling her own Mom to let her know she is a Grandma!

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Sweet baby Kit.

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Christopher “Kit” Edmund Sparling – 6lbs, 11 oz.

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Dad getting some skin-to-skin time.

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Baby Kit was taken to the NICU as a precaution. He ingested meconium and the hospital wanted to make sure he did not develop an infection. All Portia wanted to do was hold her baby.

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Andrew trying to comfort his boy in the NICU.

Portia is so in love with her boy.

Portia is so in love with her beautiful boy.

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I am happy to report that since this image was taken a few days ago, Kit is eating like a champ, is back up to his birth weight, and is no longer in need of an oxygen cannula or iv fluids. He reminds me of his momma!

Welcome, sweet baby Kit.  Your Auntie Em loves you!