Cora’s Birth – my first niece | Rachel Vanoven Blog

Cora’s Birth – my first niece

This post is LONG overdue…immediately afterwards I tried to put into words how amazing it was to be there to welcome my beautiful little niece into this world, but no words at the time even came close to capturing the rush of it, the tenderness of it, or the honor that I felt to be there. My sister, Karis? SO strong. SO amazing. She was in so. much. pain–for so long. I can remember bouncing up and down and nervously slapping the wall as a way to release my anxiety over seeing her in pain.

Ten years ago, I was an 18 year old college student who let a fever go too long unchecked. I was a new college freshman, first time away from my mom’s doctoring, and I ended up in the emergency room with a dangerously high temperature over 105 degrees. Karis and Randy (her then boyfriend, now husband) drove me, and Karis stood over me, beside herself with anger as they tried, unsuccessfully, over and over to start an I.V. I think they blew out about 6 veins through a combination of my dehydrated body and letting an interning/new nurse “practice” on me. I remember her concerned face, and then unleashing the fury of a protective sister on the nurses and *demanding* a qualified nurse step in and start the I.V. (did I mention needles make me cry on a good day?)

Fast forward 10 years, I finally knew how she felt. Times a thousand. I thought my own labor with Nicholas was hard. It was *nothing* compared to the back arching agony Karis was in. I wanted to FIX it. I wanted to make her better. I’ve had the honor to photograph a number of births, all painful in different ways, but none of them were my big sister.

So I retreated…behind my camera–and did the only thing I could do and that was capture it forever. Capture Randy’s “push” face that he made right along with Karis with every effort she made. Capture my mom’s tear streaked face as she watched her first baby writhe with each contraction. Capture Karis as beautiful as I have EVER seen her. And capture this beautiful daughter that God blessed them with take her first peek at the world.

I couldn’t stay retreated behind that camera for long–I was a blubbering mess, and so. proud. of my big sis.

Happy almost 3 months Coraline Millie, looking at these pictures takes me right back to the magic that was in that room <3

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