Zach Avery – my new baby nephew

Pregnancy is such a beautiful thing, but motherhood, even a second time around, is even more remarkable. I had the privilege, once again, to document my sister’s birth last week. Seeing Karissa carry this child with such grace and ease, I often would forget she was pregnant. When you have another child demanding your time and attention, the second pregnancy isn’t at the forefront of your mind at all times, unlike the first. I’ve said time and again that having Grady in our lives has been such a blessing, so with the addition of a second little boy, we were all impatient ecstatic for him to arrive!

Karissa, two days before her second son was born, looking radiant and calm.


Small beeps and muffled heartbeats from the fetal monitor filled the room with quite anticipation of what was to come.  After the birth experience of Grady, we were all a bit nervous on how this birth would unfold the second time around. Grady was a big baby, and the fear of the same situation had us all a bit nervous.


Luckily, Karissa had her husband, Eric, by her side, cracking jokes helping her breathe and feeding her ice chips through the hours of labor.


And finally, at 5:19 in the afternoon, on March 28th, Zach Avery Kocian, weighing in at only 6 pounds 12 ounces, came whaling into our lives. The beautiful joy when you hear that first soft cry, unexplainable emotions of happiness and gratitude and an all encompassing pride in the little man that just made his way into our hearts, and for the woman that brought him here — that is God. Experiencing a birth, the first breaths of a new life, is when I feel closest to God – the one that creates us all, pure and beautiful and like him in every way.




I can’t imagine what this moment feels like. Feeling the warmth of the baby laying sleepily on your heart, healthy and happy. Fear of the childbirth behind you, pure relief and gratitude and a pride in the strength it took, that you overcame.


Finally it was time for Grady to meet his little brother. Overwhelmed at first, and only making side eyes to check him out, Grady, I think, was happier to see his momma.


It only took a little while before Grady warmed up to his new little brother.


He checked out his little fingers and toes and kept saying baby brother was so little. If you asked him to hug him, he’d say nooo baby brother, he’s too little.


I think it’s pretty remarkable for a three year old to recognize the differences in a newborn, knowing to be gentle and sweet. Later I asked Grady, “Do you like baby brother?” Grady said “No, cause he whines too much”


My mother is such a special woman. She took care of Grady for days, all the while dying to get in some cuddles with her newest grandson. I’d say Grady and Zach are pretty lucky for Grammi and the three other grandparents they have.



And I’ll end with my favorite photo of the day. My mom, holding Zach, beautiful light, and the sweetest face you ever did see.



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April 3, 2013



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