Brooke Curtis, 8, wants to be a midwife. So what better training than to help deliver her baby sister?
Powerful photos of the Gilbert girl who attends Leading Edge Academy have gone viral because they depict the raw, sweet emotion of welcoming new life into the world.
Brooke’s mother, Kelsey Davis, said she knew upon learning she was pregnant with her third daughter that her eldest child would help deliver the baby.
Brooke, who turns 9 on Saturday, was in the room when her sister Ellie, 2, was born Jan. 3, 2016. That’s when Brooke said she wanted to be a midwife, since she attended that birth. But this time her mother said Brooke was ready to assist.
“She’s always been very mature and she went to all my (prenatal) appointments,” Davis said.
“She understood that when the baby comes out that she could put her hands under her dad’s and help catch the baby.
“Or she could stand off to the side if she were more comfortable. But that wasn’t going to happen. She would have had a complete melt down if we would have said that.”
Brooke saw her sister Ellie into the world as a spectator. She was determined to see her other sister being born as a participant.
A beautiful new beginning born from a tragedy
When Brooke was only 3, Davis said that she found out she was pregnant, and to mark the occasion, she curled Brooke’s hair, put some lip gloss on her and posted some photos on Facebook from a grassy field with her daughter holding a sign that read, “I’m going to be a big sister!”
Davis miscarried the baby.
“She completely understood and went through a little mourning process.” Davis said of Brooke.
Years later, crowded into the room at Mercy Gilbert Medical Center to watch Kelsey Davis give birth were her fiancé and the father of her children, Stefan, her mother, her-mother -in-law, her sister, a midwife and Brooke.
Brooke didn’t shy away when the baby’s head started to crown and the baby they would name Summer was minutes away from being born, her mother recalled.
“She’s standing there and it was very quiet. And (the midwife) asked do you want to touch the baby? And she poked it and pulled back and giggled. And that gave her a little bit of OK, that’s all that is. I think it was two pushes and Summer’s head came out. I didn’t even push after, my body did what it did and Brooke and Stefan just caught her.
“This wave of emotions just flooded over her. She was so completely moved. I said, ‘Are you OK?’ And she said, ‘She’s just so perfect!’ It was awesome. It was amazing. And that was it for me. I just melted.”
Summer Curtis was born Jan. 3, 2018. Brooke cut the umbilical cord.
The photos and video, shot by Davis’ sister, Gilbert resident Kacy Richardson, went up on social media sites soon after and have been picking up steam ever since as people continue to share the gripping shots of Brooke’s reaction to the birth.
“I don’t know why,” Davis said. “It’s strange. But great.”
She’s building a scrapbook for Brooke of the coverage.
The attention is thrilling, but Davis said the actual birth experience high and the tender teaching of the Mercy Gilbert nurses and the midwife to her daughter will last a lifetime.
“Everything they explained to me along the way, they explained to her,” Davis said. “It doesn’t surprise me she wants to be a midwife. Before that it was teacher. It’s always been something in the area of helping. She’s just an awesome, caring kid.”
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