Girl Who Dreams of Being a Doula Helps Deliver Her Surprise Sister & Her Reaction Is Everything

Ayla Tolentino's mouth is agape as her sister is born.
Sarah Hill Photography

When most kids are asked what they want to be when they grow up, they tend to respond with one of the usual suspects: Cop, fireman, teacher, lawyer. But not little Ayla Tolentino. Oh, no. Her mom, Morgan, says she's pretty much always known what she's wanted to be when she grows up, and it's not exactly something you'd expect from a kid just shy of 7. 

Believe it or not, "When Ayla was 3 she decided she wanted to be a doula," her mom tells CafeMom. "She was already talking about umbilical cords, placentas, sacs, and more." 

And this month, the little girl from Lexington, Kentucky, even got to witness her first live birth, with the arrival of her little sister, Maple. Images from the incredible moment are now making their way around the Internet, and warming hearts everywhere.

  • Morgan says it was actually a pretty simple decision to have Ayla watch the arrival of her little sister.

    "Ayla is wise beyond her years and so incredibly mature," she shares. So when it came to prepping her for the birth, Morgan explains that between having friends in the birth industry and so many others who've brought babies into the world, little Ayla has actually been exposed to a lot about the birth experience from an early age.

    "By the time Maple came, she was fully prepared," Morgan says. "My husband and I have always answered all her questions truthfully and honestly in the best age-appropriate way."

    It looks like it definitely paid off.

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  • On May 17, Ayla watched with excitement and awe as her mom gave birth to her little sister, Maple.

    Morgan says that during the birth, everything happened so quickly, and that "Maple came flying into this world in just two pushes" -- so Ayla hardly had time to say a word. But she was so moved by the incredible experience, she was both laughing and crying the entire time.

    Ayla also proved herself to be a pretty top-notch birthing coach.

    "Minutes after Maple was born she did keep saying, 'You did it Momma, you didn’t even need me. You just did it! Like your body knew to do it.'” 

    (How cute is that?!)

  • After the birth, Ayla had lots of questions for the midwife, too. 

    For starters, her mom says she wanted to know how soon she could have skin-to-skin time with her sister (ADORABLE) and -- most important of all -- when she could help deliver the placenta (OMG, this kid is too much. In the best way possible.)

    She was also sure to congratulate her mom on not dropping any F-bombs or other swear words mid-delivery. 

    “Momma, you didn’t even say any bad words!" her mother recalls Ayla telling her. "Good job.” 

    "I had warned her in advance that I would likely say a few words that we don’t normally allow in our household," Morgan explains. "And that when she heard those to know it meant the baby was coming soon."

  • Once the proud mom of two saw the photos that had been snapped during the delivery, she was extra grateful she chose to have a birth photographer.

    The images captured by Sarah Hill Photography show Ayla in various moments of stunned excitement and gratitude -- moments that Morgan and her husband are happy to have captured forever.

    "When I saw the photos of Ayla’s facial expressions that Sarah captured, there was no part of me that was surprised," Morgan tells CafeMom. "She’s been enthralled with all things birth since she was 3. Those hilarious facial expression and her overly eager attitude during the entire process was exactly what we expected and was part of the reason we knew we needed a birth photographer."

  • Adding to the excitement was the fact that Maple's gender was left a surprise -- so Ayla didn't know she was getting a little sister at first.

    Morgan says she could see Ayla's curls bouncing, as she jumped up and down in the delivery room with excitement over hearing, "It's a girl!" 

    But that's not the only reason this birth was a momentous one. 

    Morgan shares that Maple is a rainbow baby, and that her arrival brought with it so many thoughts and emotions. 

    "I think it made every emotion that much stronger," she says. "We all were so hurt by our loss and it was crippling for me for some time. Between the scary birth experience we had with Ayla and then our loss I spent years feeling like my body had failed me. Maple’s birth was freeing, therapeutic, and redemptive. It was everything we needed."

  • Morgan adds that she has no regrets about having her "little side kick" nearby as she welcomed her second child into the world.

    "She was a calming presence in the room," says Morgan. "She kept me determined to show her what women can do. She gave me so much peace, excitement, and strength having her there." 

    Allowing her daughter in the room as she gave birth is also one of "the most rewarding things I’ve done as mother," Morgan says, and admits it's hard to put into words just what that moment felt like.

  • It also no doubt confirmed to little Ayla that her future dream job is more or less perfect for her.

    At one point, her mother says, Ayla had the entire room -- midwife and nurses included -- in a puddle of tears when she looked over at her sister and said, “You’re gonna have the best life ever.” 

    With an awesome big sister in her corner, it looks like she certainly is.