This is the feel-good story you need today, about an officer who helped deliver a baby and the adorable photographs that honor him.
There's an adorable story behind the now-viral images of a newborn photographed with a police badge. It all unfolded when Texas parents Destiny and Caleb Hall were speeding to the hospital on July 18 because their baby was coming... now!
ABC News reports that Deputy Constable Mark Diebold pulled over the very-soon-to-be parents and insisted on escorting them to the hospital, a destination Caleb desperately wanted to reach.
"[Destiny] said, 'Pull over, I'm having the baby' and I said, 'No!'" the dad told ABC. "When she told me that it was happening, we were behind Officer Diebold and he had his lights and sirens going. I kind of had a small glimpse of hope that maybe we would make it."
Nope. Destiny ended up delivering her baby girl in a gas station parking lot. But luckily, Diebold was on hand to help.
"[Caleb] started screaming for me and I ran to the passenger side. There were no complications. He caught the baby, I cleared the airway and she started crying. I wrapped her in a blanket and put her on mom. It was an awesome experience," the officer says.
And that is how Evelyn Joy Deborah Hall entered the world!
The new mom was so grateful for Diebold's help, she says she wanted to do something for him. "It was such a remarkable way of her being born and I just never wanted to forget it," Destiny told ABC.
Photographer Cyndi Williams captured the resulting precious images of baby Evelyn with Diebold's uniform and badge.
"It blew me away of how much this meant to him and his family," Destiny says. "They were in tears. So I really wanted to give him something to memorialize this day ... something sweet to have. This event was really life-changing."
As for Diebold, he says, "It was amazing. It was heartfelt and it was a big deal. That photo shoot reminded me that [police work] is what I need to keep doing until it's my time to stop."
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Meanwhile, Williams wrote on Facebook about her experience photographing Evelyn, "This little blessing has brought so many people together. I feel so honored to be even a tiny part of the journey with this wonderful family." She added, "This is the very spot that little Ms. Evelyn was born, with an assisted delivery by Officer Mark Diebold. I adore the fact that her parents took time in naming her, as they wanted to represent the time and circumstances in which she was born."
The photographer went on to share the meaning behind the sweet newborn's name. Evelyn means "life," Joy was chosen "to remember the Joy she brought, when it was most needed." Her other middle name honors her paternal grandmother, who died just days before Evelyn's birth.
I must point out that no matter the circumstances, that is one cute baby! Those lips!
So congratulations to all involved. Thank you for sharing such a heartwarming story, at a time it is so urgently needed.
Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.