Greenfield couple welcomes first baby of 2022 at Baystate Franklin

  • Parents Illiana Motley, 22, and Raekwon Motley, 25, of Greenfield, welcomed their new son, Kenai Terrell Motley, into the world on Sunday at 6:58 p.m. He is the first baby born at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield in 2022. Contributed Photo

News Editor
Published: 1/3/2022 8:58:18 PM

GREENFIELD — Newborn Kenai Terrell Motley takes his name from the main character in Disney’s 2003 movie “Brother Bear,” who learns about love and what it means to be a man. His mother, Greenfield resident Illiana Motley, hopes her baby will grow up to exhibit the same endearing qualities.

“Hopefully I have this loving, successful and sweet son,” said Motley, 22, speaking by phone from the maternity ward at Baystate Franklin Medical Center on Monday.

Having come into the world at 6:58 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 2, following 16 hours of labor, Kenai is the first baby born at Baystate Franklin in 2022.

Kenai, who weighed 6 pounds, 9 ounces and measured 19 inches long at birth, is the second child for Motley and her husband of four years, Raekwon, 25. Kenai’s sister, Sanae Izabelle, will celebrate her second birthday on Jan. 16. The date also happens to be Motley’s birthday.

Despite the swell of January birthdays in her family, Motley said having the first baby of 2022 at Baystate Franklin wasn’t something she anticipated. In fact, Kenai came almost a week before his Jan. 8 due date.

“I definitely wanted to,” she said of having the hospital’s first baby of 2022. “Once the ball dropped and New Year’s was done, and then on the first I went through that day and it didn’t happen, I was like, ‘It’s not going to happen.’ The next thing I know, I have the first baby at the hospital.”

Motley expected to be discharged either Monday evening or Tuesday morning, and said she was looking forward to having Sanae meet her new little brother.

“My daughter hasn’t met him yet,” she said. “I can’t wait to bring him home.”

Amid COVID-19 health safety regulations at Baystate Franklin, Motley said one visitor at a time is allowed postpartum, and two visitors during labor. Motley was accompanied by her husband and two doulas after arriving to the hospital at 3 a.m.

While Motley received an epidural while delivering her first child in Springfield over the course of 25 or 26 hours, she took a different route with Kenai, opting for a water birth at Baystate Franklin. The Motleys moved from Springfield to Greenfield about two years ago, with Illiana now working at the Salvation Army Family Store and Donation Center on Hope Street, and Raekwon working at the Golden Nozzle Car Wash.

“It was amazing. It was definitely very different from the first one,” Motley said of her second delivery. “It was beautiful and intense all at the same time.”

“She’s super strong and I couldn’t ask for anyone better to do this with,” her husband said.

Motley said the staff at Pioneer Women’s Health helped her decide on a water birth.

“The care that they do here for pregnant women in general is beautiful,” she said.

With her husband having settled on Sanae’s name, which is also derived from a film, Motley decided on the name for her son late in her pregnancy. She said she found out she was pregnant for a second time sometime around Mother’s Day, and did a gender reveal in time for her husband’s birthday in October.

“We have our pair,” she said. “We definitely wanted a boy and a girl, and we got that.”

Motley noted that her two children’s names, Kenai and Sanae, will work well to have complementary nicknames, “Ne” and “Ni.”

So far, she said, their personalities seem to differ significantly.

“He’s calm just like his father,” Motley said of Kenai. “My daughter came out like me, a little wild. ... I’ve barely heard this boy cry. My daughter had her eyes open the first day, like, ‘Hello, I’m here.’”

Although Motley said she may decide to have more children, she said she plans to wait at least five years. Having made a trip to Florida to introduce Raekwon’s family to Sanae, the couple is excited to do the same with Kenai.

Reach Shelby Ashline at 413-772-0261, ext. 270 or


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