A Letter to the Guy who just Became a Dad
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Hi there, new dad. Congratulations! Can you believe it? Months dreaming, planning, painting, assembling furniture, and now your baby is in your arms. 

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Not that many years ago dads stayed far away from the birth space. But not you, not anymore. You held your partner's hand, you kissed her forehead as she powered through labor. You grabbed the water bottle, the wash cloth, the chapstick. You were there every minute of the hours long process. You even tried to help fix her hair.

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You were unsure at times, as anyone would be. You might have doubted your role and what you had to offer. Despite your discomfort you stayed present. You rubbed her legs and whispered words of affirmation. I see you push through the uncertainty and continue to show up for your partner. It’s a stunning thing to witness.

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And then, there she is! You reached out as her head emerged and caught your baby. Your hands are the first thing she felt outside the womb. She will return to them again and again to find familiarity and comfort. You are a dad now.

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Your expression, it says it all. There are photos to prove it. You are melting inside as you see your baby, the one who came from you. You are the one who will see her first smiles, her first steps. You will teach him how to kick a ball, give him rides on your shoulders, wrestle him on the living room rug. You will hear all of her thoughts as she grows into a chatty toddler and you will send her off to school. It’s just the beginning of the incredible journey of fatherhood.

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The new way you look at the woman who grew and carried your baby, it’s breathtaking. She just overcame one of life’s biggest challenges and now you know she is a badass.

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I see you studying those tiny features. I notice you slide your thumb into that tiny hand. Your tender strength is on full display and it’s the most beautiful thing to see.

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Your eyes glisten with joy, your giant arms swallow up your tiny baby. 

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Welcome to the greatest journey of your life. You’re already a natural. 

Kathryn J Birth Stories is a birth photographer in Dallas, Texas. She loves photographing dads seeing their baby for the first time, it’s one of her favorite moments in each birth story.

C-Sections Can Be Gentle and Family Centered | The Reflections of a Dallas Birth Photographer
family centered c section birth in dallas

when I say all births are beautiful, I mean it. 

But I do think there are valid reasons c-sections have gotten a bad rap. They are crazy overused in some places, doctor's have been known to push them just for convenience, but mostly they don't necessarily consider mom's experience as an important priority. A healthy mom and baby shouldn't be the only goal. How about we set the bar a little higher and strive for happiness too :) 

After witnessing births all over the DFW area I am happy to say some hospitals are changing for the better. 

Places like Baylor University Medical Center, Texas Health Presbyterian Dallas and Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth are providing incredible, gentle, family centered c sections. They are listening to families and the results are more positive birth outcomes. 

Some of the things I'm seeing in more and more c section birth spaces are:

Having additional support (photographer, doula)


Low lights

Lowered or clear curtain

Delayed cord clamping

Skin to skin


 The moment of birth is not something women have historically witnessed when they have a c-section birth, now with a clear or lowered drape more and more families are able to witness their babies first moments. 

The moment of birth is not something women have historically witnessed when they have a c-section birth, now with a clear or lowered drape more and more families are able to witness their babies first moments. 


I just love knowing the belly birth process is starting to include more of these mom and family-centered options.

Its amazing how simple little adjustments can make a families birth experience more positive. Allowing an additional support person, like a birth photographer, can be invaluable. 

I find that with my belly birth mamas, birth photos hold an extra special meaning. Inevitability, there are more things that c section moms miss out on so being able to look back on all the details of their babies birth is really special.

Birth photography can also play a powerful role in helping heal birth trauma that is caused by things not going according to plan. Being able to look back on the moments when you faced and overcame such an obstacle with grace and beauty is truly priceless. 

Plus it's pretty cool to imagine these babies as tweens who one day see my photo and say how cool it is to see themselves in that first instant of life on earth.

  Baby is lifted so mom can catch a quick peek of the baby she's carried for 9 months . Kathryn J Birth Stories

Baby is lifted so mom can catch a quick peek of the baby she's carried for 9 months. Kathryn J Birth Stories


C section mamas, you are brave. Your strength and sacrifice is admirable. Your birth is beautiful.  

Pregnant mamas, know that gentle, family centered c-sections are possible, just be sure to talk to your provider and choose your hospital wisely.  

Curious what birth photography for c-section birth looks like?


For more images click through the slideshow below.


If you're expecting in the Dallas Fort Worth area I would love to connect with you! Contact me here, I'd love to hear more about you and your birth plans. 

If you're looking for a photographer outside the DFW area, here is a directory of professional birth photographers worldwide.


Why Hire a Birth Photographer?
 Your family's love and connection deserves to be remembered like this

Your family's love and connection deserves to be remembered like this


A few years back, when I was expecting, the thought of hiring a birth photographer crossed my mind. Then I started thinking about all the reasons not to hire one (like my fluffly mom bod) and I quickly convinced myself it wasn't necessary. 

But then I gave birth.

And the thing about birth is that it is SO fuzzy and blurry after the fact. Regardless of your birth, epidural, c section or drug free, you turn into a beautiful pile of mushy gushy oxytocin bliss and everything is just so fleeting, its easy to forget all the special moments. Thankfully I have a few photos my doula took, but MAN do I wish I had hired a professional so I could revisit those powerful, life changing first moments as a new family. I wish I could see the way my husband held my hand, my smile when I heard that first cry, our reactions to the moment we first saw our new little guy.

So don't mind me as I nerd out about how meaningful it is to have photos of yourself and your family facing and overcoming one of the greatest challenges of your life. And bonus, it turns out professionals do know how to make it photogenic! As birth photographers, we are equipped to handle whatever your birth journey throws our way. I've trained with the top birth photographers in the world, with a mission to catch every pivotal moment of your birth.

Without further adieu, here are some of my favorite birth photography moments that make the investment in birth photography truly priceless. Click on any image to see it larger.



Look at you overcoming that intensity with the support of those you love!  See how selfless and brave you are. 


The first moment you lay eyes on your baby

The energy and emotions of this moment are just more than words can describe. 


Your "I Did it!" Smile

Yes you did mama, yes you did.


Cutest baby award

Babies change so quickly, you are going to want to remember how adorable they were!


The way your partner kisses your forehead

He is beyond proud of you.


Such gorgeous details

Wrinkly baby feet and incredible umbilical cords.


Your partner's reaction to becoming a dad

I mean, that small person in those giant arms. *swoon*


So. Much. Love.

Your baby is finally home in your arms.


Your other babies meeting their new baby

And instantly becoming giants! Such excited big brothers and sisters.


Your parents meeting your baby

One of my favorite reactions to photograph. I mean, c'mon! They just burst with love and pride.

So there you have it. Some of my favorite birth moments to photograph. I seriously love what I do. 

No matter how many births I shoot, every time I enter the birth space with camera in hand I get a bit giddy.

Giddy that I get to give the gift of documentary birth photography to another sweet family.

Giddy that I can enter the birth space as a fellow mama and supportive sister.

Giddy that this mama has recognized how incredible it is to have her beautiful birth story told in photos.

And if I am blessed enough to have another child, I will definitely be hiring one of my fellow Dallas Fort Worth Birth Photographers. No way I am going to let my body image insecurities prohibit me from documenting such one of a kind, best day of your life moments. 


If you're expecting in the Dallas Fort Worth area I would love to meet you! Contact me here, I'm excited to hear more about you and your birth plans. 


Kathryn Johnson is a Dallas Fort Worth Birth Photographer who celebrates motherhood through maternity, birth and newborn photography. 

If you're looking for a photographer outside the DFW area, here is a directory of professional birth photographers worldwide.

2017 Birth Favorites - DFW Birth Photographer

As 2017 comes to an end I couldn't be more thankful for the wonderful families that trusted me to be their birth photographer.

2017 was filled with so many amazing births, all across the Dallas Fort Worth area. Intimate home births, empowering hospital births, peaceful birth center births, and some beautiful belly births.

Each birth was filled with moments of strength, beauty and love and I am so excited to share my favorites with you. 

I would love to capture your birth story! If you're looking for a Birth Photographer in the DFW area, contact me, I'd love to get to know you. 

Kathryn Johnson is a Dallas Birth Photographer who celebrates motherhood through Maternity, Birth and Newborn Photography. 


Kathryn Johnson Comments
Happy Birthday Baby Miles | Forth Worth Birth Photography

The birth of Baby Miles was one of my very firsts as a DFW Birth Photographer. It taught me a lot about birth photography. I got a real taste of what the on call life is like, and even though I already knew, it reminded me just how unpredictable birth can be (I was with this sweet family for 18 hours). But most of all, it deepened my love of birth and further instilled my belief that women are so strong and so brave. 

This beautiful birth story started out as a peaceful home birth in Fort Worth, Texas. When I arrived the amazing mama was working hard and had a wonderfully supportive husband and birth team (Midwife - Katie Perez and Doula - Delilah Ray). 

As the night went on, labor wasn't progressing as expected so the tough decision was made to transfer to Harris Methodist

After a full night and long day of working so hard, baby just wasn't coming. It was decided that a caesarean birth was needed to ensure the safe arrival of their little one.

He's HERE!!! 7lb 2oz baby boy. 

First moments together. 

Happy 1st Birthday Baby Miles!! It was an honor to capture your birth story!

I would love to capture your birth story! If you're looking for a Birth Photographer in the Dallas Forth Worth area, contact me, I'd love to hear more about you and your birth plans. 

Kathryn Johnson is a Dallas Fort Worth Birth Photographer who celebrates motherhood through maternity, birth and newborn photography. 

Kathryn Johnson
My Plus Size Journey To Motherhood - A Dallas Birth Photographer's Story

Welcome to the new, Kathryn J Birth Stories Blog! I'm so excited to have a place to share the amazing birth stories I am so humbly honored to document. Since my birth photography clients graciously invite me to be a part of one of the most personal experiences of their lives I thought what better way to launch the birth of my blog then to share my very own birth story. 

A little over two years ago, when my son was born, I was not a Dallas Birth Photographer and regrettably I didn't hire one. One of the primary reasons was due to my own insecurities, which you will read more about below. The photos included in this story were taken by my amazing doula, Delilah Ray with Cherish Birth. Although I LOVE the images and will be forever grateful that these priceless moments were captured, next baby I will definitely be hiring one of my amazing colleagues in the Dallas Fort Worth Birth Photography community.  I truly believe that quality photographs, documenting our lives most memorable moments, are one of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and to our family. 

The Birth of Colby - July 5th 2015

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I always wanted children, but as a plus size girl I was nervous and honestly a little embarrassed to get pregnant. It took almost 3 years to conceive and I never sought fertility help because I was too ashamed of my weight. 

After getting a positive home pregnancy test, I immediately started to worry. Would the doctor be concerned about my size? Would they judge me for being overweight and pregnant? How would being plus size affect my pregnancy and desire for a natural, un medicated birth?

I was determined to do everything in my power to have a healthy pregnancy and un medicated birth. I started with some research to ensure my medical provider (Magnolia OBGYN) was well known for supporting natural childbirth. I also decided I wanted the support of a doula. Searching for a doula brought out some more insecurities regarding being plus sized. Here I was a chunky girl and it seemed like ALL other natural birthing mamas were the super in shape, all organic type (nothing wrong with these woman, often times I wish I was these women). I was embarrassed because I felt being larger meant I had a lesser chance of achieving my natural goals, and again I was worried about possible judgment for being a big girl. Thankfully, I found an amazing doula, Delilah Ray with Cherish Birth. From our first conversation she helped me gain confidence and I felt like I could achieve my birth goals. 

As my pregnancy progressed I continued to have concerns, sometimes silly ones. Would the ultrasound work as well on me since I had a fluffy tummy? Would I get a cute baby bump or just look fat? Would I automatically have complications? All this worrying was for nothing. I had a healthy pregnancy, no complications, clearly looked pregnant and never felt better. 

My estimated due date was June 26th, but from the start I told myself I’d likely go late and always joked about having a 4th of July baby. The 4th of July came and went and in the early morning hours of July 5th I woke up around 3:30am for one of my many bathroom breaks. I noticed more than usual cramping and got excited thinking today might be the day! I remembered our doula saying to rest as much as possible during early labor so I quickly got back into bed and tried to go back to sleep. The cramping was pretty uncomfortable so I mainly dozed on and off until 4:30am. At this point I rolled over and felt two strange popping sensations. I immediately thought I wonder if that is my water breaking and sure enough when I went to get out of bed I felt a gush of fluid. I hurried to the bathroom and to my excitement it was my water breaking - LOTS of fluid - but to my disappointment, the fluid was not clear and instead was greenish brown. I knew the colored fluid meant baby had passed meconium and my original plans of laboring at home as long as possible were no longer an option we were comfortable with.

I woke up my husband told him today was the day and that we would need to head to the hospital sooner rather than later. I told him to go back to bed while I got ready. Contractions were already at 5 mins apart and strong, so showering, shaving my legs, drying my hair, etc., were all a little more difficult, but I was excited and wanted to look as normal as possible. All through the early morning I was in contact with our doula, which was great as she was able to provide additional info on meconium stained fluid and what that would mean for our birth plans.

We arrived at the hospital around 8:30 am, with contractions still approximately 5 mins apart, but with them getting more intense, I was having a bit more trouble walking and talking through them. At 9am I was checked and was 4cm dilated. My doula arrived and was already worth her weight in gold by applying counter pressure and being a positive and supportive addition to my birth environment. 


Sadly, my lil man wasn’t tolerating contractions and his heart rate kept dropping, more than normal. An IV with fluids was suggested and I accepted. After IV and several position changes baby still wasn’t doing well so my Dr came in and discussed performing an amino infusion, which we also accepted. Our doula was fantastic at helping explain the pros and cons of what was suggested and making sure we were making informed decisions. 

By 11:30am I started feeling nauseous and threw up, a lot! At 12:00 I was 7cm and things were picking up. From this point until baby was born is all a blur. I had the room dark and quiet and used lavender oil to stay calm and relaxed. l was in the zone, working during contractions and resting between them. I had a warm rice bag on my back and ice cold wash cloths for my face and stomach. I labored in many different positions including on the bed, next to the bed and even spent a good bit of time laboring on the toilet. I was so thankful to have my amazing husband, mother and doula by my side, constantly offering encouragement and comfort measures.  

Through it all baby was still having some issues with his heart rate dropping during contractions, but he was doing just well enough for us to continue. I am very thankful I never felt that “I can’t do it” panic. I felt fully supported by my birth team and was confident my body knew what it was doing.

By 5:30pm I was 10cm, woo hoo, almost baby time! I felt a very strong urge to push and had been doing small involuntary pushes for the last 30 mins or so. I originally tried pushing using the squat bar but I wasn’t pushing effectively. I ended up lying back and using the squat bar to rest my feet, I needed to push against something. My husband had one hand and my doula had the other and with each push I would press against the squat bar and crunch forward. At this point baby really wasn’t tolerating the contractions and the drops in his heart rate were more concerning. My Dr very seriously told me that I needed to push very hard to get him out, sooner than later. I remember my doula leaning over and telling me I probably only had a few more contractions before they would recommend other options to get him out. I asked the Dr and doula if it was even possible to get him out in three contractions and they said yes, so I got to work!

Pushing was hard work but it was such an exciting time. It is truly amazing how adrenaline is a natural pain reliever. At 6:23pm our handsome lil man was born and it was such a rush. It was a huge relief, and I cried out “he’s here, I can’t believe he’s here”, followed by, “I did it, I did it!"

I’ll never forget the moment I held my son for the first time. He made everything worth it, all my efforts for a healthy pregnancy, all my preparation for an un medicated birth and of course the actual labor/birth. 

Those first moments holding my son, I no longer had any insecurities about being plus size, I was a mother and on cloud 9.


I would love to capture your birth story! If you're looking for a Dallas Fort Worth Birth Photographer, contact me, I'd love to hear more about you and your birth plans. 

Kathryn Johnson is a Dallas Fort Worth Birth Photographer who celebrates motherhood through maternity, birth and newborn photography.