Hi there, new dad. Congratulations! Can you believe it? Months dreaming, planning, painting, assembling furniture, and now your baby is in your arms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Your eyes glisten with joy, your giant arms swallow up your tiny baby.
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.