We celebrated moms meeting their kids for Mother’s Day, and now it’s time for the dads! I wonder what Father’s Day 2020 has in store? Hopefully, not too many surprises (2020 has sufficiently taken care of that).
I can’t speak on behalf of dads because, well, I’m not one. But, I have watched a number of the men in my life become dads and, I have to say, it’s pretty great.
Now, I’ve heard from a variety of fathers that meeting their children is a real trip. This makes sense. If their partner was pregnant and growing their child for 9 months, mom’s connection is going to be different from dad’s. Even in the case of surrogacy, adoption, and foster care, dads have an entirely different journey to fatherhood, but the end goal is always the same: treasuring this little human and guiding them through life with unconditional love.
Take a look at these powerful images of local fathers meeting their children. Here’s to you, dads!
(Totally unrelated sidenote, is someone cutting onions in here? My eyes are getting sweaty.)
After a long journey, including a devastating loss, this was the moment Dad first laid eyes on their rainbow baby, Ruby.
Hold the Phone
COVID-19 has changed the way many parents experience birth.
Dad couldn’t be at the hospital because the couple’s older daughter couldn’t be left home alone. Mom couldn’t have any other visitors due to COVID, so it was pretty special that she chose me to be her support person. Dad’s on the phone there, meeting their newest addition for the first time.
Just in Time
Amber was the first friend I made as a new mom. We met through OHSU’s new mothers’ group. Her wonderful son, Thomas, was born early. Most of what I’ve learned about NICU mom experiences came from her (she’s also the one who put me in touch with many local resources for NICU families).
[My husband] Mark nearly missed Thomas’ early arrival because of how quickly labor progressed. He was fortunate to witness the last 20 minutes of his son’s delivery. Thomas was born 9 weeks early, so Mark’s introduction to fatherhood started sooner than anticipated. This photo was taken when we first met Thomas after he was cared for by the NICU team at OHSU.
I Can’t Believe It
Sometimes, actions speak louder than words. And this new dad has been rendered speechless by his child’s birth.
I love when partners express uncensored emotion in the birth space. Capturing these moments of love is one of my favorite parts of this job. A partner experiences birth in a much different capacity, but there’s no doubt their lives are changed by the journey too.
I Only Have Eyes for You
When you know, you know. This dad knew he wanted to become a parent, so he decided to have a child via surrogacy as a single father. You can see in his expression alone, just how taken he is with his new baby.
After they got married, Jim and Joe wanted a baby. They attended a seminar about surrogacy and they knew it was the right path for them. Just one year later, their baby boy was in their arms! They said, “We were in absolute awe watching Katelyn give birth. It was courageous and unlike anything we imagined!”
Be Still My Heart
My friend Greta and her husband Ryan are some of my favorite people. They laugh a lot and love their people fiercely. Seeing as they are pretty wonderful human beings, it only makes sense that I like their kiddos too. This shot is from the birth of their son.
As if giving birth wasn’t emotional enough, looking over to my husband connecting with the amazing life we created together, my heart exploded all over again.
Oh, He’s So Cute
Serra Hadsell is a local Portland photographer who was able to catch some pretty special images from her OWN family’s journey. She captured this image the night they adopted their son. She shared this image along with this quote from her son’s adoption book:
We were asleep when Mama’s phone buzzed. It was 6:49 am. It was a text from Barb, our adoption case worker. You were on your way!
At 8:16 we got another text with a picture of a baby. Our baby. Baby Emmett. You were here!
We had to sign a lot of papers while we waited nervously in an empty hospital room.
We were so happy when Butch carried you into the room. The first person who said anything was Daddy. He said, “Oh, he’s so cute!”
And it was true. You really were.
Love at First Sight
Beatrice is another good friend of mine. She and her husband, Brian, dated for
decadesyears before typing the knot and starting a family. I’m entirely unsurprised that Brian was immediately smitten by their daughter.
I knew Brian wanted to be a dad from the moment we first started dating. He loved kids and it was really obvious from the way he interacted with his younger cousins. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the way he looked at Rosie when she was first born. Definitely love at first sight!
Grief requires enormous strength. After Rachel and Chris lost their sweet angel Bellamy, they found themselves pregnant with Theodore. During a typical pregnancy, there is a baseline level of stress. Once you incorporate PTSD from a previous loss and high-risk factors, it can be downright overwhelming.
In this photo, you can see Chris finally exhale the breath he has been holding the entire pregnancy.
Crazy, Wild, and Magical
This dad was able to help deliver his own child.
A few minutes after helping guide his daughter into this world, then soaking her in as she settled into her mother’s chest, this dad stood back and said to us, “THAT was the craziest [explitives] I’ve ever seen!”
We feel you dad. We. Feel. You.
Parenthood isn’t for the faint of heart. Moms and Dads throughout the world can agree on that.
From the team at Portland Mom Collective, Happy Father’s Day 2020!
A Special Thank You to the dads and photographers (and moms) that shared their photos with us. To get in touch with any of the photographers mentioned, please find their information below:
- Rushes and Waves: Birth Story Photographer
- Jen Berryman Doula and Photographer
- Molly Yi Photography
- Daron Jackson Photography
- Portland Birth Photographer: Natalie Broders
- Meg Ross Photography