19 Emotional Photos That Capture Childbirth From a Dad's Point of View

Julie Ryan Evans | Jan 26, 2017 Pregnancy
19 Emotional Photos That Capture Childbirth From a Dad's Point of View

This Is Family Photography & Film

In the delivery room, most of the attention is on the mother -- her contractions, how dilated she is, when she should push, and so much more. That's as it should be, but it's a life-changing experience for dads too. Often, however, they're just there in the background, with seldom even an inquiry thrown their way as to how they're doing or what they're feeling. So we asked. 

These dads shared pictures they took -- or that were taken of them -- during and immediately after their children's deliveries and a few words about what they were thinking in that moment. From funny to sentimental, every dad's take is different. Take a look.  

  • Blown Away


    "During my wife's labor, I felt a sense of calm and purpose. There was no fear or negative energy in the room. Everything just seemed to be happening the way it was supposed to. At one moment, I could be giving her a hip squeeze to ease her back labor, or singing a song to her, or she would lean her head on my shoulder while she had a contraction. The next moment I would be chatting with my in-laws, my kids, or the midwives. It felt like a celebration. In time, it all led to the glorious moment of meeting my son for the first time. During every one of my wife's births, I have been overcome with a rush of positive emotion that brought me to tears. My wife is an amazing mother, and it blows me away to see her have such strength and control during a birth." -- Christopher Darbel

  • Sometimes It's Boring

    Zachary Austrew

    "Wow, it is boring for the spouse sometimes. I am in no pain, no hurry, no real anxiety except for her, so I was looking to do things most of the time. As nerve-racking as it is, once you realize you as the dad have zero control (besides asking everyone else for things), it very much becomes a fly on the wall thing.  

    The unforgettable moment of when the mother, the baby, and you all touch and it feels really, really real is my lasting memory. Then the tears stream from everyone's faces. Another memory that sticks is the sound of an actual newborn; you can forever tell if the movie or TV show is faking it."  -- Zachary Austrew

  • Not Part of the Plan


    "The birth was going smooth at home. It was progressing how we'd hoped. When we had to transfer to the hospital, that was not part of any plan. Finding out our baby was breech was unexpected. The staff did an amazing job keeping us informed with what was happening. I was nervous for Kelly to have the C-section. As we sat in the operating room, I tried to comfort her. When the doctor delivered the baby and said it was a boy, I was shocked and thrilled, as we have a girl already. Not the birth we expected, but everyone was healthy. I was beaming with pride holding my son. Our son Romeo is a blessing." -- Geoffrey Stephens

    More from CafeMom: I'm So Thankful My Wife Required Me to Be a Hands-On Dad

  • Against the Rules

    Patrick Fogarty

    "I actually got yelled at when I took a video of my daughter right after she was born -- but I was so excited that I wasn't thinking about hospital rules. I feel incredibly fortunate to have the photos, but on the other hand, they made me an observer in some sense rather than a participant, so I put the camera down for baby number two." -- Patrick Fogarty

  • Perfect


    "She is perfect. I can't believe she's ours to love." -- Tim Aing 

  • Helpless


    "A few times I tried to walk to the other side of the room to get a snack or have a drink and she'd say, 'Where are you going? I need you!' I'm glad she felt like I was such a great support for her, but I honestly felt like I wasn't doing enough. What else did I think I should be doing? I have no idea. It just seemed like I should have been able to help her more than with some coaching and at contraction times." -- Joel Gratcyk, Daddy's Grounded

    More from CafeMom: 11 Dads Share Their Brutally Honest Feelings About Breastfeeding

  • Relief

    Liam Nelson

    "When my youngest daughter was born, it was a joy and a supreme relief -- one minute everything had been fine, and the next the birth center was telling us we had to drop everything and rush to the hospital. A particular test result indicated a pronounced risk, but only in utero. For a variety of reasons, it took three days in the hospital for my daughter to emerge, bleating like a tiny goat upon her first few breaths, much like her big sister had three years earlier.

    I was overjoyed that she was safely in our arms, and equally happy to have another daughter -- every crackpot in a 20-mile radius had waved an ostrich feather or crystal divining rod over my wife's belly and announced the impending arrival of my son. Despite my pronounced doubt in anyone's ability to do more than guess (excepting the sonogram operator and doctor), I'd nearly started to believe them." -- Liam Nelson

  • No Better Feeling


    "Luna's birth was nothing like I have ever experienced before. The feelings of love and support when my wife was giving birth to Luna were something I will remember for the rest of my life. Realizing that Sarah and I would be doing it 'unassisted' was very scary, but at the time you don't feel those emotions. Knowing Mom, Dad, and Stacey were there to take care of Stella was amazing. Jumping into action to catch the most precious gift of life will be in my memories forever. There is no better feeling in the world than being with my wife and daughter bringing life into this world together." -- Dave Larson

  • A Little Scary

    Alisha Baxter

    Alisha Baxter of Australia shared this picture of her partner, Jive Ria, in the delivery room. It went viral for obvious reasons. His response: "Us blokes go through a lot of pain as well. As you can see in my face haha." 

    More from CafeMom: 11 Dads Who Fainted, Barfed, or Literally Pooped Their Pants in the Delivery Room

  • Hello There

    Michael Hussar

    "This is the most important day of my life. I will do my best to care for and love this little creature. I will succeed where my parents failed." -- Michael Hussar

  • A Water Birth


    "I believe this is the moment my wife (after 30+ hours in labor) was telling me she needed an epidural. For months she had been telling me that she absolutely did not want an epidural. She even told me that she would reach a point where she would ask for one, but needed me to stay strong and keep her focused on not getting one. 

    There is no shame in epidurals -- my wife just really wanted a water birth, and you can't have an epidural in a water birth. Shortly after this picture, our daughter was ready and she was born, right in that tub, the way my wife had envisioned." -- Nick Combs

  • Relieved

    Craig Evans

    "I was relieved that our daughter was healthy and that my wife's procedure went well. I was amazed at how beautiful my daughter was from the get-go."  -- Craig Evans 

    More from CafeMom: 15 Adorable Things Celeb Dads Have Said About Fatherhood

  • Proud


    "The birth of my son was one of the proudest moments of my life. I was so proud of my wife and even proud of my son, despite the fact that he hadn't even done anything yet. At that moment, I knew that our bond was unbreakable. He would forever have a part of me. He was a gift that God entrusted to my wife and me. I imagined that he would look up to me for some part of his life, at least until puberty, and I would try my best to not let him down. He was some of the best parts from my wife and me, and I admired how those attributes had been combined in just the right amounts." -- Mickell Gladness

  • A Little Loopy

    Ethan Aronoff

    "After a few false starts leading up to the day, I finally got to put my Devo scrubs on! (Note tear in pocket area so I could access my camera.) I might have been a little loopy since we had been at the hospital since the night before and didn't meet our new daughter until 6 p.m. Was it love at first sight? No. It was more of an 'if anyone ever hurts you, I'm going to set them on fire' kind of feeling." -- Ethan Aronoff     

  • Pure Joy


    Photographer Lisa Robinson-Ward took her own photographs as she gave birth. She snapped some incredible photos, including this one of her husband, Alec, which captures all the emotions. He told CafeMom: "You see your baby kicking and rolling around in your wife's belly for months, but to finally lay eyes on her, and hear her little voice -- that's when it becomes truly real in your mind, and it happens in an instant! It's completely overpowering. A combination of love, exhilaration, and relief."

    More from CafeMom: 14 Dads Get Candid & Sweet Sharing Their Favorite Photos With Their Kids

  • Light-Headed


    "I felt relaxed and peaceful for the most part, surprised when it was already time [for the birth]. It was difficult to tell how close the birth was. It was cool to watch her catch the baby in the water and cut the umbilical cord; she basically did the whole thing herself. When I held my daughter for the first time, I was still a little light-headed. I just felt unconditional love. So much of it was overshadowed with what happened after the birth. It was one of the scariest moments of my life." (His wife suffered a severe postpartum hemorrhage and was stabilized by her brilliant midwife team, and later had a full recovery in the hospital). -- Brian Mowrey

  • At Least Someone's Having Fun!


    Gil Solano rocked the Internet with this selfie he took of him and his wife and posted to Reddit when she was in labor. Fortunately, his wife was amused. 

    "I showed it to her in between pushes and she cracked up," he wrote on the Reddit thread. "Now I'm reading her all of [your] comments while she feeds our healthy 7 lb 6 oz girl." Aw!

  • Freaking Out

    Ben St. Jacques

    "Despite my smile ... I'm freaking out. I'm in disbelief that the hospital is going to let me leave with this newborn and expect me to keep it alive." -- Ben St. Jacques 

    More from CafeMom: New Dads Get the Post-Baby Blues Too

  • Magical

    Chris Baccus

    "Before experiencing it personally, I honestly would have rather sat outside in the waiting room talking with family and waiting for everything to be done. However, after being in the delivery room for the birth of our twin boys, I am happy I was there for my wife and sharing the experience with her. Granted, I had a way easier time. Plus it was purely magical when the boys were brought to a table where I helped clean [them] up with the staff. In truth, they did most of the work. Then my wife and I shared a moment seeing our sons for the first time together. Life has changed radically since that special day."  -- Chris Baccus

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