When you dream about your baby, you dream about seeing it for the first time. You imagine what she or he will look like, you imagine yourself holding your baby and finally feel like your family isn’t missing something. This birth story comes as close to that dream as it could with the father being deployed thousands of miles away.
I teamed up with The Yellow Ribbon Birth Project who provides birthing services to expecting active duty military spouses whose husbands will be deployed at the time of the birth or who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I was so honored when they contacted me asking if I would photograph this birth.
I am so greatful to have Caroline’s birth story told by her father, Jim. He was so kind to take time out of his busy day and write how it was to be able to be a part of his daughters birth even when deployed.
This is his story:
“From a ship half way around the world, I was able to experience the birth of
my beautiful daughter, Caroline. My wife called while I was on watch to let
me know that she was in labor. After arranging a watch relief, I was able to
call back and spoke with her just as she was getting checked in at the
hospital. We talked intermittently over the next few hours, just to stay in
touch while things progressed at their own relatively slow pace.
At about 1:30 PM my time, 3:30 AM in San Diego, my wife called to let me know
that our latest little Blessing was on her way. Despite being so far away and
only being able to witness this miracle over the phone, so many feelings came
over me… great joy in knowing that soon we would know this precious baby
whose arrival we have been eagerly awaiting, so much pride in my wife for
managing so much in a new location while pregnant, and a slight bit of fear
for the well being of my wife and baby. Those feelings were just as deep as
they were when I was able to be physically present for the births of our other
children. So much emotion came over me all at once that I just couldn’t talk,
all I could do was listen.
Then I heard Caroline’s voice, starting as a soft cry and building into a much
stronger and louder proclamation of her arrival. After that, I heard my
wife’s voice. All I felt at that moment was happiness. I laughed, smiled, my
eyes flooded. It is still too much emotion to describe.
When I saw pictures of our Caroline I was amazed to see that she looked
exactly as I dreamed she would look. Even though I have never held her and
never looked upon her, I know this girl. I have known her all her life.”
Thank you to Erin Wilson for donating your time as a doula and to Elizabeth for being such a great friend as you helped Jen bring Caroline earth-side.