There are few moments in life that are as singular or utterly transformative as when a woman becomes a mom. When she sees her brand-new baby after hours of hard labor, or steps off the plane with her newly adopted child, everything feels intense and wonderful ― and even a bit surreal. And that is true whether it’s a woman’s first child, or her fifth.
So we asked some of HuffPost Parents’ favorite birth and family photographers to share some images and stories that capture those incredible moments when women welcome new children into their lives, however that happens. Happy Mother’s Day, all!
Photographers’ captions have been edited and condensed.