Touching Moment: Dad Helps Daughter Deliver Her Baby

Steph Hendel and her husband, Josh Tarnofsky, were determined to have a home birth for their first child. Lindsey Meehleis, a midwife with Orange County Midwifery, was hired to help them with the work and delivery. While Steph and Josh had a mental picture of who would be on their “birth team” (the small number of individuals present for the birth), that picture grew to include Steph’s father, Joe.

Now, Lindsey’s images of Joe standing by Steph during the birthing process have gone viral – and for good cause.

Steph is a TV personality and personal coach, according to Romper.

Steph and Josh had their first child, Johnathon, earlier this year.

Steph told Romper that she was initially hesitant to have her father there during her birth, but in the end, she decided it was in her best interests.

“At first, I didn’t know what to do with having my father there; I was close to people making [negative] remarks.” But there was no question in my mind when I went into labor. Here is the most natural and beautiful procedure in the world, and this is my father, who has always been so supportive of me…. There were rose petals in the birth tub, candles, and lovely music… It was chanting, pure music… It sounded like the noises of giving birth back in the day to me. We could eat and drink nutritious foods. It was thrilling. Every birth is lovely, but this one felt especially so for us.”

During the home birth, Steph and Josh hired Lindsey as their head midwife.

During Steph’s labor, Lindsey’s staff caught a few incredible photos of Joe supporting Steph and uploaded them on Instagram, where they have since gone viral.

Initially, the couple had no intention of having Joe there at the birth.

“We devised a scheme to procure whisky for my father-in-law and allow him to unwind. “Whiskey and cigarettes, mellow out and don’t bring your enthusiasm into his room,” Josh told Romper. “But this voice informed me the day before the birth that Joe needed to be there, that nothing should happen, that nothing should flow.” Everyone assumed their positions, as if this higher authority had kicked them in, and everyone was in agreement. It was incredibly organized, and it governed the entire time.”

As Steph pushed, Joe gripped her shoulders, while Josh leaned down to grab their son as he was delivered.

On video, the midwife team captured the emotional moments of the birth and what followed.

Lindsey published Steph’s birth story and images on Instagram, where they’ve received over 2,000 likes and hundreds of comments since then.

Lindsey was apprehensive about how many guests Steph and Josh wanted to invite to the wedding. However, she quickly realized that the positive energy of her family members was just what Steph required.

“What I found with Steph is that she already had that innate trust in her body,” she told Romper. “Once I met her family members, I realized there wouldn’t be any issues with so many people being there.”

The midwife wanted to release the photographs in part to normalize the birthing process, acknowledging that images of Joe supporting Steph may cause discomfort and even terror in individuals who saw them.

“Take a look at where the fear comes from,” she lamented. “Take a deep breath and think about why you’re uncomfortable with this picture. I’m trying to normalize birth.. With these images, we are empowering women.”

Steph’s labor was precisely what she wanted it to be, due in large part to her father’s help.

The new mother stated:

“There was no way I could have imagined it any other way.” He has always been a pillar of strength in my life and has always backed me up no matter what road I take… In the days leading up to the birth, I trained my mother and mother-in-love to be my doulas, giving them mantras to recite to me while I went through contractions.


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