For any expecting parent, the thought of bringing a child into the world is special. But for some who experience difficulty conceiving, having a child is a miracle. At least, that’s how photographer Elinor Carucci views it.
Carucci is no stranger to parenthood. She is a mother to twins and her monograph, Mother, released in 2013, documents a decade from being pregnant to the trials and tribulations of parenting.
Her photographs—some showing her scars from delivery, others showing her domestic life—offer a raw representation of what parenthood is made of. Because of that experience, she was able to connect with her subject Evan, a trans man who gave birth to his first son earlier this year. “Some of those moments were very quiet,” Carucci says about shooting Evan taking care of the baby. “I mean first of all because [the baby] was asleep but also because I was just in awe of the beauty and intimacy and sensuality of what’s happening in front of me and click, click, click in silence. This beautiful miracle of parenthood in front of my eyes and even more of a miracle in Evan’s case.”
Evan’s journey to parenthood was chronicled in TIME by his sister, the writer Jessi Hempel. Hempel writes about the growing number of transgender Americans who are founding families as well as the challenges they can sometimes face.
Carucci, who says she went through fertility treatment while trying to conceive, was able to connect with Evan not only on grounds of becoming a new parent but also the difficulties of putting private aspects of their lives in public. She refers to it as “an empowering experience.” “What I have to share," she says, "is something that we all have is the microcosm of family and family relationships where I believe everything is there. The good, the bad, the love, the hate. The tension, growing up together, seeing some changing, aging, becoming parents, childhood, everything. Everything, everything is there.”
Carucci believes stories like Evan’s are important to tell. “He wants to share, he wants to also maybe encourage other people in the same situation and give a voice to the story,” she says. “That was very special and generous.”
Tara Johnson, who edited this photo essay, is an Associate Photo Editor at TIME.
Bianca Silva is a contributor to TIME LightBox. Follow her on Twitter.