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Watch the emotional reaction of a dad holding his newborn for the first time

Tom and Rachael Sullivan from "Meals She Eats" welcomed a little girl on July 25.
Tom and Rachel Sullivan.
The new dad told TODAY Parents he felt "every emotion" holding his baby girl for the first time.@mealssheeats and @rachsullivan__ via Instagram
/ Source: TODAY

Tom and Rachael Sullivan weren't sure parenthood would ever be a reality for them.

But on July 25, the couple behind the "secret Instagram account" welcomed a healthy baby daughter, affectionately nicknamed Baby Torta after the amount of tortilla chips the new mom ate during her pregnancy.

"We waited nine months for the surprise of a lifetime," they captioned a joint Instagram post celebrating their baby's arrival.

In the video, the Sullivans chronicle their long journey to parenthood.

“My husband and I decided to do a surprise gender reveal for our first baby,” reads the text overlayed on the first part of the video showing Tom cradling the baby from behind.

The next slides read: “Food played a key role in our fertility journey...So we celebrated each weekly milestone by creating recipes based off food the size of our baby,” all while showing short snippets of the recipes created weekly based off of baby’s size.

“This is week 41...our greatest recipe yet,” the final clip reads, panning to an emotional Tom presenting their baby girl.

Tears flow as the new dad present his baby daughter, saying "She's pretty like mama."
Tears flow as the new dad present his baby daughter, saying "She's pretty like mama."@rachsullivan__ and @mealssheeats via Instagram

The Raleigh-based couple were immediately showered with congratulatory wishes.

"Omg I’m crying this is the sweetest thing," wrote one commenter.

Another chimed in, "She’s the most perfect creation you two have ever cooked up."

Tom told TODAY Parents that holding his daughter for the first time was a "pinch me" moment.

"I don't have the words. I was speechless," he told TODAY through tears. "I feel like I'm just so lucky to have Rachel in my life, and the life I have, and how amazing she is and now we just get to expand on that. I don't think I'm allowed to be this lucky."

Rachael shared that she was "overwhelmed with emotion."

"Seeing him as a girl dad after all of this and just how much love he has for this tiny little broke me in the best way possible," she said.

When Rachael, 29, was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, Tom, 35, took it upon himself to start an Instagram account cataloging each meal he made. The catch? He didn't tell his wife.

"I wanted a place to have my recipes and Instagram just seemed to make sense because I could put a picture and write everything in the comments," he said. "And I didn't tell her because I knew that would mean she would want to take pictures of every food and make it pretty."

One day while scrolling social media, Tom's secret food account was recommended to Rachael.

“It was on the ‘people you may know’ section,” Rachael told TODAY Food last year. “It said ‘Tom Sullivan @MealsSheEats,’ and I was like, ‘Who is this ‘she’?’”

In December 2021, the couple announced they were expecting.

"It was a big moment for us to get pregnant. We knew we wanted to embrace it the whole way through," Tom told TODAY Parents, adding that the couple announced much earlier than other couples.

Each week, the couple celebrated another milestone with the same method that had gotten them this far in their journey — recipes.

"It just kind of happened that one of the apps Rachael had said, 'Oh, your baby is the size of a fig' and that's one of our favorite foods," Tom explained. "We were like, 'Well, let's like make something with a fig and just be excited about our babies that size.'"

The couple told TODAY they plan to reveal their daughter's name to their growing social community later this week.

They added, "Her name has a great significance to it."