Here’s a sweet story about Laurie Cooper, an army wife whose deployed husband David was able to be there for the birth of their daughter… via Skype.
David even gave some labor support from the barracks. According to Laurie Cooper speaking to the local Missouri news: “He actually was able to say, ‘hey, here’s the sun coming up here in Afghanistan,’ and ‘here’s what it looks like where I live,’ and he was able to kind of distract me while I was waiting for the next contraction.”
Erykah Badu famously tweeted her home birth. And Facebookers have been known to (over?) share stages of labor with their friends. But the Skyped birth seems a more intimate, if technological, event. And is especially poignant when dad is stationed in Afghanistan.
Cooper encourages others in a similar situation to try it: “You can do it, no matter what the circumstances are… We thought that he would be there for the birth but every Army wife knows the military can do anything at anytime and you just have to roll with the punches.”
It’s not the same as hugs and cuddles but it can help us bring together the geographically dispersed families so common these days. In her babble piece on Skyping with grandparents, Jessica Knight perfectly sums up the pros and cons of this particular kind of connection:
“With web cams and an internet connection, we can in fact see our family whenever we want… But the paradox of this intense connectivity is that it’s always coupled with reminders of the actual distance between us: the limits of battery life and bandwidth are nagging indices of the miles from the Midwest to the East coast, and the inevitable technical glitches can make our online visits feel as alienating as they are enjoyable.”