To add even more excitement to an already exciting day, the story was picked up by the press. (My brother received the text of the story in an email. Unfortunately, a link to the original source wasn't included.)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- "He made me breathe."There's also video of an after-delivery interview with the new mom.
That's how Ashley Sousa described the way her husband, Nick Sousa, helped her as she gave birth to her first baby Monday at Women and Infants Hospital.
Nick, 22, was able to help despite being more than 5,000 miles away in Iraq, where he is stationed.
The Freedom Calls Foundation set up a Web-based teleconference so Nick, a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, could watch his first baby being born. Farrah Rose Gloria Sousa decided to come three weeks early.
Freedom Calls is a foundation that helps troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan communicate with their families back home for free.
Ashley's mother, Barbara Pierce; Nick's mother, Janet Diauto, and her cousin Stacey Murt were in the room coaching Ashley, while Nick coached her from Iraq, where he was set up in room with a computer, so he could see her and the baby.
On Tuesday, he had another videoconference to talk about the couple's surreal experience with the birthing of the baby. Ashley sat with her baby as a multitude of cameras from the news media recorded her and her husband, who appeared on a television screen. Farrah wore a pink hat that said, "I have arrived."
Ashley, who is living with her parents in Attleboro, said she was in a lot of pain as the baby came. She said Nick soothed her.
Nick said, in a way, it was good that he was far away, because Ashley was in so much pain she could have hurt him if he was nearby. The two are childhood sweethearts. They met at Attleboro High School, where she helped him in math.
Ashley said it was comforting to have him present.
"I can't put into words how grateful I am. He is fighting for our country right now. It was so great. Every contraction he said, 'Calm down,' " she said.
When he saw little Farrah for the first time, "his jaw just dropped," she said.
"She opened her eyes yesterday and I saw him in her eyes," Ashley said.
Congratulations on your newest family member and thank you for your service.