Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Sweet Story

A childhood friend of mine became a grandfather for the first time. His son-in-law, who is a Marine stationed in Iraq, was able to watch the birth of his daughter via the world wide web. Isn't technology great!

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."

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.
There's also video of an after-delivery interview with the new mom.

Congratulations on your newest family member and thank you for your service.


Anonymous said...

Hi Traci,,, this is Donnie,,,, I was very surprised to find this posting. Your brother told me he would let you know, I was pleasantly surprised to find this. I will show my daughter, she will be very happy. Mom and baby are doing fine. Hope you are also,,,,,

Traci Skene said...

Congratulations again, Donnie. Jimmy said that Debbie's daughter is in the video. I haven't seen her since she was a baby. I'll have to go back and watch it again.