Thursday, July 22, 2010

A True “Internet Baby”

My generation grew up with TV. We were often referred to as “cathode tube babies.” My kids grew up with computers. We might call them “micro chip babies.”

This past weekend, a baby was born at GRMC while his father was deployed thousands of miles away serving this great nation in the military. For generations, babies have been born while fathers have fought wars half a world away. News about the new baby came through letters or telegrams. This weekend Grinnell Regional used Skype for the first time to bring the father right into the birthing room to witness in real time the birth of his first son and support his wife through the labor and delivery. Sometimes we bemoan technology’s takeover of the world. In this case, technology was truly miraculous as the miracle of birth unfolded.

Certainly, cameras, phones, and digital recording devices have been a mainstay in delivery rooms for years now. In this case, the first idea was to video record the birth and send the recording to the Middle East so Dad could see the birth of little Gabriel. Then mom mentioned that she and her husband had been using Skype as a communication tool during the final two months of the pregnancy and the idea popped up to use the computer to link the family together for the birth. Thanks goodness for the wireless router we installed last year. It was amazing!

When Des Moines television station KCCI heard about the story, they sent a crew to Grinnell to check it out. The story can be found on their web site at the following link: I posted the link yesterday quickly. It was a feel good, human interest story of the best kind.

I may have been a TV baby. Little Gabriel is truly an “internet baby!” Congratulations to Mom and Dad on the birth of their son. And thanks to all the folks—the doctor, nurses and in this case, the information technology team at GRMC—for going the extra mile to make sure this Dad was “virtually” in the room to see the first few breaths of his son!

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