Like many dads, Daniel Rasik was present for the birth of his baby. What makes his story a little different? He was 7,500 miles away at the time. Thanks to an iPad and Skype, the 29-year-old Army sergeant, who is currently deployed in Afghanistan, was able to support his wife, Genevieve, before and during her cesarean section and see his new son come into the world last month.
“It really felt like he was there,” Genevieve Rasik, 27, tells Yahoo Shine. “When I looked to my left, I saw my husband and, he was saying, 'You can do it,' and talking me through it. It was incredible.”
The experience was one that Rasik didn’t think was possible after her initial visit to Martin Medical Center in Stuart, Florida. “When I went in for a tour of the hospital, they made it very clear that no cameras or video cameras were allowed in the operating room or the delivery room,” she says. “I left the tour extremely sad and upset.” She voiced her concern to her doctor, Pete Papapanos, at her next prenatal appointment. “He said, 'We are going to make this work,'" recalls Rasik. “We are so grateful for everything he did for us in helping to facilitate this.”
More on Yahoo Shine: Returning Sailor Has a Hollywood Homecoming
Papapanos could not be reached for comment, but according to hospital spokesperson Scott Samples, videotaping or photographing of the delivery is against hospital policy. However, he tells Yahoo Shine, “this was a unique circumstance and we were able to work with the physician to allow the father to be there virtually for the birth of his child." This was only the second time the hospital made an exception and allowed Skype to be used during a delivery.
According Rasik, her husband was present on Skype while she got ready for her scheduled C-section early one morning and stayed with her for most of the day, until about 3 p.m. Rasik said, “The standing joke of the day was, ‘Who’s taking care of Dan?’” She noted that when her family wasn’t caring for her, they were keeping Dan up to date on the day’s events. Luckily, the Internet was cooperative. “We only lost him a few times and were quickly able to connect again,” she says.
During the delivery, Rasik’s mom was in the operating room and held the iPad. “As soon as they were pulling the baby out, they told my mom she could stand up so my husband was able to see them lift the baby up. Then, they took the baby to a different area to be examined and my mom walked over there with the iPad,” says Rasik. “It was like Dan was in the room the whole time.” Rasik delivered a healthy baby boy, Benjamin, who joined his siblings, 13-month-old twins Michael and Madeline. The family will be reunited when Sergeant Rasik returns home this spring.
More on Yahoo Shine: The Top 10 Good News Stories of 2013
“Being able to Skype with my husband helped to make a bad situation — having a baby while your husband is away — better,” said Rasik. “Women give birth all the time when their husbands are serving their countries. It’s my sincere hope that our story can help someone else in a similar situation. I want this to be available to all families.”
More on Yahoo Shine:
In Praise of Hands-On Fathers
NBA Gives Wounded Vets the All-Star Treatment to Honor Their Service
U.S. Air Force Band Wows With Most Civilized Flash Mob Ever