Deployed Airman watches daughter's birth

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. John Gordinier
  • 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
An Airman deployed to Joint Base Balad got to witness his wife give birth to their daughter via Web cam June 17 who were back at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.

Tech. Sgt. Nathanael Farrington, a 332nd Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron weather forecaster, said he called the American Red Cross station here to inquire if they had a private area with Web cam communication for the purpose of viewing his wife, Kristen, give birth to their third child, Madison.

The American Red Cross station here has a Legacy Room that is used for private viewing of special events in servicemembers' lives

"The fact that I was able to experience Madison's arrival from half a world away puts me at a loss for words," Sergeant Farrington said. "It turns what could be a stressful situation, filled with the suspense of not knowing what's going on, into a profound, life-changing event that I can experience with my wife."

Not surprisingly, it was very hard for Sergeant Farrington when he found out he would be deployed to Iraq on his wife's due date.

"My wife and I had mixed feelings," he said. "Obviously, I wanted to be with her during this momentous event. I knew ... that this pregnancy would be easier with two parents at home to take care of our two boys, and help Kristen around the house.

"As difficult as it is, knowing what she's going through at home, we both see this separation as a special and somewhat unique chapter in our family story," added the Scottsdale, Ariz., native.

Overall, Sergeant Farrington said even though he couldn't be there to hold his wife's hand he could still support her with words of encouragement and an expectant smile.

"We have an extremely vibrant emotional bond. I can't wait to laugh and cry with her when we see our baby girl," he said.

The Legacy Room was constructed approximately one year ago and is dedicated to the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. The room has photos of the men of the 332nd Fighter Group on its walls.

"The need exists to help servicemembers feel connected with their families at home," said Mary Messina, the Joint Base Balad American Red Cross team leader and senior station manager. "We help servicemembers 'be there' for the birth of their children. They have coached their wives through as long as 22 hours of labor.

After Mrs. Farrington was induced, Sergeant Farrington entered the Legacy Room to view Madison's birth.

"Because of the privacy and comforts provided in the Legacy Room, and because of the care of Red Cross personnel, I was able to stay connected with Kristen continuously over the 10-hour labor," the sergeant said. "They even delivered me dinner and breakfast meals so I wouldn't have to miss any potentially crucial parts of the event!

"After Madison was born and measured, my demeanor blossomed into grateful pride," Sergeant Farrington added. "I was able to use the DSN phone in the Legacy Room to make some phone calls to excited grandparents and great-grandparents in Arizona. That was exceptional!"