Army fire support officer Theron Scott deployed to Afghanistan for the fourth time in February, knowing he wouldn't be home for the birth of his first child. Since he and his wife, Aime, couldn't physically be together, technology afforded them the next best thing: a 7-hour Skype connection during labor and delivery.
Aime Scott's midwife suggested the setup and the Scotts video-chatted on Skype for several weeks as practice. When Aime Scott went into labor, her husband was just a phone call and a laptop screen away.
"When they finished hooking me up to all the machines, I called him and said, 'OK, go to your computer,'" she said Monday.
From Afghanistan, Theron Scott coached and comforted his wife through the delivery.
"I could hear him. He could talk to me," Aime Scott said.
Then, both parents heard the cry of a 7-pound, 8-ounce bundle of joy – a baby to be named William.
"The only thing I could think was, 'Wow, what did I get myself in to?'" joked Theron Scott.
He said he was thrilled to be able to see his newborn son in the first moments of his life.
"There's nothing that can beat being there in person, but I'm so glad technology is high-speed enough that I can be 8,000 miles away in Afghanistan and still be part of my child's birth," he said.
Theron Scott hopes to return home in October. Because his deployment will last less than a year, his wife explained, he wasn't able to get leave for his son's birth.
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