We all KNOW our military and their families make sacrifices for while they serve our country – most often the sacrifice of time together when duty separates a soldier from his or her loved ones. However, if we’re not personally involved in the situation, it can be to forget or not think about these families make on a daily basis. I’ll never forget images of my friend Sara posted on Facebook, giving birth to her fourth child, while her husband’s face appeared on a computer screen – he in in the Air Force and was deployed, so he had to watch the birth of his youngest via Skype. While I’m thankful for technology, it’s kind of a bummer when a soldier far from home has to watch his baby born over FaceTime.
However, that’s EXACTLY what happened to Brooks Lindsey over the weekend, and his experience soon went viral. Lindsey, who is in the army at Fort Bliss preparing for a nine-month deployment to Kuwait, had hoped to be home for his daughter’s birth in two weeks, but then on May 5, his wife Haley called to tell him the baby was in distress and she was being induced. Haley told Love What Matters what happened next:
I then went on to call Red Cross and let them know it was indeed an emergency and they simply just needed clarification from my Doctor. I get to the hospital at 3 pm Thursday and they confirm my state and tell Brooks to book a flight from El Paso (Fort Bliss mobilization to deploy to Kuwait for a 9-month tour) to Dallas layover then to Jackson but that he could not book a flight until after 10 am the following day! I was sure that we would already have a baby by then! But at least he gets to come home for 4 days so I was taking whatever I could get.
However, Haley’s labor was slow, so there WAS a chance that Brooks could make the birth. By Friday morning, she still had not had the baby.
Friday morning my water was broken at 7 am and Pitocin began. Brooks got to the airport in El Paso and boarded his plane at 10 am (mountain/daylight time) 11 am central time. He called me as soon as that flight landed in Dallas at 2:38 central time and I was 5 centimeters dilated. He was scheduled to take off at 3:55 but LUCKILY his flight was delayed to 5:45. Without that delay Brooks would have been in the air and unable to FaceTime! I quickly made my decision on who would be in the room during labor and it was my step mother, Dee Anne and my mother in law, Teresa! The Doctor came in to check me at 5:00 and she said it was go time!
In the airport, Brooks’ fellow passengers noticed the soldier glued to his phone Facetiming and and took notice. One passenger waiting for a flight posted a photo of him to Facebook, and it has since been shared over 111,000 times!!!
This Army soldier was on my delayed flight home yesterday to MS. He had to watch the birth of his daughter on FaceTime….
Haley goes on to say:
Brooks was telling me it was okay, and I was doing so good and I heard him wincing and saying ‘wow!’ through my pushes. I could hear people in the airport talking and cheering! Brooks then went on to say that they were making him board and needed to get off as soon as she finally started to crown and all I remember was my Doctor screaming ‘Don’t let him board the flight! She’s here! She’s here!’ So, the airport personnel let him sit there and watch till it was over!
Cheers to the airport personnel on that one! I KNOW those rules are SO strict, and I am so thankful they allowed this soldier to see his baby born over facetime! This screen shot of Brooks’ face via Facetime while watching his daughter be born pretty much says it all:
Happily, Millie Fritz Anne Lindsey as born healthy and strong at 5:23 pm while her father watched. Just two hours later, he walked into the hospital to meet her.
Haley describes the moment her husband arrived:
When he walked in at 7:20 it was just Millie and me. He picked her up and held her for five minutes and kept saying ‘wow I can’t believe we just had a baby’ but the entire time I was already dreading him leaving 4 days later.
The family was enjoying some quiet time together, but thanks to Facebook the news of Brooks’ dramatic dash to his wife’s side and seeing his baby born over Facetime had spread. “We had random people bringing gifts to our rooms and nurses coming in and thanking Brooks for his service! It has been an amazing, emotional time full of so much support!” Haley says.
Congratulations to the Lindsey family, and thanks to ALL of you for your service and sacrifice. Please join me in prayers for a safe deployment for Brooks so they can be reunited again soon!