Within in the last week, I’ve had the pleasure of reading two expectant fathers give the play-by-play on the birth of their babies. They did it with facebook and twitter.
First on December 12th, my friend Chris whose wife was carrying twin boys announced as his status at 8:49 a.m., “Today is the day!” (God bless Chris’ wife, Gina. She was just a few days shy of full term with twins!!!) Friends and family began responding with cheers and congratulations. At 1:51 p.m. Chris let everyone know his twin sons were born. Pictures of the newborn babies came an hour later.
I was working with facebook opened in another tab. Every update and warm wish that went the family’s way put a huge smile on my face.
Fast forward to December 18th sometime after 5 a.m., I notice an fb status update from a writer friend, “Tim Valentine is Zion (Baby) is on his way. I’ll be back.” The message was a better pick-me-up than the iced coffee next to me. It didn’t take long before friends and relatives answered the news with heartfelt good wishes.
Tim was a tad more prolific online during labor and delivery:
Tim Valentine is @Baptist Hospital checking in
15 hours ago via Facebook for BlackBerry
Tim Valentine is in the room. this nurse is looney and its only 7:10 in the morning
14 hours ago via Facebook for BlackBerry
Tim Valentine is this is for those who may not know. expecting 2nd child (boy) today. that’s why we’re at the hospital now. more 2 come
13 hours ago via Facebook for BlackBerry”
He actually executed a two-prong social media blitz of updates with his trusty BlackBerry. After about 4 hours of announcements and well-wishing, my smile muscles were actually in pain. (It wasn’t all Tim and family. I did also spend part of the day exchanging presents with adorable 5 years olds and other elementary school students.)
I realized this was the second time in a week, I had witnessed in near real time a father’s pride at the birth of a baby. Let’s face it. Pregnancy is much about Mom and Baby. Dads usually keep their concerns to themselves regarding childbirth. Worries about “Will I be able to protect and provide?”, “Is my wife going to be okay?”, “Is the baby alright?” and “Am I useless just sitting here waiting for the baby?” go unsaid. So, I thought it was fantastic seeing what actually should be said, and not just said, but broadcast for the world.