A “Skype” birth

Mat is a Japanese/Canadian man. He grew up in British Columbia and is fluent in English and Japanese and a ‘cool’, trendy guy. His wife Nayumi is a Japanese beauty who was raised in Japan and struggles with her English now that she lives here in Canada. The couple met and fell in love in Japan. Although married to a Canadian, she has not completed her immigration and, therefore, did not qualify for a government insured birth for her first child. Mat’s sister had been a client of mine for her three home births so Mat and Nayumi knew all about my services.

Our prenatal visits were done with Mat acting as “translator” for me and Nayumi. When I would explain something complicated, he would listen intently and, then, translate completely every single word for his wife. They were both dedicated to having a great arrival for their first baby.

I have attended births for many “foreign” visitors to Canada over the 30 years that I have worked in this field. I can’t help but put myself in the place of their overseas family. How would it be for me if one of my daughters was in a foreign place having a baby with a woman who didn’t speak her language? Would she be all right? Would others understand how precious and special my daughter is to her family at home? I can only imagine the relief the overseas family must feel when they know that their daughter is safely through birth with a healthy baby.

Nayumi gave birth quickly and smoothly. Their tiny downtown apartment was clean and neat as a pin. Everything had a place and was beautifully organized. Mat caught the baby in the water tub–a sweet boy, the placenta was birthed and the cord cut. After about 45 minutes, Mat and I helped Nayumi and baby to get dried off and into bed. I was in the kitchen preparing some food for the family when I heard a lot of excited Japanese talking coming from their bedroom. They had put their Mac laptop into the bed on Nayumi’s lap and the entire family in Japan was gathered together in the screen looking at the new baby boy! How wonderful to see Nayumi, radiant and well and a new little family member “live” on the internet. The family insisted that I get in front of the camera so they could see me and thank me, too. Mat translated for them that I thought they had a brave, amazing daughter and that they should be so proud of her. I assured them that I would stay until I was certain that all was well with both of them.

I can remember how amazed I was when digital photos could be sent rapidly via the internet. This instant Skype celebration was a whole new level of wonder for me at what we can do now with technology.

Japanese couple who had a waterbirth

Privacy: This photo is NOT of my clients, it’s one I found on the internet. All names/nationalities changed for privacy considerations.

3 thoughts on “A “Skype” birth

  1. Skype is wonderful for this and I have seen it used like this a few times. The funniest was when a father had to go and deal with his 2 year old have a major sibling inspired tantrum in another room next to her breastfeeding mother. He left me standing in front of his computer trying to communicate with a room full of women in Burkas who spoke no English. I don’t think I was very successful at explaining who I was and what a tantrum was.

  2. Yes, this is my experience as well. Skype has been at nearly every birth I have attended in the past couple of months…a papa who was unexpectedly out of the country at the time of his babies birth, a Russian family talking to relatives back home, family on the East coast brought into the birth room. It is pretty awesome.

  3. That was such a sweet story! Skype is wild, we got to see our relatives who moved back to Singapore over the holidays, it was nice finally seeing them after so many years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *