Elizabeth Stone once said, “Making a decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” In light of Mother’s Day, a day to express gratitude to the significant female figures in our lives, we look back to the women who brought us into the world and raised us. For a mother those first few moments with a new addition is usually bonding time, but for one mother separated from her newborn it was done via Skype.
Damaris Palmer was awaiting the arrival of her newest little bundle of joy, when an unexpected turn of events lead to an emergency C-section. Shortly after birth, newborn baby Eliza was having breathing problems. As such, Palmer was only able to sneak in a quick glimpse of the infant before she needed to be transferred to another hospital a mere few hours later. Palmer described this as a “very stressful and tumultuous experience,” as her first peak included her little one hooked up to machines.
As the days passed, her doctors kept reassuring her that Eliza was doing better, that she was growing healthier by the day. However, without seeing it with her own eyes she grew panicky. Her husband was dividing his time between visiting her at the hospital and baby Eliza at the other hospital’s NICU. He’d relay moments he shared with the infant – how cute she was, things she did, how she was eating well.
Having already given birth twice before, this was a totally different experience for Palmer. She stated “I was starting to get really depressed when I wasn’t able to see her for a couple of days, especially because I was in one hospital and she was in another.” Not being able to see her newborn daughter left her at a loss as to what to do. As her husband, Christian, was preparing to leave one day, Palmer was struck with inspiration. She thought to herself, why not have my husband take my mobile phone, and she could hang onto their laptop and use Skype video calling to “visit” the NICU.
Palmer and newborn baby Eliza.
With laptop and phone on and ready, Damaris and Christian connected via Skype for 30 minutes, and finally Palmer was able to meet her baby girl. “When I was able to see her I was so relieved, to see she really was doing better. It was the first time I was really able to see her face, her little features and feel as though I could spend some time with her. It felt like the first time we were able to be a little family,” says Palmer. Going on further to say that “technology is my BFF.”
A source of joy for the now family of five, Palmer is also able to share baby Eliza from the comforts of her home in California with family members abroad in Brazil and Hawaii. For Palmer “it’s wonderful. They can see our kids, and we can see our nieces and nephews. And it just makes us feel like we’re not thousands of miles away.”
How have you used Skype to share special moments with your mother?