Idaho soldier stationed in Iraq gets to see birth of twins

Credit: Zach Stotland

Idaho soldier stationed in Iraq gets to see birth of twins

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by Nishi Gupta

KTVB.COM

Posted on December 26, 2010 at 3:06 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 2:03 AM

BOISE -- This Christmas, one Idaho family had a special reason to celebrate -- or should we say two special reasons to celebrate.

A Nampa woman gave birth to twins this week and her husband, who is stationed in the Middle East, was able to join her in the delivery room -- via Skype.

Sergeant First Class Mike Lewis was deployed to Iraq just a few months ago, and he knew this day would come while he was still overseas.

With the help of technology and maternity ward staff, he didn't miss the birth of his newborns.

"For him to just be a part of something really special to begin with really creates that an initial bond that we thought was really necessary and important to us," said Heather Lewis.

She was about to be a mom and her husband Sergeant First Class Mike Lewis, a medic for the Idaho Army National Guard, was stationed in Iraq.

“He had just finished his day when he called me in the morning and I told him I was in labor. He was ecstatic and drank a lot of coffee," said Lewis.

He would need it. The tired father would see it through, even from thousands of miles away.

Nurses at St. Luke's Hospital and military staff got Sergeant Lewis on Skype so he could be involved with this special delivery.

"He was right there with the delivery nurses and my sisters telling me, 'Push honey, push.' And really encouraging me along the way. He stayed up for 36 hours straight," said Heather Lewis.

And it was worth it a couple times over. Twins Gabriella and Owen were born less than half an hour apart.

"He's not a crier but he certainly was speechless and really you could tell it was a very special moment for him to be a part of," said Heather Lewis.

"We really appreciate the active service members that are deployed  anyway we can help to bring them closer and bring them with their family members it makes us feel better," said Ken Dey of St. Luke's Hospital.

Now Dad and his newborns can't get enough of each other.

"He's gotten to talk to the babies on the phone. They just want to listen to his voice, want him to listen to his voice, and see him on Skype," said Heather Lewis. "They're great, they're perfect. I love them."

When St. Luke’s gets a request for Skype, they try to accommodate it. They do this for all families, not just those involved with the military.

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