Why Skype when you can have the real thing?Tia Grim had a great idea, but her husband, Luke, had other plans when it came to experiencing the birth of their third child while he was stationed in Kuwait as an Army first sergeant. As they prepared for the birth of a new baby, the couple made a decision to use Skype as a way for Luke to be part of the birth.
By: Stacie Kimball, Alexandria Echo Press
Tia Grim had a great idea, but her husband, Luke, had other plans when it came to experiencing the birth of their third child while he was stationed in Kuwait as an Army first sergeant.
As they prepared for the birth of a new baby, the couple made a decision to use Skype as a way for Luke to be part of the birth.
“We knew going into the deployment that he would most likely not be able to come home for the birth,” Tia explained, “But, I knew welcoming another child into the world isn’t just a special moment for me, but also for him. And I knew the only way he was going to see his new daughter for the first time was going to be over Skype.”
Skype is a computer program that allows users from all over the world to make voice and video calls to other Skype users.
THEIR RELATIONSHIP BEGAN IN ALEXANDRIA
The couple met in Alexandria. Tia moved here from Brainerd to attend Alexandria Technical College while Luke was re-stationed to Alexandria as an active duty Army recruiter.
The two were married at the Church for the Harvest in Alexandria in 2007 and went on to have two daughters, Eve and Naomi.
In June 2009, the Grims were re-stationed to Fort Jackson, South Carolina where Luke served two years as a drill sergeant.
Luke’s 14-year career with the Army took him to Kuwait, on the northwestern shore of the Persian Gulf, in July 2011. At that time, the Grims decided it would be best for Tia and their daughters to move back to Alexandria to be close to family and the couple’s church family and friends.
The family communicated a couple times a week via phone and Skype.
THE NEW BABY
Tia was to be admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, October 5 and labor would be induced on Thursday at 6 a.m. Luke was to be released from his work duties early and Skyping would commence as soon as everyone was ready.
Tia had high hopes that the new baby would make an appearance early enough for daddy to see.
However, the plans that Tia had made were about to change in more ways than one.
Tia received a phone call from the hospital on Tuesday, October 4. She was told her birth time was rescheduled. The change brought up several concerns, including how it would affect the Skyping plans Tia and Luke had made.
The expecting mother was shaken and she called her friend, Rhonda, to share her frustration and concerns.
“How about we go out so you can eat away your frustration?” suggested Rhonda. A good friend always knows what to say. She also knew how to keep a secret. Her husband, Mike, had already picked Luke up from the airport in Minneapolis and the two were on their way to Alexandria.
Although Luke’s trip had been scheduled for a month and a half, he admitted, “I still didn’t really have a plan,” referring to how he was going to surprise Tia. The sneaky husband originally wanted to enter Tia’s hospital room on Wednesday evening, supper tray in hand and say, “Would you like your supper?” But Luke’s schedule had also been changed and he arrived in the States a day early.
Tia and Rhonda sat at Doolittles restaurant in Alexandria as Tia cried tears of frustration over how her plans had gone awry. Little did she know, those tears were about to change into tears of joy. She looked up and saw Mike, and assumed he was just there to join them for supper. And then…she saw Luke!
“She just kind of looked at me and said, ‘What are you doing here?’ remembered Luke. Tia added, “A lot of tears were shed that day.”
Together, Tia and Luke entered the hospital on Thursday, October 6 and without the aid of Skype – just good old-fashioned togetherness – had a baby girl they named Julia Ann Grim.
“It was amazing,” declared Luke.
When asked how important it was for him to be at his daughter’s birth in person, Luke commented, “Anniversaries – you have one every year, but the birth of a child…wow!” He added that he did not want his daughter to one day be able to say, “You weren’t even there the day I was born.”
Luke’s presence became more of a blessing when baby Julia needed treatment for lung prematurity at the St. Cloud Hospital. Tia shared, “I couldn’t imagine the 11 days in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) without him.”
Luke spent two weeks with his girls before going back to Kuwait.
In remembering Luke’s time home with them, Tia revealed the best part was, “experiencing the birth of our third child.” She also added, “I didn’t have to share him with the military for two weeks. I had him to myself.”