Soldier watches son’s birth 7,000 miles from home
by Matt Shinall
Sep 12, 2012 | 4916 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Hannah Boley holding her newborn son, Ivan, talks with her husband, U.S. Army Spc. Tomek Boley, in Kuwait from her Cartersville hospital room via Skype video chat. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
Hannah Boley holding her newborn son, Ivan, talks with her husband, U.S. Army Spc. Tomek Boley, in Kuwait from her Cartersville hospital room via Skype video chat. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
slideshow
Tomek and Hannah Boley welcomed their first child into the world Monday. Ivan Bolek was born 19.5 inches long, weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces. The scene was picture perfect, with one exception — the father is serving his country overseas and viewed his newborn child through the lens of a laptop webcamera streaming the entire process over video chat.

As Hannah Boley was rushed to Cartersville Medical Center Sunday night, her husband received special permission to take leave and watch the birth of his son from 7,000 miles away in Kuwait. Internet service is unreliable at the base where Spc. Tomek Boley is stationed, so he took his laptop to a nearby Starbucks and waited. His wife was in labor for more than 24 hours and Tomek was there for all of it.

“He was present for the whole process. It meant a lot to me. It’s good to know that he was there if I needed to talk to him, and during the hard parts, I could make him talk to me — or just stare at him. It took my mind off of it,” Hannah said. “It was really our only option. We wanted to try to get him home but it wasn’t an option so they let him Skype. They let him stay off work yesterday so he could be there. He was on Skype for about 26 hours, ever since I got to the hospital.”

Tuesday afternoon, newborn Ivan Boley was dressed in a camo onesie his parents picked out for him before Tomek was deployed. Three months in to a nine-month deployment, the afternoon video chat was the family’s last chance to speak before Tomek re-enters the field with 13 Bravo Field Artillery.

“It made it easier to know that even though I could not be there that I could still support [Hannah] and help in any way I can,” said Tomek Boley via video chat.

Born in Poland, Tomek was adopted by a family in Michigan and now has plans to make his career in the military. Tomek will mark two years of service next month and will celebrate his one-year wedding anniversary in November.

Hannah Boley’s mom, Charmin Waits, was also on hand for the delivery and was glad to have her son-in-law watching while serving overseas.

“I’m so proud of him. We’re so thankful that he was able to be a part of the delivery,” Waits said. “We wanted him to come home so bad, but I guess this was the next-best thing.”

When Tomek returns home, his son will be six months old.