Please welcome Benjamin Joseph Marks, who entered the world at 11:23 PM on Friday, January 15, 2010. He weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz. (3.327 kg) and 20 inches (51 cm). He and his mom are doing well and came home to meet my two daughters today (Sunday).
My two daughters were born in 2001 and 2003 and many things have changed since then. The largest change for this dad was how the Internet has enabled social networking. This time, I was in the labor and delivery room equipped with an Apple iPhone and its Facebook app. I assumed that my Blackberry-toting father-in-law in the waiting room would appreciate the updates. But my wife and I have extended family all over the United States. They would also be interested in updates and photos. But what really surprised me was how many of our Facebook friends stayed glued to their computers on Friday night, refreshing my wife’s Facebook wall for the latest updates and photos. We certainly wouldn’t have wanted dozens of people in the labor and delivery room, but through Facebook they were able to participate in a special event for our family. The end result was that people in different time zones (and even different countries) were able to experience what was happening in near real-time.
Despite these technological advances, I was thrilled to be there personally. As a traveling IT consultant, my greatest fear was that I would miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime moment. But on Friday night, I watched my son emerge from the watery depths of the womb, cut his umbilical cord, and held him in my arms. The folks at Apple are geniuses, but I don’t expect those capabilities as iPhone features any time soon.