Technology brings New Prague soldier into labor room for daughter's birth

Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

She's beautiful.

That was the reaction of Staff Sgt. Matt Barber of New Prague when he first saw his newborn daughter Addison Marie last week.

Those words were typed into a computer from Iraq. In a few weeks, he'll get a chance to see his daughter in person.

Matt's wife Julie gave birth to Addison, the couple's second child, on Tuesday, July 3. With Matt serving with the Minnesota National Guard, Queen of Peace Hospital used some modern technology to help Julie and Matt share the experience together.

With the aid of a computer and a webcam, Matt was able to witness the birth and get his first glimpse of his daughter.

For the record, Addison weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19 1/4 inches long. Grandparents are Charlie and Sharon Wagner of New Prague and John and Brenda Barber of Willmar, formerly of St Patrick.

Change in plans

It wasn't supposed to happen this way. Matt was home for a visit last fall. When Julie found out she was pregnant, she assumed Matt would be home in the spring, well in advance of the July due date. However, when the tour of duty was extended for Minnesota Guardsmen in January, Matt's return date was moved to late July.

Julie says it was hard not having her husband around during the pregnancy. But I've had a lot of family support

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